Big Event Fail: A Stickler Client


Chris Pridemore

Certain client requests may sometimes seem a little out of the ordinary and require extra attention to detail, but event teams still must follow the client’s instructions. Some people have certain things that they are sticklers about, which would leave little room for mistakes when managing their events.

Chris Pridemore, Tripleseat’s National Account Manager, tells his story about a big event fail he had back when working as a banquet manager on an event for a CEO who was a big stickler about a certain event detail.

“I was working for a theatre/event space in New York City as the Banquet Manager during the time of this event fail. We were hosting a book signing and talkback event at our venue for the CEO of a well-known coffee brand. His marketing team had warned me and my team that he was a big stickler for the venue only offering and serving products that were available in his stores. We had gone to great lengths to unplug and cover the vending machines in our lobby, remove posters for upcoming shows with other sponsors and also ordered food specifically from his store to cater at the venue. However, each attendee was to receive a complimentary water and swag bag upon entry. When creating these bags, we had chosen to simply use our standard bottled water, which was not a brand the CEO endorsed. When the CEO saw the bottles prior to any guests arriving, he was quite upset that they were not his brand.

“After seeing the CEO’s reaction, my team and I knew we had to make a change to the water bottles. We had a team of about 15 employees remove the labels from 600 bottles of water before any guests arrived.

“Although we put forth our best efforts to fix the water bottles, the CEO was still very upset to the point that he said he would never host an event at our venue again. From this event fail, I learned that every detail is significant to an event and you have to think about every possible problem. It is also important to communicate with other team members because they might think of something you missed.” 

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Get more advice from the event planning community
Read past Big Event Fail posts on the Tripleseat blog. And our EventCamp videos feature some of the top experts in events, restaurants, venues, hospitality and marketing. Check out the sessions on our EventCamp website – click Sessions on the top of the page to access the videos.