Business and Administration Unit

Business and Administration Unit five: Principles of supporting business events Session 3 Handout // Problems that can occur Dealing with problems In an ideal world it would be nice if every business event went by without any problems. However this is not the case. At times there will be problems for those people supporting events. The magnitude of the problem may be something minor that is no more than an inconvenience through to something that may threaten the whole event.

A problem occurs when the proceedings of an event are impeded by a failure or underperformed of people, processes or equipment that result in the vent failing to achieve its objectives.

Typical problems that can occur include:

People problems

Equipment problems

Process problems.

When things go wrong

There are many things that can go wrong in events – and there is often no second chance to get things right. If things go wrong it is often impossible to quickly reschedule an event.

So, getting things right first time is very important when organizing a business event and the ability to deal with problems effectively is an important one. Ways of dealing with problems If something goes wrong it is rarely possible to return the next day and put it right. For this reason it is important to think carefully about the ways of dealing with problems when supporting business events. There are three broad approaches for dealing with problems.

These are: Prevention – from the outset, eliminate the chance of a problem occurring.

Contingency plans – factor in a fallback plan to minimize disruption if things do go wrong.

Flexible and calm response on the day – Even if you’re not calm on the inside, projecting a calm attitude can help keep other people’s reactions in check.

Prevention The best way to deal with problems is to eliminate them from the ginning.

If an event is well planned and organized then the scope for problems is significantly reduced. There are some easy ways to reduce potential problems.

Creating Careers Ltd 2011 Page 1 of 3 I knees Include:

Learn Trot previous events

Get value Trot experienced people

Get advice from other sources

Have colleagues review any plans

Use proven and tested suppliers

Use proven techniques for project planning

Double-check things carefully.

Contingency plans

For a sizable event part of the planning and prevention process will include contingency plans. These plans map out actions to be taken if a problem does arise. The contingency plan will have identified the actions that must be taken when a particular problem occurs. If no such plan exists then there can be a substantial time lag between the problem and action being taken. In the absence of such a plan it may not be possible to solve the problem in a reasonable time.

A simple question at the heart of contingency planning is “What if”. For example: What if the audio-visual equipment fails? A speaker does not turn up? N session overruns? Conference packs run out? Being flexible and calm A business may have a well-planned event and sensible contingency plans yet still experience problems. In these circumstances all is not lost and a positive response may solve the problem.

When a problem occurs it helps if support staff follow the steps below: Remain calm Be polite Apologies to attendees when appropriate Define the problem Identify a solution or the colleague that can solve the problem Take appropriate action or undertake tasks specified by he colleague in charge Check that the problem has been solved Ensure the problem is not repeated Page 2 of 3 This approach is likely to help solve the problem and it is an outward and visible message to attendees that the event organizes takes the problem and its solution seriously.

When there are problems and things go wrong it may be frustrating or upsetting for attendees and delegates. However most people will respond in a measured way. If the problem appears ‘obvious’, the result of poor planning and the response to it is lackluster then people will be aggrieved.