Any event planner can affirm the old adage, “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” But, a smart event planner will be well prepared for just about any situation that may arise.  These issues can run the gamut from a caterer stuck in traffic, to the porta-potties not being delivered, or to your keynote speaker missing their flight…just to name a very few.

From small hiccup to major catastrophe, it’s important to be prepared with a backup plan…and possibly a backup plan for the backup plan.

Think ahead! By performing an event risk assessment at the early stages of planning and at checkpoints throughout the planning process, it’s less likely that something that’s in your control will go awry. Make sure your vendors are confirmed at least three weeks in advance, you’ve walked the event site with your clients, and you’ve scoped out alternatives.

Isn’t It Ironic? Alanis Morissette must have known a thing or two about planning an event. Although rain on your wedding day isn’t too ironic, there’s a possibility it just might happen. Keeping a contingency plan will keep you ahead of the game. Be prepared with alternate locations in case of inclement weather or event site closures. And if your other option is to cancel or postpone your event, be sure to have a way to communicate that with your guests in a timely fashion.

 Keep calm! It’s likely that you and your crew are the only ones who will know something has gone wrong. By keeping your cool and putting on your “Everything’s going great!” face, you’ll keep your guests and your staff happy and things are more likely to smooth over faster.

The only glue that can surely hold your event together when things fall apart is communication. Be sure to have a standard method of communication with your event staff and your client liaison during the event so that everyone is able to be on the same page.

It’s bound to happen. Be prepared. 

by: Thomas Judd


  1. I think the best advice on this whole thing is to keep calm! If you start freaking out, then no one will know there is a problem. It’s when others know something is wrong they begin to doubt the credibility of the event and even your credibility as an Event Planner.

  2. Great Post!!!!  Doing my fair share of events, this is great advice!!!!!!!!  Especially thinking ahead!!!!   That is what has saved me a time or two

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.