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Don’t let your corporate event turn into a waking nightmare

You know how it goes. The key note speaker develops a cough and no one remembered to provide a glass of water beforehand. It gets worse. Despite the fact that the speaker is addressing an invited audience – what should be a warm and engaged audience – someone clearly doesn’t like what they’re hearing and causes a disruption. And, wait for it, there’s more! If the speech wasn’t already falling apart, the stage set comes out in sympathy as letters from a key message drop to the floor. It’s the kind of thing speakers and conference organisers alike lose sleep over. Unfortunately, for Teresa May it became reality and it wasn’t her finest moment.

Thankfully, at MGN events we’ve never experienced any horrific nightmare scenarios like this, but we always ensure we have a Plan B (and often a Plan C) in place – very useful when there are so many things that can potentially go wrong on the day, as these examples demonstrate:

Equipment fails are easier to deal with than people

A lightbulb, fuse or damaged power lead can be easily and quickly sorted, but people can be loose cannons, from the Chief Executive enjoying a little too much alcohol on day one of a two-day conference and being conspicuously absent from duties on day two to the winner of a special award who had decided to leave early and wasn’t there when the announcement was made.

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Dubious music choices

Imagine the scenario – a Christmas awards ceremony, a highlight of the organisation’s year. The award-giving is going well and the time it takes for recipients to reach the stage is covered by a burst of Christmassy music. But when someone has to go on stage to the sound of Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan trading insults such as “You scumbag, you maggot” in Fairytale of New York, you know that a randomly put-together playlist was not a good decision.

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Lack of refreshments could spark a riot

The way to a delegate’s heart is through their stomach – everyone arrives at an event wondering what the food will be like. So when the caterer doesn’t show up or someone grossly underestimates quantities, people will get grumpy. Very quickly. Keeping your attendees well fed and refreshed really is key to any event, and choosing a menu that is good for the brain will make it all the more successful.

The dreaded death by PowerPoint

We’ve probably all sat through one of these. A seemingly endless sequence of slides poorly prepared, information heavy and a presenter who is simply regurgitating what everyone can read – watch the audience as they collectively slip lower and lower in their seats. What’s really needed is a well-designed presentation with good visual impact to keep everyone engaged.

The venue is suddenly unavailable

For whatever reason – flood, fire, power failure, possibly even a double-booking ­– this can happen! It’s probably one of the worst things that could happen, but 21st century comms means that it’s relatively easy to alert attendees to a change of venue. The bigger challenge is trying to find somewhere else at short notice. One of the advantages of working with a professional event organiser is knowledge, contacts and access to a very long list of quality venues. Oh, and a double booking would never happen on our watch!

Power to the people

All those beautifully prepared presentations, the lighting, the sound – a power cut turns the day into an unmitigated disaster. Or does it? It’s an audacious thought but you could think on your feet and turn the event into an unconference, an event that relies on attendee participation to drive what happens and the topics discussed. Out of the ashes an amazing phoenix could rise!

If the thought of things going wrong on the day is too much to contemplate, why not get in touch with MGN events – it’s our job to make sure that everything goes right!

Give us a call on 01932 22 33 33 to discuss how we can help with your next corporate event!


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