Press and Journal

Switch to desktop Register Login

Eric Wise

Eric Wise is a stay-at-home dad with three children, ages 11, 9 and 3. He was formerly a reporter for the now-defunct Hershey Chronicle newspaper, and he has 10 years of experience in public relations with four different statewide associations. His home improvement column, "Around the House," appeared in daily and weekly newspapers around Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2009. He is a graduate of Hershey Senior High School and Elizabethtown College. He enjoys reading, playing guitar and photography. 

Avoid these embarrassing situations when planning events

Rate this item
(0 votes)

None of us wants to be the groom who splits his pants during the wedding or the woman with a dryer sheet stuck to her rear when she walks up to receive a lifetime achievement award. We try to do what we can to avoid putting ourselves in situations where we look silly in front of others.

Over the years, I have seen a few people take a metaphorical pie to the face in public. I know a few who had a great laugh about it -- two or maybe 10 years later. At the time it's mortifying. Most of us don't want to see others flustered and panicked by the unexpected and undesired happening in public. It's painful to watch anyone, especially a friend or relative, embarrass himself or herself in public.

While many such incidents put a single person on the spot, poor planning or preparation can make an organization look bad. I spent years working for associations that hosted dozens of events for their members, associates and honored guests. I attended events held by national organizations, local clubs and groups that fall somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, any group has a chance of looking ridiculous, farcical or undignified at an event.

Larger groups often have professional meetings or events planners while volunteers plan them for smaller organizations. At some point, you might be a part of a group responsible for making arrangements for a banquet, meeting or some other event, so I am sharing some examples of gaffes that I have seen so you might avoid making a similar mistake.

At one point, I was paired with another employee to help plan a small conference for a group of professionals. Each of us planned speakers for one day of the conference. I gathered our organization's shirts and other items with its logo for speaker gifts. My coworker said she would get some other gifts appropriate for all the speakers. The speakers I arranged were members of the organization, so my coworker and I knew most of them for a few years. One in particular had spoken at other events within the past two or three years. When the event day arrived, my coworker gave me the gifts to provide to my speakers, including the speaker who was most familiar with our organization, for whom she had gotten a box of chocolate candy. I reacted in shock at the inappropriateness of candy for our speaker, an insulin-dependent diabetic. It would be easy to laugh off such an error with a first-time speaker, or if we had asked another organization to provide a speaker from its panel of experts, but this was someone with a long history and respected reputation within the organization.

While the speaker was gracious, such an uncaring oversight shows poor planning and coordination. If you are choosing a gift for a member, run it by a few people, just to make sure there is no reason the gift would be a bad choice. You never know what you might learn that could avoid an awkward situation.

When another group was preparing for its annual banquet, someone had printed out cards for certain tables so they would be reserved for leaders or distinguished guests. I am sure that for many years, printing cards with "Reserved: Smith" or "Reserved: Reynolds" had worked just fine. However, there was one year when this didn't work out so well. I don't want to identify the group or person in question, but to understand what happened, imagine that 15 or 20 years ago, your organization had managed to score legendary musical guests Barry White and Clint Black. In this case, using the Reserved: Last Name format could raise eyebrows for two tables. I know families with last names like Good, Fake and Flowers. How much time would it take to look at the cards prior to the event and print new ones with first and last names, or even Mr. Hank Good and Guests?

Fortunately, only a few people noticed the table sign, but that's not the point. It takes only one person to see it and cause a scene, and that just makes the whole organization look bad. Pay attention to this type of detail, and you will avoid the appearance of having an organization of ham-fisted amateurs.

When some events are organized, the planners (or someone else) provide speakers with the program. This may appear in several forms: a copy of the agenda, a list of important points, or a list of names of those to be recognized or a script. People work differently from scripts, based on their familiarity or comfort level with public speaking. Some take a script and read 95 percent of it verbatim, and yet they are so natural that they got up and spoke off the cuff. In contrast, there are speakers who use the script as a guide or a crutch.

Many things might go wrong when your speaker opens his or her mouth. I have heard plenty of names butchered. Sometimes, the master of ceremonies has stumbled around because the outline provided nowhere near enough detail to meet the speaker's needs. At one event, an organizational leader read every word of the script. That doesn't sound bad until you realize he read every word. At one point, he said, "And now join me in welcoming tonight's honoree, ("John Smith") to the stage. Pause here for applause... whatever the heck that is supposed to mean." Take some time to discuss the script with the speaker, verify that it meets his or her needs. Double-check to make sure stage directions like "pause here for applause" are not read aloud.

At one event, a member welcomed a well-known speaker by reading an extensive, detailed biography. She took the stage and deadpanned, "It's always nice to hear someone read your obituary." At another event, an organizational leader took the stage to welcome a guest speaker at a banquet. Her introduction to this speaker went on for at least 10 minutes, comparing the speaker to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus. No one could live up to her deluge of flattery. I am sure most of the audience thought it was absurd.

To introduce a speaker, tell the audience the speaker's name and a few words about his or her background. You may add the topic, and the reason this speaker is qualified to discuss it. The handoff should be brief and unremarkable; it should take one minute. The audience should remember the speaker, not your introduction.

Finally, you should try to avoid a problem because of the stage setting and your speakers' appearance. I have heard about, but never seen, this happen. A woman gets up to speak wearing a dress the exact color of the backdrop. The audience sees a head and hands "floating" on their own in front of the curtain and starts laughing hysterically. This situation can get out of hand quickly, so if there is a way to let your speakers know ahead of time, it's worth doing. It seems like a million-to-one shot, but it has happened.

Take a few minutes to consider some issues involved if you are ever called upon to help plan an event. I hope it goes smoothly for you!


95 comments

  • dmahWnw

    =

    dmahWnw Sunday, 09 November 2014 04:09 Comment Link
  • WilliamGarO

    あきらめていた距離を狙っていける飛び性能フェース素材は強靭で粘り強い高強度カスタム455ステンレス。厚さ2.2ミリまで薄く加工することで、心地よい弾き感に加え大きな反発力と飛距離を実現した。ブレないインパクトで安定した高弾道を生む薄くしたフェースの余剰重量を低 深重心位置に配置。ポケットキャビティとの相乗効果で広いスイートエリアを確保。ミス�|||]品質保証 2013モデルロイヤルコレクション2013モデルSFDアイアンATTAS RC i55カーボンシャフト単品(#4、#5、AW、SW) GI54N1633HG ゴルフ アイアン 割引販売
    中空構造による許容性UP 抜けを考慮したワイドソール アドレス時にブレードに見えるバックデザインダイナミックゴールド ツアーイシュースチールシャフトダイナミックゴールド ツアーイシューは、セット間重量公差を±0.5gに設定してシャフト セットとしての精度を上げ、ツアープロが使用しているものとまったく同じシルク印刷を施して、S200とX100の2フレックス�|||100%保証品質 SALE 2013モデルタイトリスト日本正規品712U ユーティリティアイアンダイナミックゴールドツアーイシュースチールシャフト GI54N1122HG ゴルフ ユーティリティ 低価
    キャリーで飛ばす!BELLOWサイドソールによりトウ、ヒールの剛性を高めサイドスピンを抑制。また空気抵抗を小さくすることでヘッドスピードアップを実現。ソール後方のウエイトや、PREDATOR専用シャフトのベストマッチングではじきもよく、高弾道に飛ぶクラブを実現シャフト 硬さ重さ(g)トルクキックポイント適正HSR594.5先中調子35~44m/sS594.5先中調子40~48m/sグリップ Lyn|||]超sale開催 Lynx(リンクス)プレデタードライバーカーボンシャフト GI54N637HG ゴルフ ドライバー 超歓迎2014
    シャフトダイナミックゴールドフレックスS200シャフト重量(g)129トルク1.7キックポイント元番手#3#4#5#6#7#8#9PWヘッド素材/フェース素材(製法)軟鉄鍛造(S25C)ロフト角(°)2124273135394347ライ角(°)59.56060.56161.56262.563長さ(インチ)Dynamic Gold38.53837.53736.53635.535.25総重量(g)Dynamic Gold430(#5/S)バランスDynamic GoldD2D3※このスペックは計算値 暫定値で#5(27°)の数値です。※DynamicGoldはトゥルー�|||]特価 2014新製品テーラーメイド日本正規品TOUR PREFERRED MB(ツアープリファード)マッスルバックアイアンダイナミックゴールドスチールシャフト単品(#3、#4) 上質
    ※913F、913F d LOW SPIN、913Hは910F、910F d、910HのSureFit TOURと互換性がないので910F、910F d、910HヘッドとSUreFit TOURスリーブ付シャフトを交換してご使用いただけません。パフォーマンスガイドフィッティングイメージ16通り 913パフォーマンスガイド※クリックで画像が拡大します※クリックで画像が拡大しますシャフトロフト角フレックスライ角長さクラブ重さ調子トルクバラン|||人気 2013モデルタイトリスト日本正規品913F d フェアウェイウッドディアマナ B70カーボンシャフト GI54N828HG ゴルフ フェアウェイウッド 最新作

    【高級お宮参り着物】高級女児宮参り着物 お着物表地正絹(絹100%)裏地 長襦袢ポリエステル(100%)ご注意画面上と実物では多少色具合が異なって見える場合もございます。ご了承ください。初着 お宮参り着物  赤の地に地紋様入り 大胆なぼかしの上に可愛い 花が沢山! お宮参りの場合、このまま直ぐ ご使用になれます 七五三の時には肩上げをし、袖には 丸みをつけま|||お宮参り 着物 女の子 女児 産着 初着 お宮参り特集 初着 宮参り 女児祝着 正絹 のしめ 産着 女の子お宮参り着物 J48-4063
    お宮参りは、生まれて初めての厄除けになります。これからの健やかなご成長とご多幸を願いお参りをします。お手元に届きましたら直ぐにご使用可能です(お着物と長襦袢)。お宮参りの前日までにしつけを解き、ご準備ください。紐に付いております飾りは、しつけではございませんので解かぬようお願い申し上げます。初着は、お宮参り、お正月、3歳のお祝いなど�|||お宮参り着物 女の子 女児 初着 産着 着物 鼓 赤 祝着 正絹 ベビー 赤ちゃん D-1668
    【小物】 素材 ポリエステル ナイロン 生産国  日本製 寸法 帯締め 長さ120cm~130cm ちょっと一言 七五三の帯締めです。 お手持ちのお着物に合わせて七五三を お祝いしてください ご注意 ※宅配便 一部の地域を除き500円 北海道、沖縄、離島は1000円 (代引き+300円) お買い上げ合計が一万円以上は 送料 代引き無料になります。 商品は画面上の色合いがブラウザにより|||帯締めハコセコセット 七五三お着物 K-7521
    【初着 お宮参り着物女の子】高級女児宮参り着物 お着物表地正絹(絹100%)裏地長襦袢ポリエステル(100%) サイズ身丈約99cm、袖丈約56cm、裄約46cm(一つ身は全て同寸です、但し1cm~2cmの 誤差がある場合があります。)ご注意画面上と実物では多少色具合が異なって見える場合もございます。ご了承ください。【高級お宮参り着物】 【smtb-ms】赤 地紋様なし 赤の地色、毬�|||お宮参り 女の子 女児 初着 産着 着物 タトウ紙 お手入れカード 初着 産着 祝い着 お宮参り着物 女の子 G-0194
    ▼商品詳細【花しおり七五三髪飾り】【 花しおり (はなしおり) 】一点一点、繊細な作りでこだわりを感じます♪和装にはもちろん!洋服地にもオススメです♪豊富な品揃えで、用途に合った貴女の欲しい一品が必ず見つかるはず♪ ▼生産国 日本▼メーカー 花しおり▼内容 髪飾り▼寸法 (大)約12×12×紐12cm (中)約7×6cm (小)約4×4cm▼注意事項 ご使用のモニター(画面)により|||髪飾り 髪飾り 髪留め ヘアクセサリー 成人式 結婚式 卒業式 二次会 パーティー 七五三 黒留袖 色留袖 訪問着 和装 着物 花しおり 袴 振袖 ドレス 1721_4

    注目 コーチ 長財布 新作 2014 アウトレット F49159 B4BHR シグネチャー アコーディオン ジップウォレット ラウンドファスナー長財布 カーキ/オレンジスパイス2014バレンタインセール : 大人気コーチ 2014 新作 コーチ バッグ 財布 新作 2014の大幅値下げ 85%OFF
    エルメス HERMES エールラインアドPM 中古 Aランク グレー キャンバス バッグ
    エルメス HERMES バーキン25 5P02jun13] 中古 Aランク グラファイト L刻印 ヴォーエプソン バッグ
    クロエChloe財布 長財布 レディース ラウンドファスナー長財布 リボン リリー リリィ 3P0501 015 72G LILY カプリナイト
    プラダ Prada 長財布 1M0506 QWA 572 『超人気』新作 PRADA プラダ SAFFIANO METAL OROメタルロゴ付きラウンドファスナー長財布 1M0506 SAF.METAL ORO ARGILLA 2014人気新作

    Admiral/アドミラル ロール型ショルダーバッグ 幅37cm MOAD-093
    Admiral アドミラル ショルダーバッグ MOAD-169 バッグ 財布 通販
    タフ ウエストバッグ 57033/tough discus
    is・+ アイエス・プラス diversity 3WAY ビジネスバッグ/ブリーフケース 230-1059
    TOUGH タフ LIFT HERE ショルダーバック/メッセンジャーバッグ 57743

    WilliamGarO Wednesday, 09 July 2014 04:56 Comment Link
  • carpinteyroirp

    =

    carpinteyroirp Friday, 30 May 2014 01:23 Comment Link
  • Enhatunnign76

    =

    Enhatunnign76 Friday, 23 May 2014 16:16 Comment Link
  • carpinteyrotlt

    =

    carpinteyrotlt Sunday, 18 May 2014 10:47 Comment Link
  • gjfiihkv

    =

    gjfiihkv Sunday, 18 May 2014 00:58 Comment Link
  • hwwjniizn46N

    =

    hwwjniizn46N Friday, 16 May 2014 09:24 Comment Link
  • tawkqymmuh9X

    =

    tawkqymmuh9X Wednesday, 14 May 2014 07:26 Comment Link
  • ozeknktspc3K

    =

    ozeknktspc3K Saturday, 10 May 2014 06:09 Comment Link
  • birlwgwsei7T

    =

    birlwgwsei7T Thursday, 08 May 2014 23:22 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.