Start blaming everyone else
EVEN if someone is to blame for what just went wrong, going around the venue pointing fingers is never a good look. It’s just not the impression of yourself you want your attendees to leave with. IF someone is to be reprimanded wait till the event is over — or better yet, wait till the next day when you can think
Lose your Temper
Following up on the tip above, it’s never a good idea to start yelling and swearing in front of guests. You want to be remembered, but not like that. At the same time it’s not a good idea either to try to calm your nerves by drinking or taking any drugs (trust me, I’ve seen it all). When you’re the organiser, you need to stay level headed at all times. Wait till the event is over to chug down that pint of lager.
Prepare for the worse
Is not what you do in that moment, but what you do before. Prevention is the best medicine. When planning an event, think coldly and ask yourself, what could go wrong? Write down everything that could potentially backfire and come up with possible solutions for those problems. Depending on the type of occasion, you’ll have different bottlenecks, but below you’ll find some of the most common.
Test all of the equipment
We’ve all been there: the HDMI cable doesn’t work, the presentation won’t open, the colours of the projection are awful and we don’t know how to fix it, etc, etc, etc… The list of things that can go wrong with technology is so big you could probably write an entire encyclopaedia about it. The best way to prevent the headache is to simply test all of que equipment before the event starts. Look at it as a dress rehearsal, but with laptops.
Have a backup
A backup plan, a backup laptop, a backup speaker, even a backup venue if you can. There’s never enough planning you can do.
Have a protocol in hand
Does your team know what they’re supposed to do? Even when nothing goes as it is supposed to? This doesn’t mean taking a CPR course — although that never hurts — it can be as simple as assigning the person who will be in charge in case the smoke machine dies out or who’s going to be dealing with the angry attendee who can’t get a hold of a taxi (we’ve all experienced those).
Hire the right staff
A big part of taking care of a crisis rests on the people you have around. Hire those who know what they’re doing even if that means paying more.
Don’t assume anything
Check and double check EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I once worked with a person who assumed that because they were her friends, she wouldn’t need a contract for a popular band to play at her wedding. Guess who canceled at the very last minute on the ‘happiest’ day of her life? Yep.
Make sure you comply with emergency regulations
Do your homework. Make sure you follow the regulations in your area. There’s always the potential of someone getting hurt, even if all the precautions are taken, and you don’t need the potential legal consequences if that happens.