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When Events Don’t Go as You Planned

…and What to do About it

After doing 61 Events this year so far on my journey to complete 100 in 2016, I have seen and come across a fair share of my challenges when it comes to running events or being a speaker at them.  Here I want to share some insights of what they can be and how to overcome them in case you find yourself in this position.

Things that Can Go Wrong in Events and Speaking:

  • Power point not connecting with the Projector (have back up printed slides or know you can deliver your presentation without any prompts) Also bring your own cables always and set this up first before anything else – arrive 1hr and 15mins before event starts to set up and settle in.
  • Audio not working (Have a small back up speaker like Boom Bluetooth you can carry anywhere with you) this is awesome for some immediate background music and projects well so that everyone can hear it – good for up to 50 participants in the room.
  • Venue is running late in being open – this happened to us yesterday and luckily we had our registration stuff with us, we were registering attendees outside next to the entry point.  Room was set up from the day before but you wouldn’t have the luxury of this ever so if there is a foyer area get participants to wait and do the quickest job you possibly can.
  • Presenter is not working (the clicker) always have a spare and spare batteries for everything.
  • There isn’t enough display space or appropriate tables.  Be flexible and see what you can use in the room. Pubs can have this issue so I have used a bar space as a display area.
  • Too many chairs – always stack up and put away only use what you will need – makes it look full and not like your event was under booked.
  • Shoes – heels can be a bit full on, so set up your events in flats and have them ready to take off and put the flats back on after the event and on the drive home.  Also if you get really sore during the event have nice matching flats to your outfit as your saviour.
  • No whiteboard or flip chart to use – bring along some Blu Tac and butchers paper and put on the walls and use in this way.
  • Projector costs – if you don’t want to pay the sometimes ridiculous projector costs, buy yourself one from Ebay or brand new and take it along with you.  Look out for something good quality but also compact that you may need to take with you travelling.
  • Crew issues – always have a written process and allow for de-brief in the set up time with your crew.  Make sure everyone has their role and are always willing to help and assist the participants.  Be careful in selecting crew as they reflect your business and there may be people that put their hands up to help you but may not be the best choice.  The crew should arrive at the start of set up time and stay behind to help pack up.  Work out how you may be able to reward and say thank you to your crew especially if you are not paying them.  Can you buy them lunch, give them some of your resources, get them a present they would like?
  • Being poorly introduced – always ask the organiser or MC that will be introducing you, what is it that they will say.  If they are uncertain have your 100-150 word powerful Bio to hand to them.  Keep a few copies on your all the time for this situations.  You would not believe how many times this year I have been poorly introduced. 
  • Time keeping – sometimes organisers are not very good at keeping time for you – I have become best buddies with my app Speaker Beeper and put it on for all presentations so that I can time myself for the time I am allowed to speak, I can pace my presentation and be respectful of the time of the organisers, the agenda and the audience.
  • Failure to connect to decent internet at the Venue – buy yourself a Mobile Modem (Telstra in Australia are best) and you can hotspot to it or use your phone as a hotspot.  Phones can drain the internet and power rapidly so the modem is a better choice if you are going to use it for the full day. 
  • Take photos – have a good camera and a phone camera and ask someone to take photos for you.  If you can also get someone to Live Stream that would be awesome too for your exposure.  Instruct the person taking photos how to do it for you as many are not good at reading your mind or taking photos.  Give them a short lesson on the types of shots you like, when to live stream and if they are techy how to post for you on social media.

As you can see many logistics must be considered when speaking and event more so when you are running your own events.  Make sure you are using checklists for all these various events so that you don’t forget important things to pack.

Most of all remain calm in all situations things go astray, just know you will figure it out and ask for help.  Have Plan B and C and you will be just fine!  If things really go wrong, is there a way you can compensate people by giving them a book of yours, any other resources or things that would be helpful. 

Have lots of fun and take lots of YaY Photos… Check out my 6 from the last 4 days of events I completed in Canberra and Sydney.

Work Hard – Play Hard!

Love Nat x

P.S.  We are starting to recruit our 2017 Bums on Seats Mastermind Participants.  We have been hosting this now for 6 months for 2016 with a group of 9 at our home and the feedback and intimate nature of it has been fantastic.  If you are interested in finding out more email me now by clicking here.  We do have a Live (limited to 10 max) and Live Streamed version for interstate participants.

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