How to work out conflicts as an event organizer

When I started out as a young event organizer, I had read some books and been inspired by other popular events I was seeing take place. But nobody told me about the conflicts I would be dealing with! Suggestions on how to “put out fires” as I would like to call it would have been really helpful!

With my super team Cara & Tasha. We had a system in place that issues would go to Cara, Tasha and then myself at an event, and with some trial and error it worked very well! Also gave me time to deal with other matters and making sure ambiance and event flow was going well! 🙂
  1. Be clear in advance: Try to avoid conflict in advance by being as clear as possible with your vendors and customers about what to expect, before the event! Conflict is often the root of an expectation that is not met. For vendors: knowing the exact time they can access the venue or must be out of the venue, their precise location in the venue, who to talk to when they arrive at the venue, where is the closet atm, wifi password, food and drink, and bathrooms. Is their table provided and what are the exact measurements of their space.
  2. When conflict arrises at your event, listen to what your vendor or customer is saying. Offer empathy. If I truly couldn’t think of a solution, I would say “I’m sorry, how can we work this out? When vendors feel heard, they are more likely to work with you to find a reasonable solution. If a solution can’t be made, a refund always can. After putting on dozens and dozens of events, I believe I gave out a refund twice-both times having to move a vendor to a less desirable space that they did not wish for. Which takes me back to point one: Let your vendors see the floor plan in advance and choose their space! If the space may less ideal or not in the main room, let them know in advance!
  3. For all else, insurance: I go over event insurance in great detail from my own trial and errors insurance article, but if you have an accident of any kind happen, insurance will work out that sort of conflict for you!
  4. Feedback: Ask vendors how to make the event better in the future. This shows that you are aware and you care! You might get some amazing suggestions you had never thought of. For example, years ago a vendor suggest we have a DJ come and play. So we did at the next event and it was a huge hit with our customers.
  5. Listen to your customers: Read the social media comments looking for constructive feedback. We made our isles wider at my events after reading that some customers felt the venue was too small and isles weren’t wide enough, for example. Or hearing about the lack of parking, we switched it up and encorporated venues that offered ample parking.

Once I had a better system of conflict support in play, I was able to actually sit down and enjoy my events!

And remember, there is no problem too big or small that can’t be worked out! By being empathetic, and really listening to what your customers and vendors are telling you, you will find quick ways to work out any conflict that arises and learn for your next event! You got this!

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