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4 Ways to Prevent Event Failure

Blair Pettrey

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While some may find the lionfish quite a site to see with their vibrant, red and white zebra stripes and barred with elongated fins, don’t let them fool you. The lionfish also has up to 18 needle like dorsal fins, full of venom.

In fact, this charming, captivating in sight but venomous in nature lionfish is causing such a devastating effect on Florida’s native reef fish, that the Florida’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission is hosting an entire competition around what fisherman can catch and remove the most lionfish from the oceans of Florida. 

So, what does the oft thought to be charming, but venomous lionfish have to do with event planning? A lot.

That lionfish is often referred to as the ‘Devil Firefish’ – and odds are, any event planner can share a story or two about a ‘Devil Firefish’ event experience, situation, or vendor that seemed to be charming and captivating on the outside – but ended up truly being the ‘Devil Firefish’. We're here to help event planners and event professionals avoid these often 'easy', charming, event failures.

1. No One Show’s Up

Ways to Prevent Event Failure: No One Show's Up

The great thing about event planning and the events industry in general in 2016 is the ease of getting the word out. With the prolific amount of opportunities that exist in showcasing your event and spreading the message online. From social media for events, email marketing, newsletter blasts, hashtags, event registration websites, and more - – there is truly no excuse to not have your event full!

 2. No One’s Talking

Ways to Prevent Event Failure: No One's Talking

Whether it was at your cousin Vinny’s Bar Mitzvah, or the annual ‘Cats are Better than Giraffes’ event – every event professional can probably think about that one event where no attendee talked. How awkward. Event engagement is key to the success of any event – and yet often times something event professionals assume will happen, without needing to encourage or motivate their event attendees.  By building the foundation of your event, even before it begins, as an engagement experience, event professionals lay the path for an event attendees to have an  upbeat, alive, and engaging event or conference.

3. Wi-Fi Down

Ways to Prevent Event Failure: Wi-Fi Down

One of the oft most frustrating things any event attendee can experience – is no or poor quality Wi-Fi when at an event. OH there is nothing more enraging! Yet even when event planners know this – one of the most commonly mistakes event planners assume is that the event location – venue, hotel, conference center – will have and provide Wi-Fi for their event’s attendees. Until the hotel, venue, or conference center realizes just how many event attendees you have, and suddenly their Wi-Fi isn’t strong enough or fast enough. Don’t make this mistake! With vendors specifically focused on providing high quality Wi-Fi for your event, you have no excuse to let this Devilfish sneak in! (Check out: Trade Show Internet). 

4. Not Maximizing ROI

Ways to Prevent Event Failure: Not Maximizing ROI

There are numerous opportunities for revenue generation when it comes to event planning, and often times many missed opportunities for ROI.Whether it’s knowing how to monetize an events mobile event app, offering a sponsorship placement in your agenda or event app for a discount from one of your vendors, having unique sponsorship opportunities prior to your event (including your website, content you share or distribute online, etc), or even failing to provide a way to purchase your events recorded sessions after the event. Don’t let your expenses be the Devilfish – instead, let them be your moneyfish! (Want to learn how to monetize your mobile event app? Check out our free eBook - 11 Ways to Monetize Your Mobile Event App)

In Conclusion: Roll with the Presidential Seal

In 2010, President Barack Obama was giving a speech to an all-women’s conference, when midway through his speech, his presidential seal fell off the podium. In probably one of the better examples of ‘rolling with the punches’ (or in this case, the Presidential Seal) – President Obama cleverly dismisses the incident and jokes ‘All of you know who I am’ – and continues on to this speech:



Regardless of what may happen at your next event – no matter what Devilfish may appear to have charmed you prior to the event, or at the event – and only too late did you realize the venomous sting hurts – being able to ‘roll with it’ is key. Address the fish – get it out of the water – and use your event planning brilliance to get back in the game!

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