Like a parent budgeting for a college fund, a lawyer anticipating counter arguments from opposing counsel, or a poker master studying other players for a tell, event planners must think two steps ahead of any potential event complications.

That’s why our rallying cry is: Organization, communication, and regulation. In other words, Coterie Spark plans for every possible outcome. We want to ensure that we’re performing at our best when it matters the most — when unexpected challenges arise. Here’s how we do it.

We like to refer to this as having all your ducks (or docs) in a row. Contracts, planning materials, and contact information sheets. If something goes wrong, your team needs to have easy access to a physical folder or digital file with every event detail you can round up.

Within this packet it’s important to also include documentation of the venue’s event protocols. In certain situations, for example, the venue’s security or EMS personnel may take precedence over the planner’s. Ultimately, the more details in your master doc, the less time and energy spent putting out fires.

Who’s in charge of what and how do other team members stay in contact with them? It is critical to establish strong communications channels and protocols to quickly resolve complications.

One way to achieve this is through creating group text chats. Multi-frequency radio systems also allow multiple teams to chat simultaneously. Lastly, be sure that everyone saves important phone numbers in their phones. The last thing anybody wants is for staff members to be scrambling to reach a colleague when every second counts.

A second aspect of communication is discussing protocols and expectations with the team. Pre-event meetings are an excellent way for leaders to discuss what the staff might experience. Recap meetings are important too, as they allow a team to regroup after a challenging day and better prepare for tomorrow. After all, today’s challenges are tomorrow’s victories.

Emotionally, that is. Learning how to stay calm and productive under fire is the final, and perhaps, most important piece of the puzzle. As challenges arise, staff and clients will feed off your energy. This is why we aim to control tone and nonverbal cues in when the pressure is on.

Of course, staying calm doesn’t mean you should treat a situation with less urgency. Clients still need to see you taking swift and decisive action. A cool, composed composure is simply a great way to resolve issues faster and look confident as you do it.

Coterie Spark has seen its share of unexpected fires, from natural disasters and global pandemics to illness and injury. Through it all, organization, communication, and emotional regulation have guided every event to its successful completion.

Contact us today to learn more about how our experience, resources and protocols can help you properly plan and execute your next event or conference.