#NLEDNoviceNelly: Perfection-ish?!?

200 200 Next Level Event Design

Novice Nelly: She’s our witty, fun, yet fictitious, team member that takes us on her journey of #epicfails and reminds us we are all in this together. Enjoy!

Hi everyone, it’s Novice Nelly, back with another #epicfail to share with all of you. OK. #realtalk. I’m QUICKLY learning what it truly means to work in live events. Like…These. Things. Are. LIVE!!!

#buckleup #enjoymyfoolishride

In a recent event we produced, I was like, in charge of making sure all of the “stuff” in the General Session was set. No, not the AV or the speaker’s content #abovemypaygrade, just all the rest of the physical items that needed to be placed in the room.

I arrived the morning of the event looking great, perfectly caffeinated, #holyearlymorning #starbucksnotopentil5 #dunkindonutssavestheday, and with my organized pile of checklists. I head to the stage area to survey the room and tackle this job like a pro!

I pulled out my mega checklist #1 and GO:

– 200 Chairs for Audience set Classroom Style
– Pens and Notepads at each setting
– Water Glass at each setting
– Pitchers of Water and Mints on each table
– 6’ long, “High Table” Center Stage for Panelists
– Bottle of Water for each Panelist
– (4) Sets of Pen and Paper for each of the Panelists
– (4) White Stools for the Panelists

#WTFilth! Ummmm….. The white vinyl flooring of the stage is covered in DIRTY FOOTPRINTS! I’ve been learning quickly and I know my bosses WILL NOT stand for that. (#perFowkestionist) #nextleveldetails. So, I asked for the stage floor to be cleaned quickly before we opened the doors, #eventpro #nowornever #eventsave

Ok, so… #deepbreath, back to my perfectly constructed checklist:

– Podium placed downstage left
– Coffee Stations set and ready in the back

Our client walks in the room and we quickly note everything is set and ready to go #checklistcomplete. She paid me a super nice compliment and was thrilled we were ready ON TIME! #winning #feellikearockstar #clientbestie

Attendees flood in taking their seats #middlechairsyndrome. Panelists are getting mic’d. Client takes her seat – she and I share a glance and a thumbs up. #eventpride. Lights begin to go down. #oohthatglowisbeautiful #whitevinylmakesitpop #lovethatset….ummmm…. except for THE STOOLS!!!! #OMG The stools aren’t on the stage! I shift my eyes slightly off the stage and staring directly at me is the client with the same look on her face and mouthing the word “Stools!” #eventfail #heartpounding #redface #itjustgotreallyhotinhere

I beeline my way to stage right where the stools were placed during the vinyl cleaning sesh. The client meets me there– we grab them and place them by the table just as the panelists are making their way onto the stage. COMPLETELY embarrassed, #iwanttodie, I immediately left the room. The client didn’t say anything when she left the stage; she just went directly back to her seat. I didn’t know what to do… how do I like, apologize to her for something so stupid!? I was SO confident about us being set and ready… and then THIS! #iwantedtocry

Five minutes later, I was sitting in the lobby contemplating walking into the bar across the street and applying for a job. That’s when I got a text from the client saying, “LOL. Great Save! Gotta love live events!” #cuethewaterworks #sighofrelief I responded with “I am SO SORRY! I swear, nothing like this will EVER happen again!”

After the session was over, she came out and gave me a great big hug, sensing my complete embarrassment over it all. She told me that her experience in this industry has taught her one thing for certain, “Something is always going to go wrong. It doesn’t matter how many checklists you have, how many times you double and triple check it, it happens– and it will be different every time. It’s how you deal with it that truly matters.” Then she reached into her bag and pulled out a book called “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown, and said, “I used to think everything had to go perfectly, then I read this and realized, there is no such thing. You’re doing great!”

  • #dontforgetthestools
  • #notallclientsareevil
  • #experientialwinning
  • #iamenough
  • #imperfectionisexciting