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4 things that will go wrong at that event you’re planning

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Robert Lentz

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in Centerpiece,Meeting Management,Office Management

Ironing out the details of a major meeting or event is always an exercise in micromanagement. While you’re absorbed in dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s, keep in mind this list of almost-guaranteed “whoops” moments that you should think about right now:

1. Tech is going to fail. Someone will have forgotten to mention something they need; a critical item will be strangely missing; the switch that has always worked before suddenly won’t. Tech may be the #1 enemy of any event going off smoothly. You can’t have too many checklists and backup plans for it.

2. Unexpected faces will arrive. You may think you have a perfect head count or have everyone fully registered, but inevitably, there are either too few or too many people for what you planned. Draw up a scheme for both contingencies. Think to yourself: How fast can we react if someone unexpected shows up, or insists they should have gotten an invitation, or registered when we have no proof of it?

3. A handshake agreement falls through. You and someone you’ve been working with to make things go smoothly suddenly realize there’s been a miscommunication. That’s when you realize you should have been just a little more firm with what you wanted. Even a written contract can’t guarantee this moment is avoided, so ask yourself: Does everyone truly understand what we require, and when?

4. Time expands … and contracts. There will be too much of it for some things, not enough of it for others. Everyone estimates time differently; we want to believe we can accomplish a lot in a little, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. Envision what will happen if a presenter runs wildly over, or comes up well short. Add or subtract 20% from the time of every session and activity and imagine the ramifications.

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