Event Fails: 5 Scary Things That Can Wreak Havoc on Events


Event managers are part adrenaline junkie and part McGyver, with the cool under pressure demeanor of a pro quarterback. With Halloween around the corner, we thought we’d share some scary live event situations and how to avoid event fails.

The Case of the Disappearing Presenter

Faced with flight delays, illness or other emergencies – what’s your plan for a no-show keynote or breakout session speaker? To avoid last minute scrambling for alternatives, or trying to buy time with an antsy audience, we suggest having a stand-in speaker on tap to cover this situation. Explain the change of speaker to your audience and then have your backup presenter get on with the show.

Technology in Zombie Mode

You know that dreaded loading image? You want to avoid that kind of tech malfunction at a live event. Because while we love playing with technology, it's only useful if it's up and running. That's why the Sparks digital team does their due diligence well in advance. It’s also important to match appropriate technology to your event. Engage audiences in your experience versus turning them away. Lastly, make sure your event Wi-Fi is rock solid otherwise a melee will ensue.

Trapped in a Check-in Nightmare

With so many software solutions and event apps available to us, there’s no reason to keep attendees lined up for miles behind a registration desk. The registration process sets the tone for your event, so you need it to move along. Cvent On Arrival, Lanyon’s RegOnline and Boomset are just a few options that keep registration working like a dream, not a nightmare.

The Social Media Graveyard

If your social wall is a blank canvas and no one is hashing your tag, things could get ugly fast. A key component in social media for events is to consider your surroundings. Attendees are busy, they are rushing from session to session, catching up with old friends and associates. Make it easy for them to push content from your event with shareable assets like graphics, video and attendee photos. Post frequently to your event social channels using your pre-determined event hashtag to shamelessly to spread the word.

Gloomy and Foggy or Downright Frightening Outside

Ah, the lure of the great outdoors. Hosting a live event in an outside venue can go perfectly according to plan. Or it can literally rain on your parade. Plan accordingly for bad weather with an indoor venue option, tenting, rain date, late start or other alternatives you’ve communicated to attendees, vendors and the venue well in advance.

Tell us how you plan ahead to avoid event fails.