As a meetings assistant I have been to a fair number of meetings and have seen a lot of things happen that were not planned for. This happens because its life and nothing is perfect. Simple as that. Meetings have many moving parts and it is not uncommon for something to go wrong. I have been to meetings where the sponsored registration bags had mistakenly been printed with the previous year’s date. Or the registrant badges were shipped to the wrong state! So what do you do when something like this happens?
I find it best to come up with a solution, or ideas to reconcile the problem before anyone has a chance to over react to the situation at hand. How do you do this when you’re short on time and in a different city? You have to put your thinking cap on. It’s easy as 1, 2, 3!
1. Use your contacts! Depending on your situation, stop and think who can help with this issue. I have found that the convention and visitors bureaus are amazing resources. When you are having a meeting in another city, CVB’s are crucial. They can help with providing so much information for you and your attendees. Other contacts could be your hotel, AV Company, and show decorator. They are all there to help!
2. What’s around you? When you’re having a meeting in another city and something goes wrong, be aware of nearby resources. Do your research before your meeting. Know where you can get last-minute copies and signs made, look for office supply stores and supercenters.
3. Ask for help! If you find that something has gone wrong at your meeting and can’t come up with a solution on your own, ask for help from your co-workers or superiors. I sometimes find it’s better to ask for help then struggle with finding a solution for something that I am not knowledgeable about or have little time to solve.
When a problem arises it is all about keeping your cool and working through the situation to ensure an amazing meeting. There are a bunch of ways to overcome obstacles that come our way, it’s all about finding what works best for you.