You’ve prepared, planned and taken every necessary step to make sure your event is a success. When the day of your event arrives, the bus full of volunteers breaks down on the side of the road, it’s raining cats and dogs, the food ends up being less than desirable, and you left all the thank you bags back at the office.
Hopefully everything in this worst case scenario hasn’t happened to you all at once, but at one point or another you’ve been able to relate. This is when damage control public relations is vital. You start asking yourself questions like, “How can we make this better?” “What can I do to ensure my guests that everything is running smoothly?” “What will make them want to come back next year?”
Check out these tips and reminders to keep yourself in check when good events go bad!
If your guests see you getting frustrated, they might do the same in return. The best thing you can do in this situation is breathe, keep a clear mind, and brainstorm with a trusted co-worker on ways to improve what’s happening around you.
So that bus full of volunteers actually did break down on the side of the road. Now you’re stuck with an abnormally long line of angry guests who just want to hand in their event ticket and move on to the fun stuff. This is your chance to tell them what’s really going on! Get on the loud speaker, grab the megaphone, or stand on a chair. Let them know you’re working to get everyone registered as quickly as possible, and your poor volunteers are stranded at this moment, but should be arriving shortly. Keep things moving and keep it honest.
As frustrating as it may be to listen to someone complain about your event – it’s a must. It’s important to acknowledge your customers and keep them happy. This is your chance to resolve the problem they are having, or let them know that you sympathize with them and understand their concerns. It’s also a great way to grow as a professional and make sure you don’t make the same mistake for next year’s event!
It’s critical follow up with your guests if you’ve experienced some hiccups during the course of an event. The first step is to thank your guests for coming and let them know how much your organization appreciates them. Then, continue by stating how their opinions matter and in order to make next year’s event the greatest success possible offer them a SHORT survey where they can provide their feedback. You might even want to include some sort of incentive – like a discount for next year’s tickets or half off the next event you’re holding.
Unfortunately, things aren’t always going to go as planned when holding an event. It’s easy to reflect on all the bad things that happened during the course of the day, so make it a point to remind yourself of the things that went right. Just because one area of your event didn’t run as smoothly as you would have liked, doesn’t mean the rest of it was a disaster too!