A photo of an event that was planned by a planner.

What To Do When Your Event Goes Wrong (And What Not To Do)

Larry Norris Planning

Sometimes unpleasant things happen in an event. When it happens, what do you do next?

When you’re hosting an event, you want everything to be perfect. However, due to the many details that entail an event, you can bet something can always go wrong. When you run out of drinks or the VR set stops working, what will happen?

Well, heavy rain may start without warning, or a speaker cancels just when the event is about to start. In addition, the caterer is getting late, and the event has already begun.

A great many things could go wrong at an event. But this doesn’t have to lead to an irreparable situation. It would be best to think about the action you’ll take if things don’t go as planned at an event.

Let’s see some tips below. You’ll become a crisis-handling expert with this insight.

The Dos

Do The “Three C” Plan

Stay Confident, Stay Collected, and Stay Calm. It would help if you kept your cool even when something went wrong. All the people involved in the event planning and your attendees will look up to you to give them direction.

Therefore, do not be stressed. Even as the event goes on, run all possible scenarios through your mind from time to time.

Bring Backup Equipment

As an event vendor, this is a critical part of your planning. If you’re an event professional such as a photographer, lighting engineer, audio technician, or DJ, it’s paramount to bring backup equipment.

Thus, there’s a backup on-site in case of any equipment malfunctions.

Have A Plan B in Place

When planning for your event, perform some risk assessment. What is the probability that something might go wrong? Create a plan B beforehand. This way, you’ll have the trust of your attendees.

An effective crisis communication plan will leave your attendees at peace. In whatever you do, never show them that you lack control or are anxious.

Have Knowledgeable People

It’s not advisable to plan an event all by yourself. That is why you need to have staff to lean on when things go wrong. Not only does the team need to know how to fix something that goes wrong, but they must also have training on how to handle a crisis.

Our staff has the necessary training in both customer relations and equipment servicing. Hence, they are ready to handle issues that could arise at an event.

Be Flexible

If things have gone wrong, you have to have a remedy fast. The chances are that a quick fix won’t be what you envisioned for your event. When you are a perfectionist, you may not like it, but you must embrace flexibility to solve the problem.

You will realize that ‘done’ is a better option than ‘perfection and not accomplished.’

Act Fast

In a crisis, you need not waste any time. The longer an issue stays unresolved, the more people will get upset or bored. Remember that in today’s age of smartphones, one can upload a critique on the internet as fast as possible.

That creates a negative reputation for your brand.

Communicate Clearly and Honestly

Don’t lie even if you can cover up the issue or swiftly move on from it. It might seem like the best way to handle a problem, but nobody wants an event planner known for lying.

The best thing is to announce the problem and the solution you have in place. For example, if a microphone malfunctioned, you could say, “The microphone stopped working, but we’ll have another one here in a moment.”

Have Everything in Writing

Write down everything regarding the planning. Don’t assume you don’t need a contract because you know some vendors personally. They could end up failing you terribly.


What could have gone wrong? That is the million-dollar question. A doctor can’t prescribe medication if they don’t know your condition.

Comply with Emergency Regulations

Do your homework in advance. Follow the laid-out regulations in your area. There are chances that someone could get hurt, even when you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. It will help you avoid legal consequences.

Create Humor

It might not be easy to do, but it’s good to create some fun to take some edge off a situation. It takes some tension off the problem and relaxes the attendees and the planning team.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.

The Don’ts

In a situation where something goes wrong during an event, then don’t; 

Get Worked Up

It’s not a brilliant idea to swear and yell in front of your guests. It would be best if they remembered only the good things. Additionally, do not try to keep your cool by drinking or using other drugs.

As an event organizer, keep a level head all the time. It’s advisable to wait until the event comes to an end so that you can chug down your bottle of lager.

Start the Blame Game

While you may have someone you can blame for the mishap, going around the event venue while pointing fingers is wrong, you don’t want the attendees to leave with a wrong impression of you.

If you need to reprimand someone, wait until the event is over – better still, wait till the next day when you can handle the problem with a sober mind.

Quick Tips:

  • Always know the weather forecast beforehand.
  • Have a flashlight for nighttime power emergencies.
  • Make sure you’ve charged your phone.
  • Test all your equipment before the start of the event.

Parting Shot

To sum up, the takeaway message is to always have a plan if your event goes south. Stay aware of the variables that are likely to go wrong. Then prepare a solution beforehand on how you’ll address the situation.

It’s always advisable to be over-prepared and ready to take on the challenges rather than to be unprepared and unable to save an event from a crisis.

Having a reliable partner to walk the journey with you will make all the difference if your event goes wrong.

Feel free and talk to us at Centric Events and Rentals for your event planning. We offer a wide array of rental equipment that can take your event to the next level. All of our event technicians are trained and are ready to take on any type of event with backup equipment in place.