Mr. Event: Be Prepared!

Dear Atlas Event Rental Blog Readers,

As you know, I make it a habit to go to events of various types. Some of them are big events like weddings and magazine launch parties, while others are a bit smaller like networking events or cocktail parties. I’ve attended events in Boca Raton, Del Ray, Miami and Palm Beach . . . but I’ve also attended many in other states (even other countries).

Every event is different, but there are always certain things that stand out. The point of this blog is to relate to you the things that I notice at various events. If it stands out for me (a relatively clueless guy who just likes to go with the flow), then it’s a big deal. You’re either doing something really right . . . or really wrong!

In all my excursions, I have picked up on something: You can tell within seconds if the organizers of the event knew what they were doing or not.

I recently attended a networking event for young professionals in Boca Raton, FL. I have the greatest amount of respect for the organization who was hosting the event, but the networker itself really missed the mark.

I was surprised because this organization has done them before and is really on top of things usually. They had advertised the event extremely well by tapping into online and social media outlets. They had RSVPs and knew how many people would be attending. All the information you needed was on FB, Twitter, etc. The start and end times of the event were listed as well as the location (which seems obvious, but hold on for a second!).

When I got to the event it was immediately evident that something was wrong. First off, I had arrived a little late (which is rare for me). I completely expected to walk into an event that was already underway. In reality it wasn’t so much of a networker as it was a guided exploration of ideas and thoughts. People who wanted to ask question were to write them down and give them to a moderator. The moderator was then supposed to post the question and anyone who had expertise in that field was to get up to 5 minutes to answer the question.

The problem was that somewhere along the line, three major themes were identified and the attendees we split up and told to go to 3 different locations (that were all nearby the main location, but in different spots). I was interested in a topic that ended up having to leave the original restaurant. When I arrived at the second location, I was the first one. The restaurant manager didn’t even know what I was talking about when I asked where to go for the networker/conference!

I ended up leaving, going back to the original spot, sitting down and then was told to go back to where I had just come from. This time I waited for other people to join me. We got to the new location (45 minutes after the scheduled start time) and sat down. We ordered some drinks and a few appetizers and waited to start.

Eventually it did, but it was getting late. When it got underway, it was disorganized and only a few people got to speak. It was a total bummer.

The Mr. Event Takeaway of the week is this: You can have the best idea in the world (which I thought this one was going to be), but lack of preparation and planning can really sabotage its success. They say the devil is in the details and they are right. If you’re throwing an event, you can have all the right event rentals, flowers, speakers, food and entertainment, but if you don’t take a step back and make sure that everything is planned well . . . it will all fall apart.