7 Problems You Might Encounter on the Day of Your Event and How to Solve Them

7 Problems You Might Encounter on the Day of Your Event and How to Solve Them

1. Slow Check In A slow check in at the beginning of any event can really set a negative tone. With a larger event this could be become a real problem if there are lots of delegates waiting around waiting to gain access. Technology can be used to pretty much eradicate this issue. There are a number of event apps which smooth the check in process, or you can use iBeacon technology to automatically register people as they enter the building. If your budgets don't stretch that far, ensure that you have suitable numbers of staff to check people in and separate the meet and greet area from the information desk, so that delegates that simply want to gain access are not delayed by those that have detailed questions. 2. Unexpected Guests Forecasting numbers can be very difficult. You might expect that some of the people who confirm do not attend, but equally, at certain events, you might have additional guests in the form of the unexpected 'plus one'. To handle such a scenario you will need a clear policy from the event owner (the internal or external client who has initiated the event). While it can be frustrating when you are trying to manage to capacity, you don't want to fracture any key relationships by offending an important client who has brought along an uninvited colleague, for example. It is also vital to be very clear about the maximum capacity of the space you have as this cannot be exceeded, for health and safety reasons. As a result it is generally wise to plan for some additional capacity to provide some leeway on the day of the meeting. 3. Supplier Issues The more external suppliers you have involved in your event the more scope for a problem developing on the day of your event. You can limit the potential for such issues arising by using regular suppliers, documenting all agreements and having a pre-conference briefing meetings. However the unexpected can always occur - so the solution is to have scenario plans in place for event critical suppliers, which will mean having access to alternatives on the day in the event that they are needed. 4. The Lost Delegate Larger events can be difficult for delegates to navigate initially. It is easy for the organisers of such events to fall into the trap of assuming their attendees will know where to go and what is on where, because by the time the event is live, the organiser will be very familiar with the space. While technology will once again provide solutions through event management apps, a more low tech solution can be as simple as asking a colleague who has not been involved in organising the event to walk through the event space with you prior to the event to assist in preparing and placing signage. 5. Late speakers Speakers can be delayed. This is often true of speakers who have a lot of engagements, as it is not uncommon for them to fly from one event to another. You can mitigate this risk, to some extent by learning their pre-event schedule, having a pre-event briefing and working with people you have already had positive experiences of. However in the event that a speaker is unavoidably delayed, having some 'slack' in the event schedule will be of assistance, as it will enable you to move timings around to accommodate some flexibility into the schedule, to accommodate a late arrival. 6. AV Fail If you have organised a meeting or event it is likely that you will be familiar with the issues that seem inevitably effect AV equipment and the uncomfortable silence as someone grapples with an unresponsive projector or computer. In an unfamiliar venue it always makes sense to have the in-house tech team support you. They will be familiar with the equipment and be able to resolve it or replace it very quickly. 7. Expect the unexpected. Sometimes something totally unexpected will happen. Often event organisers will refer to Murphy's Law - if anything can go wrong it will. Despite your best planning efforts and contingencies something might occur that you were just not expecting. The key here is you. To successfully manage meetings and events of any scale you will need to be a great problem solver and able to think on your feet - often in a pressure situation. Furthermore, you will need to have excellent interpersonal skills. Sometimes there is no fix for a particular issue other than to smooth things over or apologise. Having a great manner with people will help with this. Finally be prepared to be decisive, meetings and events are by their very nature time limited activities so you will need to make a quick decision on the solutions you are going to implement.

Author: Gladys Requina

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