A career in event management can be very demanding. Of course it has its fun elements and adrenaline rush-giving experiences, but with that also come tremendous last-minute pressures and the not-always-happy interactions with a variety of people. An event manager will tell you that his job has its bittersweet moments—the preparation for a mega event, the run up to the d-day, and managing the show can keep one on tenterhooks. But when an event pans out well and the client is smiling ear to ear, you feel on top of the world!
What makes event management a daunting yet exhilarating career? Its many crazy moments—here are 10 moments every event planner has experienced:
10. Guests—Too many or too few
Both can be a problem for an event manager. While too many can be a sign of an event promoted superbly well, it can put extra pressure on resources like space, food, and giveaways, and basically result in chaos. However, when the turnout is dismally low, you know the event barely took off; that means you will have a terribly upset client. Run for cover!
9. When a speaker cancels the night before
Yes, cancellations can cause nightmares. When everything seems to be going fine, and then the speaker (or any other important dignitary) calls in to cancel, all hell breaks loose.
8. Fireworks fail
This can be quite an embarrassment; imagine a gathering of revellers are waiting to bring in the New Year or a group of luminaries unveils a new product at a business convention, and at the exact moment when the firecrackers should come on, they DON’T! Now that’s a fail you don’t want to watch unfolding.
7. Equipment fail
Although it’s a common problem, when it happens, for a few seconds (sometimes minutes) the panic button does go off. The projector does not budge, the slides don’t fall in order, the music doesn’t start in time—these are some of the equipment fails every event manager has experienced.
6. Name tag debacle
When names are misspelled or when someone gets them totally wrong, it’s time to duck! If there’s no time to do any damage control, you are basically left praying that the guest has a good sense of humour.
5. Weather goes wonky
You have taken care of everything—the lovely outdoor décor, the party games, the BBQ grill, et al. The weather man says it’s going to be a lovely, breezy day with just the right spot of sunshine. And then, it rains!
4. Kerala’s favourite forced holiday
Some days are just not meant to be. The perfect event gets ruined when a hartal/bandh is announced. Rampant in Kerala, there is pretty much nothing to do when this one, literally, strikes.
3.The I-know-your-job-better-than-you-do client
When you come across him, you know it’s going to be a long and tough ride. The I-know-your-job-better-than-you-do client has a hundred instructions, not to forget a hundred ideas and loads of criticism. He is never happy, whatever you do and however well you do it. A couple of extra pranayamas come in handy here.
2. Shockers from event associates
Sometimes you have to accept that there are others who are going to be associating with you on the event—caterers, DJs and technicians, décor managers and so on—and things can go awry if they don’t meet your expectations or understand the brief. So when quiches get squished or the DJ blasts a Punjabi number in a retro-theme party or the décor screams ‘cheap’, you know a killer headache is on its way.
1. The overjoyed client
This has to be the best part of event management. A majority of events turn out well (thank heavens for that), but there are occasions when a client is so jubilant, you think you are going to have a heart attack with joy! A super happy client means a doubly happy event manager; and an event manager can never get enough of an over-the-moon client. It makes the job all the more worth it.