Posts Tagged ‘event management’

Whether you are simply a beginner planning on embarking on a career in the events industry or a seasoned veteran, while you plan and prepare your event down to the last detail, on the day it really is best to expect the unexpected!

After months of careful planning I’ve had opening keynote speakers stranded at airports in bad weather, course hand-outs arriving in boxes just ten minutes before guests arrive, sponsor display boards falling over, technical failures, dodgy catering and more to cope with.

MacGyver solves complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife. Actually, come to think of it, those two items are very useful for event planners to bring along too!… However it’s his resourcefulness we can really learn from.

The devil is in the detail and there are some everyday items that might just save your event, or at least minimise the effect of any unexpected or embarrassing moments for your guests. Whatever else happens will be a test for your inventiveness.


Safety pins

My best friend the safety pin can be tasked with many a job, holding up a hem, replace a button, fix a gaping top, attach an impromptu name badge or anchor a billowing tablecloth. It’s good to have generous supply of these on hand!

Baby wipes

Another insider secret is baby wipes. These are pre-moistened and ready to mop up food and drink spills. They are also highly effective at removing stains from clothing. Even coffee stains on crisp white business shirts!

Personal supplies

Confidence is everything for your speakers. It’s not unusual for presenters to arrive without their luggage or even wallet. I’ve seen this happen due to missed travel connections, lost luggage and, in one case, a car accident on the way to the venue. Even just being late and rushing can make people feel stressed and flustered.

Mostly they just need a kind word, a glass of water and a private space to gather their thoughts. Now and again they might need personal supplies. To save embarrassment (and further delay) I encourage them to take what they need from a handy little box stocked with deodorant, tissues, chewing gum, toothpaste, toothbrush, bobby pins, hair ties, sanitary products, contact lens solution and in many a case a spare pack of pantyhose.

One day I went through four pairs of the spare pantyhose myself! It was due to the rough underside of the table I was sitting at. Every time I crossed my legs the material would catch. I’m sure MacGyver would have found a way to sand the surface smooth! I just made sure I was sitting at a different table the next day.

Health and comfort items

Hopefully the most pressing health concerns you’ll have to deal with are the very common blisters and dry ticklish throat – both easily fixed with Band-Aids and cough lozenges.

In the spirit of using what’s already on hand, set up a few seats at the back of the room for those attendees that might need to stand up and stretch more often, or come and go for health concerns. I’ve had this request on many occasions from attendees with bad backs, morning sickness and tummy bugs.

People do tend to pick up bugs when travelling so you should have a dispenser of hand sanitizer available. The alternate MacGyver use for hand sanitizer is removing sticky spots from tables and other flat surfaces.


Twist ties, fishing line, double sided tape, masking tape, wire, scissors or the trusty Swiss Army knife should fix décor items, open reluctant boxes and minimise trip hazards in a darkened room.

Technical backup

Phone chargers, pens, batteries, a back up copy of all presentations and a geek on call should help you through any technical minefields.

You can alleviate a lot of stress by being as organised as possible prior to an event but beyond stocking these basic everyday items, it’s attitude that saves the day.

Be attentive, approachable and honest. When trouble strikes, help can come from any corner, and people like to feel useful.

Keep your eye on the big picture. This industry is essentially about people connecting and it is these connections that people remember long after any other impression of your event.

Guest post by Anna Johnson, PR Works
Anna Johnson works in PR and marketing and specialises in working with large clients in the hospitality and event industries such as 
The National Convention Centre and The Star Events Centre. Anna takes a great interest in everything events, marketing, social media and internet related and enjoys sharing her knowledge on these subjects.  You can follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaO_T


Why should you choose distance learning event management courses? Here are just a few reasons why taking a distance learning course with QC Event School might be the perfect career move for you.

Learn on your own time

Enroll in distance learning event management coursesWhen you’re learning from home, you are the one who chooses your schedule. You don’t need to commute to a physical campus, and you can work your studies around a busy schedule, free from harsh deadlines and time constraints. QC Event School has students from all walks of life – students looking for a first-time career, mature students looking to switch to a new field, stay-at-home parents who want to run a home business that won’t interfere with family life. No matter where you’re coming from, distance learning works.

Experience hands-on learning

Distance learning does not mean that your assignments will be based on readings and tests alone. Quite the opposite. Your assignments have been designed to have you practicing your new role in event management. You’ll be expected to begin contacting local vendors to begin to build professional relationships. You’ll be asked to tackle realistic case studies to prepare yourself for working with difficult clients. All the work that you complete will be reviewed by a personal tutor who is also a professional event planner. You’ll know exactly what you’re doing well, and be given the tools you need to improve.

Call for help

Just because you’re learning from home does not mean you’re learning alone. QC Event School prides itself on student support, and invites all students to contact the school for assistance (or just to chat about the course, or the industry!) along the way. The dedicated staff of Student Support Specialists is available by phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, and LiveChat – drop them a line!

For more information on QC’s distance learning program, visit