Crises happen to the best of us – that’s life. In the events industry, there are many small details that go into the perfect event, so it should come as no surprise that things could possibly go awry here and there. Despite the fear of something going wrong, the best way to address a crisis is to prepare for it in advance. In some cases, that means avoiding the issue entirely while, in other cases, it means having a crisis response plan ready should something happen.
Regardless, things happen and life has a way of throwing us curve balls, so it is always a smart idea to know how to come back from what appears to be a crisis situation.
Separate Rational Thought From Emotion
This is a major part of gracefully bouncing back from a crisis, no matter the type. Emotions have a way of clouding judgment and, in the heat of the moment, sometimes things are said that can’t be taken back. For this reason, it is always best to take a few steps back from the issue at hand – whether it means waiting until you calm down to respond to a negative review or asking someone else for advice, stay away from jumping into the middle of a situation before you’ve gotten a better perspective on it.
Don’t Ignore It
It seems easy enough to delete that negative comment on social media or to simply brush that bad review under the rug. However, ignoring or deleting things that put you in a bad light can come across as shady to others. Transparency is key in the world of events so it’s imperative to maintain an open and honest position, no matter what the situation is. Take responsibility and look for a solution that satisfies all parties involved. While it may seem difficult in the moment, your transparency will speak volumes about your company’s professionalism.
Ditch the Blame Game
His fault, her fault, your fault – none of it matters after something goes wrong. The truth of the matter is that having a scapegoat does not justify the crisis. Any time that is spent playing the blame game is time that should be spent on creating solutions and ensuring that the crisis does not happen again. Avoid pointing fingers and, instead, work together to fix the situation.
Address the Deeper Issue
Once the immediate damage control is completed, it is time to look at the bigger picture. Why did this particular situation happen? How did it get caused? Did you have to cancel the event? Rather than looking at what others could have done differently, look at the systems in place to see where there are gaps and what can be fixed. Was it an issue in the timeline creation? Was there a slip up in vendor communication? Look at the underlying cause and find a way to reinforce your procedures to ensure it does not happen again.
One of the biggest mistakes a professional can make after an event crisis is to dwell on it. Do not waste your time overanalyzing what happened and thinking about all of the ways you could have prevented it. It is in the past – once you have addressed the issue and ensured that it will not happen again, the best thing you can do is to simply move on. Consider it a lesson learned and refocus your energy into your making your upcoming events that much better.
A crisis can be a scary situation, but it is also an opportunity to become a better professional and to grow your company. Everybody makes mistakes, but the successful people are the ones who learn from theirs and continue working at it.