Sunday, March 02, 2008

Where Do You Draw The Line?

As a planner, you are pretty much responsible for everything. If it rains the day of the event, chances's your fault. So where do you draw the line with what is YOUR responsibility and the responsibility of others?

You don't.

I just was told by a friend that a radio station announced that an Event Planner is currently the 5th sexiest job in the United States. Granted, our profession was beat by a Firefighter which was #1 (shocker!). My point is that although others may feel that event planning is sexy or even glamorous, there's a lot of hard work, preparation, sweat and upkeep involved to make an event happen.
A lot can happen on site, especially when the busboy doesn't pick up the dirty dishes and they are piling up on the buffet table. And, although it may be a man's fantasy to see a woman running around, picking up dirty dishes, it's not always the best scenario where you are overseeing an entire event with multiple vendors, numerous clients and an extensive agenda. I have seen it all, from toilet paper running out, to the flooding of bathrooms, to even a woman vomiting in the middle of a presentation. It has gotten ugly!
So, where do you draw that line? You don't. In the end of the day, the smallest imperfection can ruin an event for a client and that is not the outcome you want. Unfortunately, you have to pitch in and manage the dirty work, while looking good! The less mishaps the client knows about is always the better, but at times you can't help but alert them of the issue. When that occurs, always be discreet, sincere and make sure that the situation has a resolution. As much as you will take the blame, you have your backup plan in tow. And, being a strategic planner, you can't be faulted wholeheartedly.
"Sh*t Happens" is the coined phrase, but how you approach, handle and fix it makes you great at what you do. So instead of pointing fingers and blaming, take those minutes of complaining to come up with a resolution to ensure the event runs smooth and successfully. I'm sure in the end the client will thank you for it!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Great post. Going into event planning, as I'm trying to do, can be intimidating when I think about all the responsibility and pressure to manage the minutia of a large-scale event. I agree with your take on accountability; planners should plan and do what they can to mitigate any damage, but bring necessary issues to the client's attention. I'm inspired to discuss this on my blog too now! Thanks.