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The 9 Circles of Event Hell [Video]

By EventMB Studio Team



In this new video we talk about the 9 levels of event hell.

In this video we talk about the different levels of event hell, based on severity and talking about what are some of the individual elements that you need to keep an eye out for when you’re planning, and onsite at your event.

This video is brought to you by EventMB,  the number one blog for event professionals.

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The 9 Circles of Event Hell [Video]

Video Transcript

Hey there - Xander here with Event MB and in this video, we’re talking about The 9 Circles of Event Hell.

Welcome to the Event Manager Blog Video Series. This video is brought to you by Event MB, the number one resource for event professionals.  

When it comes to planning events, we are responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of elements and decisions that are all subject to failure. Everything can fail. The power can fail, the food can fail, the speakers can fail, everything. This is events where things are going crazy, and you can’t quite find a solution for every single problem that’s coming up? In this video we talk about the different levels of event hell, based on severity and talking about what are some of the individual elements that you need to keep an eye out for when you’re planning, and onsite at your event.  


Everything is nice, the last guest just went home, what a wonderful feeling because let’s be perfectly honest, anytime that is not specifically spent at the end of your event, and your event being over, is kind of spent in Event Hell. Everything went well, your guests were happy, clients were happy, all is good.

Level 1

The Limbo - You’re in a massive general session room, 2,000 people are attending this session, and half of them are asleep. Nobody’s paying attention, they’re on their phones, and as you look up at the screen, you realize that you forgot to check the slides, which happen to be formatted for a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of a 16:9.Those black bars are going to be staring at you for eternity. But, no one’s complaining, everything seems to be peaceful, so things are alright.

Level 2

The power goes out, yet the air conditioning is still blaring. On level 2, we’re looking at those environmental conditions, those things that might make your attendees feel uncomfortable, that’s probably physical. If it’s too cold in the room, they’re going to leave. If they’re physically uncomfortable, they’re going to be distracted. So make sure you’re paying special attention to all of those environmental elements that you’re putting together.

Level 3

Catering Chaos - Here, as far as the eye can see, we see half naked men and women draped with sushi as a lovely buffet display.  These are the weird catering decisions that may be the spark of chaos’ fire. When you have a mislabeled allergy label, or non-vegan vegan meals, things can go insane. Be sure to be thoughtful and concise in your food and beverage planning for your event, and you’re going to have a much smoother experience.

Level 4

For the Greedy and Ignorant - This level looks a lot like the Fyre Festival. When you put together an event and you’re being a little ignorant, you don’t really know what goes into producing a large scale program, yet you’re willing to ask your attendees to spend a ton of money, and not put that money back into the event, that’s greed and you’re not going to want to be on that level.  

Level 5

Having to Have “That Call” With a Client - Did you make a mistake, is there some weird order coming through one of your vendors that’s really blowing your budget, just any bad news that you have to share with them, well that’s here at this level. So they decided they wanted to go with a certain bottle of wine, but they didn’t realize it was $600 instead of a $40 bottle? That’s going to be the wrath side of the relationship that you’re going to see, maybe for the first time. Honesty is always going to be your best bet - even in these situations when you have to give bad news or tell them something that isn’t going well, you’ve got to be honest. But if you can provide them a solution at the same time that you’re presenting them with this bad news, it lets them know that you’re already thinking ahead towards that solution.

Level 6

Here, you are starting to see your attendance levels drop. People are not coming at your event because there are new events and they want to check out these other opportunities. Don’t give them a chance to go and meet the other kid. Be innovative, creative and engaging with your content, and your attendees are going to stick around.  

Level 7

When you only pretend to have an emergency and security protocol in place. It’s that level where you say everything is going to be fine, your emergency plans have been submitted but it turns out you’ve just copied and pasted them off a template that you found online. You need to dedicate both time and resources to create a safety plan for your guests and for your vendors. Because ultimately, you’re charged with the lives of all of the attendees that are coming to your programs, don’t put those lives at risk.

Level 8  

We are talking about the fraudulent service providers and the vendors that are charging $35 for a full wedding session on Groupon because they’re awful. The service they provide isn’t going to be what you’re looking for, you’re going to be disappointed, and ultimately you chose them because they were a low priced option so you shouldn’t have that high of expectations. If you do have any expectation for success, you need to go with a well vetted vendor.  

Level 9

We are in the center of Event Hell - which turns out as pretty personally defined. For me, it’s non floor length linens, 7:30 AM start times, rustic barn themes, make your own sandwich buffets… that’s my hell. What is yours? Leave us a comment below and tell us.  

In Conclusion

That’s it. These are the 9 Levels of Event Hell. The only way to recognize that you’re in the midst of one of them is to observe what’s going on around you. Talk to the people that are attending your events, watch what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with individual elements, and try to correct some of these failures or opportunities for failure, before you start going deeper and deeper into the levels of Event Hell.

Other EventMB Videos

Why not check out some of our previous videos:

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EventMB Studio Team
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