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20 Things Event Planners Want to Say to Attendees but Can’t

By Christina Green
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Don’t you just wish you could say whatever you wanted for a day or so? It could be so glorious to give back a little of what you get each day. Here are 20 things all event planners wish we could say to our attendees.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Groundhog’s Day” you might have been jealous of Bill Murray. In the movie, he is doomed to repeat the same day over and over. But the icing on that cake is that by doing so he’s given free reign to say and do as he pleases because come midnight his world resets and all of his shenanigans from the previous day never happened.

Imagine having that sort of freedom as an event planner. Sure, it will be drudgery to be trapped in the same event over and over but telling people exactly how you felt would be very enjoyable. If you could do so, here are a few things we bet you wish you could say:

  1. There are no refunds. Ev-er!!!!! People come up with the craziest reasons to be discontent. And yes, this one deserves all five exclamation points.
  1. Want some whine with that cheese? If they’re over ten, whining should be cause for getting kicked out of any event.

  1. I don’t care how little sleep you got last night because of that late night party. Aren’t you tired of the attendees who make it to breakfast right before it’s closing only to complain about how little variety there is left? Then they tell you they would’ve made it to breakfast if you hadn’t scheduled it so early.
  1. RSVP. Respond if you please is not the literal translation. It really means, if you want a seat, reserve one early or stand outside. If only...
  1. No, there aren’t eight extra meals for this black-tie affair for your friends who just showed up and no we don’t have any hidden in the back. Sometimes no matter what you say you can tell they still don’t believe you.
  1. Yes, I know who you are. I simply don’t care. Wouldn’t you give anything just to be able to ignore the diva’s tantrum?

  1. Here’s your bill. I added a tip to cover your rudeness. Okay, so you wouldn’t say this to attendees but how about those who register and never show up. More and more event planners are charging no-shows so it might not be long before you say this to those who register and are never seen again. However, even if you decide to charge for no-shows, you probably still should skip the comment about charging for their rudeness.
  1. It’s no party hosting your patootie, I assure you. How many times are you told, “I wish I had a job where all I did was attend parties all the time.”?
  1. The WiFi isn’t the only thing that’s slow here. Don’t you wish you could give a snarky response like this one every time someone complains about speed? But if the WiFi really is hardly working, it’s best to admit it and try to help find a solution.
  1. The restrooms are right over there. If you opened the app, you’d see them. Use the darn app, people.
  1. No, the early-bird pricing is not available on the “day of” the event. Early-bird pricing denotes that you ordered early. See how that works? No explanation needed.

  1. I’m a very good event planner, not a mind reader. The problem with data these days is that there is a handful of people who understand it and what can be done with it. For those folks, if you don’t provide a personalized agenda based on past activities, they think you’re falling down on the job. Even with data, the occasional preference question should be asked. But when you do, there’s always some smarty who thinks you should’ve already known that.
  1. You got yourself into this mess. When someone calls you crying about travel plans or comes up to you with some sob story about not getting into their favorite session because they slept late and it was standing room only, wouldn’t you love to tell them exactly how their misfortune befell them? Open up and tell them - it’s all their fault.
  1. I don’t care. Go find it yourself. It sounds a little cruel but about the twentieth time you hear the same question about something you just addressed, you want to say this and then walk away. To save our sanity, these types of repetitive questions would be best addressed through a concierge app.

  1. You’re not on the list. No soup for you! Okay, so if you never watched the television Seinfeld something may be lost on that reference, but sometimes you just don’t feel like accommodating someone who clearly failed to sign up ahead of time.
  1. Sorry, your issue is not my crisis. Teaching personal responsibility could be so fun. Then we wouldn’t have to hear irate rantings involving phrases like “you people.”
  1. If you knew you had an issue with this, why are you just now telling me? From special meal requests to accommodation issues why do they always wait until the last minute when it’s difficult to do much of anything? Tell us upfront and we can work magic. Wait until just before you need something and our hands are (mostly) tied.
  1. I ordered the sunshine for tomorrow. People always think event planners control everything. If only we did. We could also order up attendees who followed directions.

  1. Oh, and one more thing...the attendee is not always right. It had to be said. Event planners spend an awful lot of time creating a fantastic experience but every once in awhile, you just want to say “no, that’s simply not an option.” Which brings us to...
  1. No. The glorious no. We have to be so selective in using it because our job has undertones of people pleasing written all over it. But sometimes you just want to say “No” for fun. You want to make an announcement over the PA system or create a GIF out of you performing a “No, not today.” dance. Add a few double exclamation points to it even. It would feel soooo good.
20 Things Event Planners Want to Say to Attendees but Can’t

In Conclusion

No matter how good it may feel initially, we don’t advise saying any of these things to your attendees. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there right now. And while any of these statements may get you and your event talked about, it’s probably not going to be in the context that will get you more attendees.  

Ah well. There’s always Groundhog Day.

about the author

Christina Green
Christina R. Green is a digital storyteller and writer for associations and businesses, including journals such as the Midwestern Society of Association Executive's magazine and industry blogs. She's a voracious reader but has been known to stop reading if there are too many exclamation points used.
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