How to Avoid Disruption and Distractions During Events

Professional event planners invest a lot of time and effort in ensuring that venues chosen for events do not present distractions that spoil the event. Venue-related distractions do happen but there are ways you can prepare to prevent this from happening to you.


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    Choose the right venue for your needs. Determine your aims and objectives from the outset. This will help you to determine which venue is right for you. Do your research and take on board any recommendations while keeping in mind what you’re looking to achieve.
    • Privacy may be essential to your event. If so, restrict your search to dedicated venues with a track record of catering to sensitive, top-level, or exclusive meetings.
    • Accessibility might be important. You may have delegates coming from all over the country, so focus on easily accessible venues to reduce the risk of delays.
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    Communicate with your venue. This is the single most important factor. Amicable communication between the venue's owner, event organizers and hosts is important in establishing the requirements of the event. Be sure on all of this during the initial conversations and when drawing up a brief. It’s this brief that forms the cornerstone for ensuring that the event experiences minimal interruptions, taking into account any limitations of the facilities.
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    Source suitable staff. Some venues will have in-house staff, while others will require you to have your own. Either way, staff wield incredible power in determining whether an event goes smoothly or not: Ineffective staff and unhelpful or unknowledgeable staff can have a negative impact.
    • Take the time to carefully consider the teams that will look after you and your guests, and try to ascertain whether they’ll be more of a help or a hindrance. Even when it’s family or friends, you will want to weigh out their dedication to your event and determine if you will need them or could do without them as helpers.
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    Foster a pleasant working environment. Doing this not only helps deliver good morale but can inspire efficiency from all those involved in the meeting or event. It’s therefore important to try to make your event venue as conducive to work as possible:
    • It could be simple things like the temperature, seating arrangement, natural lighting. It could also be things like motivation from supervisors/heads or pay.
    • It’s not unusual to enforce a ‘no phone no email’ rule, especially if these will get in the way of delivering a good event. This can ensure staff/guests’ minds are focused on the task at hand, and not back at the office or pressures from home.
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    Ensure that the technology used for the event is compatible. One of the most significant causes for disruption to events is technical issues on-site. Ask the event venue owners to confirm what’s available for use for your event, and check whether there will any related costs for what you need. It's common for venues, for example, to charge extra for certain items, including remote controls for projectors, or video public address systems. These issues can be ironed out with a prior visits leading up to the event day specifically to check whatever devices that will be used for your event will be compatible with the venue’s offering.
    • Establish what to do and who to contact in case of a technical issue on the day to ensure that if anything does go wrong, there is a point of contact to promptly resolve it.
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    Pay attention to the background. Attention during events can easily be diverted with unnecessary background noise, be it a passing train or squabbling kids in the playfield. Background noise is one of the biggest bugbears for guests and a considerable factor in generating disruption. Noise-related nuisances can also be on-site such as cleaners or builders. Ensure that the event venue is not overly exposed to excessive outside noise (avoid paper thin walls or windows opening on to busy roads for example) to minimise disruption, and if there is building work taking place, request an area far away from the site to reduce your events are disruption or even ask if such activities could be stopped for the duration of your event.
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    Check the accessibility for guests. Being able to get to the venue with ease is something event organizers must take seriously. It is easily a source of disruption as it effects guests’ enjoyment before they’ve even stepped into the event venue. This can set the event off on the wrong foot, resulting in guests arriving late, or starting the day irritated and unfocused. It’s therefore important that you factor this in to your decision when selecting a venue.
    • Be sure to discuss any concerns you might have to venue owners to see if any extra provisions could be set up to assist delegates both prior to and on the day.
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    Don't leave catering until the last minute. Catering is not a last resort affair. Again this will depend on whether you will use in house catering services or outside caterers. It’s a crucial component of any event which is easily forgotten. Don't underestimate the value of event food––it can singlehandedly make or break an event and catering is one of the most important factors that generates value. Get it right, and you will most likely win all the plaudits, otherwise, it’s a definite fail.
    • In-house dedicated catering teams will be well-versed in catering procedures for all types of events, so will be more adept at scheduling meal times for large numbers of guests.
    • This may not necessarily be the case for an outside caterer so care must be taken so that as well as that gorgeous food, catering services are delivered on time and are able to cater for all types of dietary requirements.
    • Catering intervals overrunning is another source of disruption. Establish the best times to factor in welcome drinks, canapés, dinner, and speech drinks.
    • It’s also a good idea to consider a separate eating location, if possible, to avoid the dinnertime rush and mitigate any undesirable delays.
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    Allow for delegates’ focus to wax and wane over the day. When drawing up your itinerary, tackle the most important content at the beginning of the session when delegates are likely to be more alert, and incorporate any group work or more stimulating tasks after the inevitable post-dinner slump, so as to boost engagement and reduce the likelihood of internal distractions.
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    Consider break-out times. Periodic breaks in the day during the event will allow guests a change of scenery and the opportunity to enjoy and revel in the moment of the event. Ensure there are enough refreshments, for example, available throughout the event or only at set times, and make sure the slots fit in with your itinerary.
    • Restricted time break-out slots can sometimes run in with other items on the itinerary so a good idea is to offer unlimited refreshments during the whole event to give flexibility to guests to help themselves as and when.
    • Drinking water points with water coolers can save delegates wandering around for a drink halfway through is well positioned.
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    Nip problems in the bud. In most cases, issues of one kind or another will most definitely arise––you've minimal control over the delegates, things not turning up as requested, power outages and so forth. It’s important to be prepared to address these issues as quickly and effectively as they arise to avoid dragging out the disruption and causing more damage. Of course, some small disruptions may be unavoidable, but don’t assume regular distractions are a normal and therefore an inevitable part of the event.
    • If you do encounter unacceptable levels of disruption—whether it be background noise, technical issues, or an unhelpful team member—alert someone in charge at the venue to quickly and constructively restore order to get things back on track.

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Categories: Ceremony & Reception | Hospitality