Murphy's Law states: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." This is especially true and especially painful when there is an audience involved.

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This blog was active from April, 2008 to July 2012.
It is no longer being updated but will continue to be maintained for reference purposes.

What did you say?

Here’s a gem from meeting planner Deborah Elias’ piece describing the challenges she faced in putting together 3 events in 3 nights:

Never assume your vendors will share information, even among their own staff. Always verify that the appropriate people receive firsthand information for accuracy, then follow-up with a thorough conference call. Despite its convenience, email often leaves too much to interpretation.

Might Have Missed List (01/30/11)

MUST READ: MPA Political, LLC  — Unconventional Wisdom: Events

As I looked back on 2010 and saw the great big failures, they troubled me.  Messaging failures, generally unprepared or unqualified campaign staff, candidates unwilling to learn, listen and/or improve, and of course strategies that were designed to fail from the start…  But then there was a feeling of downright anger.  How the hell can Democratic campaigns fail so often at the very basics of setting up an event?  Does no one teach this stuff anymore?  Do people not learn from event to event?  Do they not see the big greasy piles of fail due to some form of rose colored glasses?

. . .

You should visit and walk the venue, take pictures.  Think about where attendees with enter, where they will gather, will there be food/drinks somewhere drawing the mingling crowd?  How many chairs will there be, how will they be arranged, where will the walkways be?  Are there tables?  Sketch these things out as best you can.

Where will the candidate enter the room?  Will the candidate have access to a “green room”, or a restroom, prior to entering the venue?  When they enter, will they be overwhelmed with the crowd as they enter?  Who will walk the candidate in, meet the candidate at the car/bus?  Will someone be introducing the candidate to the attendees as they mingle?  Will the candidate be going straight to the “stage” upon entering to speak, and straight out after speaking?  How will they enter and exit?

The Eloquent Woman — 5 things speakers should ask the meeting planner

Identify room setup. You should ask questions about the room setup, for instance, will you will be behind a podium, or on a panel? If on a panel, will there be seating behind a table or in separate chairs? If chairs, what kind? This may sound rather anal; however, I’ve seen many presenters on panels who did not know they would be sitting in director’s chairs. If you’re a female in a skirt that happens to be too short or doesn’t easily move when you sit down, this could be rather uncomfortable and potentially give the audience a bit too much to see. Or if your preference is to appear behind a podium and organizers expect you to roam the stage in delivering your remarks, it’s probably best to know that before you arrive.

To allow AV or No AV…that’s an important question. Have you ever showed up with PowerPoint in hand only to learn that there’s no equipment for such use? It may happen more often than you think. Finding out the overall format of the presentation is critical as well as allowances for audio visual equipment, including internet access. Sometimes lack of AV could be a budgetary consideration. At other times, it simply may not suit the program. Make sure to ask about it.

The Official join.me Blog — Darth Vader Was Not Invited To The Conference Call

Your dog is not invited.

Sure, I like dogs. Who doesn’t? But we did not invite your dog to the conference call. So if you’re taking this call from home, then make sure your dog isn’t in the room. Because dogs are unpredictable, and before you know it they are barking and the call is ruined. Don’t make your dog my problem.

Friday’s List of What You Might Have Missed – 4/25/08

joeyhagedorn.com: Home-built Blu-Ray Laser Pointer — “In a completely dark room it is even possible to see the beam in air…” You definitely don’t want to give one of these to one of the Jedi Knights I wrote about last week.

Businesss Presentations: Unhitch the Technical Glitch — A teleseminar goes wrong. Five suggestions for dealing.

PittWatch:Video Clip of Brad Pitt on Idol Gives Back — Skip to about 0:50 to catch the stage manager’s amazing grace under pressure as she deals with Brad’s microphone malfunction.

Six Minutes: Stop Rehearsing! 3 Critical Things to Do Before Your Speech — Activity 1, “Study the Venue Logistics”, covers some especially important stuff.

..ALex’s Site: Award presentation Mistake — Whoops. (video)

gathering: stuck at registration? — “What do you do as a meeting planner when you’re the only staff member onsite and you get stuck at the registration desk?”

The Sisyphus Chronicles: The Room that Eats Speakers — Looks at ways that a room’s layout can inhibit the speaker’s ability to connect with an audience.

The Projector Blog: 3 Projector Rental Tips — “There are a few things to keep in mind when renting a projector.”

World of Chig: The Show Must Go On — “…if that had happened in an office, you wouldn’t expect the employee to carry on working.” I’m thinking it might have been best to call it a night.