10 Event Planning Nightmares That Keep Our Customers Up at Night


Happy Halloween to all of our event professionals out there! This scary holiday comes with many haunted stories, spooky decor, and so much candy that your stomach may hurt. Halloween lovers may enjoy exchanging scary stories about haunted abandoned houses or getting lost in a corn maze, all that could be considered “nightmares.”

At Tripleseat, with many years of experience in the events world, we also understand that life as an event professional comes with its own nightmares. While it may not be the same as a nightmare from a dark Halloween tale, these event planning nightmares bring their own fear and can keep event professionals up at night, too. We asked some of our customers to let us know what event planning nightmare keeps them up at night and why this nightmare is just so scary to them. In the spirit of Halloween we want to share these nightmares, and let you all know that it will be okay!

What is your event planning nightmare that keeps you up at night and why?

1. Lila Sommier, Event Sales Manager at El Dorado Kitchen: Power outages and fires
“Two years ago in October, we had massive fires here in Sonoma, Calif. Then last year in October we had major smoke from fires up north. Now again in October we have gone through three power outages planned by Pacific Gas and Electric. On top of that, we have major smoke from a huge fire in our county. I don’t think I will ever relax about high winds in the month of October again!”

2. Dena Tidwell, Director of Events & Catering at Ole Red Nashville: Transportation
“I am always afraid that I will forget to book transportation and my entire group will be stranded waiting. I am not generally responsible for transportation, but on occasion have done so to help and it is my worst fear!” 

3. Alecia Nagle, Sales & Events Manager for RW Events at the Cypress Grove Estate: Bad weather during weddings
“Weather! It is never a fun conversation to have on a wedding day, and it is truly a bride’s worst nightmare.” 

4. Thomas Young, Catering Sales Manager at Charlie Palmer Steak: Blank BEOs
“Forgetting to detail a BEO haunts me at least once a week! I will wake up and check to make sure that I did.” 

5. Samantha Able, Director of Corporate & Private Events at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse: No holiday bookings
“Not doing well enough for the restaurant or my servers in the holiday season! I would feel terrible if we did not come out on the other side feeling like we were fully booked and did great business.” 

6. Rebecca Walter, Banquet Coordinator at Original Oyster House: Disappearing linens
“Forgetting the linen order! We can cook up food, but we can’t make linen appear!” 

7. Lauren Rullo, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Weber Grill Restaurant: The dreaded double-booking
“That I have double booked a space! I have only had it happen once in my career and I was able to fix it because I realized it far enough in advance and I had a second space available. I have had guests call me though, and tell me that other venues have done that to them all the time. I always give my guests the first right of refusal on a space for 24 hours after I have contacted them by phone and email, even if it is an inquiry and I haven’t sent them a contract.” 

8. Joscelyn Runnells, Event Sales Manager at Earl Enterprises: Cancellations
“We have a very small cancellation window of only two days’ notice!” 

9. Ali Saladin-Valerio, Senior Event Sales Manager at Max’s Wine Dive: Botching the booking
“That the event is booked for the wrong location or the wrong date!”

10. Melanie Papandrea, Director of Events at Casey Moran’s, Deuce’s Major League Bar & The Diamond Club, and Sugar Factory: An empty plate
“I just had a nightmare that the food portion of the BEO wasn’t showing up … and it was the day of the party and no food was prepared. That was not a good dream!” 

Event professionals can handle anything

We all have nightmares of our worst fears coming to life that may cause us to wake us up in the middle of the night to check BEOs or hourly weather forecasts. Although Halloween may bring spooky stories, they are just stories, and just remember that you are probably better off and more prepared than you think to handle any challenge coming your way!

In fact, many of our customers have shared the skills and know-how that help them think on their feet and get themselves out of any event planning nightmare. Read our Big Event Fail posts to find out how your peers have saved the day when their event nightmares came to life!