One of the most stressful things about being an event host is the obligation that you are ultimately accountable for how the event is perceived by the guests. In other words, are they having fun and if they are not, how is that impacting your event?
We’ve all been there. The event is going strong, people are laughing, eating, dancing – all smiles and no complaints. Then you look over and see two people huddled over a sobbing friend who, based on the mascara smears, bloodshot eyes, red face, and high-pitched wails, clearly must be undergoing the most traumatic emotional event of her lifetime. Your spirit immediately sinks as you realize this guest is not enjoying your event and brining her friends down with her. You rack your brain for any idea whatsoever as to how you can go and cheer her up and make this night a positive memory. As you stand their pondering, the shrieking sound of someone yelling, “look out” meets your ears, and you look distractedly over in horror to see someone purging your gourmet catered hors d’oeuvres all over your ivory silk linens. You shudder as the bill count of items wasted goes up in your head — $2.50 per stuffed mushroom, $1 per meatball, $110 for a new linen. You then proceed to curse, “Why did this person have too much fun?”
You can’t win.
No matter how much money you spend, how delicious the food is, how gorgeous the décor is, an event’s success lies ultimately at the hands of the guests. This is what makes events so exciting, fun and challenging. Events are held for people and without people, they would just be a very pretty display.
When you host an event, you have to be realistic in your expectations of your guests. You ultimately have zero control over the mood your guests are in when they arrive, what is going on in their lives, what their maturity level is, who has issues with who, etc. It is impossible to make every person happy. As the saying goes, “The key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Nothing could be more true in event planning. You have to look at events as a living organism. You, as the planner or host, provide the necessary sustenance for them to survive, but it is ultimately up to the guests what they are going to do with it. Unfortunately, that means you will have your occasional difficult guest. For the really difficult ones, hire security. For the annoyances, smile, shrug it off and remember, we all have bad days. It may be you vomiting next time.