After 20 years in the business, Event 360’s track record speaks for itself. With a world-class staff, unmatched alumni, and phenomenal nonprofit partnerships that have resulted in nearly $1 billion raised, we like to think that we know a thing or two. But for all of our meticulous planning, detail-oriented strategizing, and onsite preparedness, we’re still human. Hiccups can and do happen. Read on below to hear about some of our most memorable event blunders, and how the missteps resulted in pearls of wisdom that we carry with us.  

In November of 2021, we were excited to get back to doing outdoor events after a year of COVID quarantine, and returned to San Diego for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. With this came the challenge of maintaining social distancing, so we needed to get creative in areas and activations of the event where pre-pandemic we’d have large groups gathering. For one tent activity we decided to use an app to manage the queue. Instead of waiting together in line, the app allowed us to take phone numbers and text participants when it was their turn. At the time, it seemed brilliant and convenient for both parties, that is, until the system crashed, leaving us with no record of who was in line and who was next. We quickly went to a manual system that actually worked better, and is something that we still use today. The lesson: sometimes a fancy technological solution is not the right answer. In fact, going old school can be even better. At least that was the case here! Sarah Coniglio, Special Operation Lead 

Protect your power! Recently, I decided to save some money and not order the back-up generator. The site’s power ended up being faulty on event day and it took them hours to fix. It was too late to get a back-up generator and a lot of anxiety ensued. Luckily, it was repaired right before the festival opened. Sometimes when you try to save, you lose. Thomas Quattrochi, Purchasing Coordinator 

At the last event, I was delegating tasks and sent a team member on an errand to get supplies while we continued with the event set-up. Turns out, they had the golf cart keys with them, which made transporting event supplies from the truck to the course and site a bit more challenging. Needless to say, we got a little more of an intense work-out that day. Ashley Marquis, Event Production Coordinator 

Lesson learned after many cold, soaked events, prepare for the downpours and pack appropriate layers, plus waterproof gear. When the forecast says, “Expect inclement weather,” don’t grab your cute jacket. Instead, a raincoat, labeled water resistant or water repellant, is the GO-TO garment. Otherwise, this will not keep your undergarments dry in heavy rain. Additionally, rely on silicone waterproof shoe covers, ones with zippers or toggles and grips/non-slip soles for dry and quick-moving feet. Lastly, a poncho a cheap one or, better yet, a nice one is a must have. It will shield you from the rain and add a layer of warmth as well. Tiffany Mangum, Travel Coordinator 

Many years ago, as a young 20-something, part of my job was to sign off on the design proofs of signage and other materials before they went to print. I must not have had enough coffee one morning, because somehow I let a sign go to print that suggested we “Fight Beast Cancer.” Luckily, a more eagle-eyed staff person caught it on event day and the sign never got displayed. It did, however, end up hung in my office, as a constant reminder to be vigilant. And to fight against cancer in beasts. Joann Buckley Collins, Senior Copywriter 

My biggest (and sweatiest) lesson I learned on event came during load-in the day before my walk. I went in confident, believing I had upwards of 20 volunteers to help with set up, specifically for the 75ish wooden tables we had to organize for the team table area. But, as the day passed, our 20 volunteers dwindled to just my 5-person walk committee. Let’s just say I couldn’t look at a wooden table for a while and I learned to always double, triple check volunteer counts and be prepared for a plan B! Oh, and to have a few gift cards on hand for an extra thank you! Abbie Peterson, Marketing and Social Media Manager 

Being new to the event production world, the weather was a humbling experience for all my events in my first year at Event 360. My first event was extremely hot and humid, so I knew hydration and sunscreen were important items to always bring with me. My next event was chilly and windy, so I knew for my next event I would bring warmer clothes. So, when I got to my final event of the year, I knew I had packed all my necessities however, I was wrong again! It rained for seven hours on and off on load-in day and I did not pack my rainboots or enough additional socks. Moral of the story, ALWAYS pack for all seasons and plan a Target/Walmart run for in-between times. Brittney D. Holman | Contract & Purchasing Assistant 

Early on in my higher education events career, I was responsible for putting on a lecture with a reception to follow. While the facilities set-up, catering, and flowers were in perfect condition, the A/V team needed for the presentation was nowhere to be found. They ended up making a last-minute Hail Mary appearance, explaining that the request had simply fallen off their radar. That was the day that I realized a day-of confirmation call never hurt anyone! Jesse W. McDaniel, Creative Services Coordinator 

In San Deigo last year, after eating at a delicious local seafood place for lunch with some other camp staff, I went to use the bathroom before heading back to the campsite. I quickly closed and secured the door, having missed a little Post-it note warning me not to use the faulty lock. (Apparently, many people have had trouble with it. A little fact I found out too late from the man carrying a large ice bucket outside of the door). I was STUCK! Panic set in and I thought about calling someone to help. Instead, I quickly took a breath and thought “You did something to get stuck in here, now undo that!” I moved the lock the opposite way a couple of times and made it out, but not without lifelong trauma. What was the lesson learned here? Instead of panicking in a tough situation, take a deep breath before you decide what to do next. On event, we often find ourselves in situations we don’t expect. Slowing down to think through your options first will go a long way and probably save some embarrassment. Kathleen Klotz, Participant and Programs Coordinator 

Despite our best efforts to dot every i and cross every t, making mistakes is a part of life. And while we’d love to imagine a future where what we do is never again impacted by a blunder, it doesn’t seem likely that that reality will come to fruition. Sometimes errors are hard pills to swallow. They can cause stress, confusion, and weigh heavily on us, even long after corrective actions have been taken. But, as long as we figure out how to come out on the other side with a tad more knowledge, once the storm has cleared, we can trust the bright side of things to shine through and illuminate a better path forward. 

Share Button