I am an Event Manager….

During my time as a Convention Services Manager, I received a few requests that seemed to defy the laws of time and space to accommodate the event’s needs.  I’m sure most of us, at one time or another, have received emails joking about our jobs.  The following is one of my favorites (I wish I knew who wrote this!), and I am sure that many of us who have worked at venues can appreciate the following monologue.  For you planners out there, don’t try these things with your contact at the hotel or convention center!

I am an event coordinator.

I have unlimited resources at my disposal.

I always keep at least ten meeting rooms under my desk, as it is policy here to automatically make reservations and tee-times for your Board of Directors when you sign the contract.

I can make any meeting rooms larger or smaller, depending on your needs.  I naturally remove my supporting pillars from your meeting space and will install windows in every room as needed.  The “Ocean View” is not scheduled to arrive until the second day of your program for which I most sincerely apologize – however we will move the convention center two feet to the left to accommodate your request by the end of your session today.

I can only throw myself on your mercy and grovel at your feet – I completely agree that it is inconceivable that we should have any other groups booked into our facility during your program – your additional breakout rooms that you added this morning should be built no later than Wednesday.

Naturally, it will be no problem to turn your plenary session for 600-classroom style into a hollow square for 130 with rear-screen projection, simultaneous Japanese translation and satellite hook-up during your 15-minute coffee break.  Unfortunately, however, due to space constraints, and the fact that your final program bears no resemblance whatsoever to your contracted space, we will have to suspend your lunch buffet from the ceiling above your plenary session, then suck the gravity out of the ballroom.

We have located the boxes that you sent last month, under your mother’s maiden name to the hotel down the street, and again, apologize for not having found them sooner.

In answer to all your questions, it is of course, understood that I am telepathically aware of all your speakers’ requirements and will set up an overhead, LCD panel, dual slide projectors, two screens, laser pointer, podium microphones, two tabletop microphones, podium knock-out switch, timer, and blue M&Ms in each room, at no charge, just in case.  Additionally, it goes without saying that an AV tech, engineer, baby-sitter, and I will be underneath your head table for the duration of your event in case you need anything else.

Finally, two more things you might want to share with your group: (1) The ladies’ room is the one with the ladies on the sign. The men’s room is the – well, you get the point.  (2) We will automatically adjust the temperature in the room every 15 minutes so please don’t bother asking. In addition, at this time let me thank you for choosing our convention center.

It has been great to work with you and I can’t wait to see you again…in HELL!!!

15 Responses to I am an Event Manager….

  1. I wish I knew who wrote the piece so I could give them credit for it. This piece brought many a smile to my face while I was going through a client’s event specs doing my event orders.

  2. Ok, I’m guilty of asking for some of those things, especially about having another group at the same time as mine! How dare you. It’s suppposed to be about me, uh, I mean about my event, uh, what am I saying? It’s supposed to be about my attendees. There that’s better.

    Thanks for sharing this great piece. The author should consider a career as a stand-up comic in the event arena!

  3. Greg – it’s interesting that as old as this piece is (how long has it been since one ordered two slide projectors) – well, blue m&m’s aren’t THAT old – the mindset of many a person controlling such deals (usually not the actual funder) remains.

    I just spoke about how the principles behind good marketing and meeting design, alike, have not changed either, even though the tools are evolving at exponential rates. It remains about cutting through the current clutter to impact the mind and the heart.

    I digress. This is GREAT diversion in our frenetic world. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I am on a train and the other passengers must think I am nuts for laughing so hard. I am totally guilty of just about all of the above. I agree with Jeff – how dare another group book at the same time as me? Of course, I expect you to book another group 30 days before my event to reduce the attrition that I left in my wake. You can do that, right? Also, if you have photos of the suspended lunch buffet, I would love to offer that option at my next event. I will remind the women not to wear skirts…
    Great post Greg!

  5. This is priceless! I’m a corporate meeting planner and can actually relate on a different level, because often the people for whom we’re planning a meeting wait until the last minute to advise us of some of these exact types of details that we should just “assume” will be needed. Hence, the crazy last-minute calls to the CSMs. It’s a crazy profession we’re all in, but when it all comes together in spite of the frantic last-minute stuff, it’s all worth it, and it’s great to be able to laugh about it later.

  6. Okay Greg! I am a speaker and when I first started out speaking I remember dumping on the planner- the room wasn’t set up right, the stage was too far back, no podium, hey I sad a hand held not a lavalier…you get my point. But I have softened and I realize how much you all do and I am grateful and want a great relationship.

    Thanks for the article and you should seriously think of a career in comedy- keep writing -planners need more humor!

  7. […] my traveling in the last year.  One of my earliest (and most popular) posts on this blog was the I am a Event Manager rant, whose author I have never been able to ascertain.  I believe that the following rant about […]

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