Fail-Proof Planning

5 ways to keep your event hiccup-free.

After all that planning, something has got to go wrong, right? It’s only natural — even for the most seasoned event planner — to imagine the worst. But all great planners know that last-minute glitches can be avoided by putting a few fail-safes in place. Here are some of your meeting-planning nightmares, and how to avoid them.

No One Shows Up

Unfortunately, people overcommit sometimes. Or they accept an invite without actually planning on attending. Or they get the flu. Although there isn’t much you can do about illness, you can encourage people to regard your event as the major one that it is. Think about charging for tickets (or charging a fee for no-shows that RSVP), and make use of social media to really get the anticipation rolling. Your guests will be glad they attended (and the flaky ones will experience a major case of FOMO).

Everyone’s Waiting in Line

The nightmare: Your event’s lines have reached theme park status. So how do you quell the queues? Try employing technology wherever possible, such as using an app for event registration so people can check in and get on their way.

People Are Glued to Their Phones

Face it: These days, people are attached to their smart devices. But if that's interfering with your meeting, how do you convince people to stop scrolling through Instagram and start paying attention? Make it impossible for attendees to reach for their phones by offering stimulating and interactive aspects at your event, such as team-building exercises or creativity-boosting crafts. On the flip side, if social media is important to the outcome of your event, create a hashtag and encourage attendees to use it when posting their favorite moments throughout the event.

Technology Fails You

It’s not uncommon for big meetings to experience the odd technology glitch, but that can be avoided by conducting thorough testing of all equipment and having a backup in case, say, your laptop crashes (that means a backup laptop and backup presentation files, by the way). Feel even more secure by having an IT person on-site at all times to take care of any issues that arise, particularly if your meeting relies on it.

Everyone’s a (Food) Critic

In the age of #foodporn, everyone’s posting photos of beautifully plated, taste-bud-tingling dishes. Don’t be left out of the picture — visit our Inspiration Gallery for ideas on how to get the food critics’ approval.