Here at the Academy, we host quite a few events each year for our Members. We put in countless hours over the course of months to prepare for these events. We prepare things like materials, educational sessions, coordinate hotel reservations, check food allergies, and work around any dietary restrictions Members may have. There are countless details, major and minor, that go into creating the “Best Event Yet.”
The catch is, it doesn’t matter how much we prepare and learn from previous mistakes, something… always… goes wrong. Sometimes multiple things go wrong –all in one day– and there is nothing we can do about it. When things go wrong though, we have two choices. We can freak out, pull our hair out and run around like chickens with our heads cut off OR we can take a moment, laugh, compose ourselves, and get’er done.
At one of our most recent events, we had to face many obstacles. Everything seemed to go wrong in the beginning. While setting up the meeting space our banner pole broke, our easel was not functioning, our AV setup was not installed or taped down like we requested, the speaker for the AV system wasn’t working properly, and the coffee tasted horrendous. It didn’t matter how many times we tried to Macgyver the broken equipment, they were just plain broken. While we waited for the AV equipment to be repaired by the hotel, we rushed to get everything else into place and like clockwork our Members showed up. Did the Members have any idea the previous hour and half was pure chaos? Not at all.
Despite all of the issues we dealt with that morning, we kept a level head. We troubleshot where we could, continued with the original plan, and tweaked where we needed to. If we would have continued to focus on the negative things going wrong, we wouldn’t have been able to get the rest of the meeting set up on time. Instead, we focused on what we could do in that very moment. We worked around any and all obstacles and because we kept a clear mind, we were able to problem solve. The Members didn’t notice the banner was missing or that anything was different from their usual meeting setup because their meeting started on time, like always. When the coffee issue arose, we came up with a plan to correct it and there were no further complaints.
The situation could have taken a turn for the worst if we allowed these circumstances to ruffle our feathers. We could have given up, put our heads down, and accepted defeat. But we didn’t. We always have a choice on how we react to things and ultimately the choices we make will reflect the outcome of any situation.
Sometimes we can’t control what the universe brings, good or bad, nor can we control any outlying factors. The only thing we can absolutely control is ourselves, our attitude, our resiliency to situations, and our determination for a common goal.
So, don’t stress because often times people don’t notice the small details. They usually have no prior knowledge that things should be a certain way. As long as the end result is the same and they see you calm, then it will always be a good event.
Member Services Coordinator
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128