If the unexpected
happens, roll with
against the hotel and a lockdown of the a mistake. Working together, they arranged
building would occur until further notice. a trip to the local Home Depot and pur-
An hour later, the officer returned to chased the correct color to repaint the set.
say that a bomb had been found in a After the event, the planner wrote to the
suitcase in the parking garage and had company’s president and praised the team
been destroyed. At the client committee for their valuable efforts asking the presi-meeting later that night, the client had dent to personally thank everyone involved.
heard through the grapevine that a bomb LESSON: If a planner builds good
threat had been avoided. relationships with the vendors, the
On the final day of the meeting, a event will be a success because
fire started on the hotel’s second floor. everyone feels they have a stake
It was extinguished after 20 minutes, in making things right.
but in the meantime all the attendees
had to evacuate onto cold streets with
no coats. They returned a bit chilly, but
happy that no one had been hurt and
teased the planner that she must have
created all of these weird scenarios to
entertain them during the meeting.
LESSON: If the unexpected happens,
roll with the punches. Some emer-
gencies are unavoidable!
As team players and professionals, these
stories illustrate how it takes many players
performing together to make meetings
and events successful. Remember, whenever people are working, no matter how
talented, a chance exists for human error.
True professionals know how to quickly
manage an error and turn it into a touchdown instead of a fumble or interception.
7. BUILD POSITIVE
RELATIONS WITH YOUR
A Wisconsin planner was managing an
event in her area and hired contractors
from Chicago to complete the arrange-
ments. As the crew was setting the stage,
she stepped into the room and immedi-
ately noticed the façade was the wrong
color. Taking a deep breath and laughing,
she mentioned this fact to the crew’s
team leader. He agreed that it had been
Patty Coen, CMM, MBA, is president of Great Chicago
Events. She may be reached at (773) 871-2405 or