Meetings are rarely smooth sailing. You plan, you anticipate, you prepare and more often than not, something will not go exactly as planned. It might not be a major problem such as a natural disaster, or an oversold hotel, but if you have thought things through and have a supportive team, you will overcome the obstacles.
As planners, we are organized and detail oriented. Dare I say Type A perfectionists? Sometimes we need to be reminded not to sweat the small stuff and focus on the bigger picture.
I remember being upset at my wedding because the cake filling wasn’t what I requested. I complained about it more than once to my husband and he told me to take a breath. Did anyone else notice? Was it detracting from the overall experience? Were the guests happy, fed and having fun?
Last week, we were resetting the ballroom for an awards dinner. The hotel staff and the planning team performed a “ballet” turning the room for 600 from classroom to banquet in less than 2 hours. As we were halfway through setting the menus on the tables, one of the chefs looked at them and realized they were incorrect. Somewhere in the process, last year’s menus were printed. No finger pointing, we jumped into action. Old menus were pulled, new ones were printed and reset. Was it annoying? Yes. Was is frustrating because this detail was missed by more than one person? Yes. Did we catch it in time? Again yes.
As with the best-planned events, many people were involved, kept their cool and quickly found a solution. The attendees weren’t the wiser, and when the doors opened for dinner, they were just marveling at the beautiful setting and the delicious dinner.
Put things into perspective- it’s a bump in the road not a disaster. It’s a treat – not a trick. If the attendees are happy, satisfied and safe, that’s what really matters.