Events like conferences, conventions, trade shows, and even gallery displays involve a lot of planning. At any given time before, during, and after an event, things will always go wrong and it would take me a while to list down everything that can and will go wrong. I have worked as an event planner for more than 10 years now and I know what it’s like to deal with these mistakes on the spot. It’s stressful, it’s tiring, and it’s downright frustrating.
If there is one thing I learned with event planning, it’s this: always have contingency plans. Do not go from one point to another without planning alternate routes to it. I remember planning a convention that was supposed to be held outdoors, and then it suddenly rained on the day of the event. What’s worse was that we weren’t able to book the rooms inside and they were already full. Do you know how frustrating it is to not have a backup plan because you assume that things will go smoothly? Plan all the way till you reach plan Z. I never push through with one aspect of an event if there are no contingency plans for it. If I was asked to hire this particular restaurant, I would still look for 5 more just in case. If I was asked to book a particular venue, I would look for 10 more.
Assuming that things will go smoothly will be the death of your event planning days. When I first started, I was optimistic and thought that everything will be OK when it came to event planning. A few failures later, I changed my mind. Defensive pessimism, as psychologists called it, is a form of pessimism that allows you to prepare for worst case scenarios. This is what I had to develop because I needed to prepare myself. A couple of years ago, I was tasked to supervise 3 event coordinators as they were going to plan for an anime convention here in Ontario. It was that huge because they needed three event coordinators. Now, one of the coordinators quit halfway through the planning and she was supposed to take care of logistics. We were impaired until the day of the event and we had to carry the burden of logistics. I didn’t even think that one of them would quit.
Event planning has to be done right. An individual who pays close attention to details and creates sufficient routes to meet certain goals will be the perfect man to plan an event. Remember, if you are going to be an event planner, your motto should be “what can go wrong, will”.