So much effort is put into planning your event or conference. There are so many parts. Many of which are moving and changing, some unpredictable completely. You never know what you face until the day of the event.
I have had the privilege of being on the front lines of many events. Early morning hours rushing around the event location before attendees arrive. I see the frantic hurrying of AV staff, the movement of the caterine setting up food tables. The clanking of the plates and cups. The smell of hot coffee and fresh breakfast fills the air. But the staff does not have a happy look on their faces. More often than not the event planner has just found out some small detail that was overlooked or not setup properly and now they are faced with last minute adjustments.
This is a familiar scene to my team. This is where we jump in, join the staff and become a problem solving force. When it comes to the logistics and communications around our events, I have seen our team come in and provide solutions time and time again.
Table Mismatches: Today the tables for the speed networking do not match what was programmed into the system. So attendees will be looking for table 25 for their match, but there is no table 25. Or how do we find places to hold 700 matches with 40 slots in the day and a room that only holds 20 tables?
Match No Shows: The weather is bad and flights are canceled, so now 30% of matches have no partner to match with. Where do these people go at match time? What will be their experience at your event?
Confused or Uninformed Attendees: Not enough communication to attendees or poor communication to attendees is a common issue that leads to low participation or turn out for a specific activity at the event. How do you recover from 2% participation in a new feature in your app a full day into your 3 day event?
Distributing Backup Schedules: How do you distribute 487 printed schedules for those who did not download the app or are not savvy enough to use it?
Unusual Matches: What do you do when two sponsors, who purchased tables to meet matches, both want to meet each other? What table do they meet at? Will the system support this type of matching?
Networking Conflicting with Session Times: How do you accommodate the tension of attendees wanting to go to a session when their match for the networking selects a time that conflicts with the session they want to attend?
Room Crowding: How do you keep your speed networking room looking full and busy while still supporting places to hold the most matches the system will allow? On the one hand the system wants a maximum number of tables, but this will require a large room that, parts of the day, may only have 20% usage.
What do you do about these challenging situations? Do you make your best guess and jump in risking failure? Or perhaps do you consult with a team who has done this many times and has ideas.
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