Dear Event Vendors,
How well do you work under pressure?
So far, you’ve done really great. You’ve delivered on schedule and under budget. We’ve had clear communication, you’ve been fun to work with… my clients are happy and so am I. But how are you going to hold up under pressure? How do you handle unexpected problems and circumstances? Here are some things I hope you know how to do…
1) Keep calm and carry on.
We’ve covered this territory already in an earlier post: What to Do When Things Go Wrong at Your Event. Everything I expect of myself and my team with regard to managing challenging circumstances, I expect of you and yours. We are all professionals. We should be able to manage obstacles when they arise. If we can’t, then we are in the wrong business.
2) Prioritize the success of the event.
When things go wrong, we often revert to basic survival instincts. Of course, we have to take care of ourselves in any situation, but it’s important to me that you remember to support the success of the event. As far as my client is concerned, my team consists not only of my own company’s staff, but all of the vendors I’ve hired. My team must work together seamlessly, in order to create a sense of coherence and continuity in the final product, which is a successful event. When things go wrong, we all have to pitch in and do what we have to do to make things work. This may involve extra time or expense. Short term sacrifice is often a pathway to long-term reward. It also goes a long way to build loyalty, which goes both ways.
3) Maintain focus on the needs of the event attendees.
This one is a little less intuitive, and requires a bit more thought than just taking orders from the event planning team. Ultimately, the success of my event is going to be judged by the value of the experience had by the attendees. Depending on how chaotic things get, you may have to think on your feet and respond to what you observe around you. In other words, you might have to go off book and improvise a bit. Be proactive, and do what you need to do to ensure that guests are comfortable and happy. In the same way that one guest’s positive experience can make a world of difference in the perception of the client as to the success of the event, one person’s complaint can also take the whole thing down a few notches. Err on the side of attentiveness and generosity. Not only will it help to make a more pleasant time for everyone, it will help to solidify the foundation of a successful, long-term relationship.
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