How not to run an event


So you’re planning to run an event. A workshop or perhaps a seminar, where you can share your expertise with an audience. Or maybe you’re aiming high with a conference? Here are some tips for you to follow, if you want to make a complete mess of the event and ruin your reputation!

  • Use a sound and lighting company that doesn’t know what it’s doing
  • Put a screen behind your speakers and keep changing what’s on it to distract your audience
  • Enlist the help of a compere who has never done this role and ask them to wear something outrageous
  • Use live music to keep your delegates entertained. Make sure it’s badly played
  • Don’t bother booking any reserve speakers, in case any of your headliners drop out at the last minute
  • If you’re using a stage to stand on, make sure it’s really small and that your audience can see what’s underneath it
  • By all means have some people helping you during your workshop, but have them sitting at the front of the room where everyone can see what they’re up to
  • Introduce your speakers by simply reading what’s written in the programme
  • Allow your compere to be judgemental and opinionated – after all, people have come to listen to him/her
  • During breaks, make sure you don’t clear the tables; let the empty cups and saucers build up and don’t worry about putting out more bottles of water
  • Sit down while you’re presenting your material – don’t waste energy by standing up.

I could go on and on, because I’ve been to many events where I’ve spent as much time watching how the event was run, as I’ve done listening to the material.

If you want to create a really great impression and leave your audience wanting more of what you have to offer, then think very carefully about how you run events. Avoid the glaring mistakes made by some people and you can use events to promote and grow your business.

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2 Responses

  1. Very good points of Not-to´s! Hopefully they will work better than How-to´s. I have seen that no matter how good event preparation list you give somebody, they do not pay enough attention and mess something up. There is a chance that this list might work better 🙂

  2. I think you need a combination of a very good list and someone who really knows what they’re doing! We always get to events early to check the set up, in case what we’ve asked for hasn’t been done. Then we have someone on duty during the event, whose job it is to make sure that things run smoothly. This works well as it means the speaker/host doesn’t have to worry. Having a great ‘crew’ is vital!

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