Big Event Fail: An Unexpected Technical Incident


Chelsea Messick

There are some days where everything feels like it’s falling into place. Your events are coming together easily, and you’re having a typical, regular workweek.

However, an event professional should always expect the unexpected and have a Plan B at the ready.

Chelsea Messick, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, realized this when she came head to head with a freak maintenance accident at the most inconvenient time of the year. While most aspects of an event are in our control, there are some exceptions that make you think on your feet to react in time. Messick explains her event fail during her role as general manager below:

“We had a preventative maintenance appointment on the calendar for a tech person to come by and check our venue. The appointment was simply standard protocol and should have gone smoothly. Unfortunately, we ended up getting a brand new tech person for the appointment, and a standard check-in turned into our restaurant boiler being blown up! To make matters worse, it was the middle of a cold and snowy month of January when we really needed heat.

“This incident was obviously unplanned, so we had to think quickly. We were able to move many of the scheduled events to our sister restaurant for a discounted price for the inconvenience. Since our sister location is fifteen minutes from our location, we also offered to coordinate transportation for the guests.

“Some guests were disappointed about the change in plans, but honestly most guests felt bad for me because they understood that the stressful incident was out of my control. After this experience, I learned that not all fails are within our control, but we still must take ownership and move forward the best we can.”

Want to share your Big Event Fail?
Join Tripleseat’s Party People community on Influitive and submit your story through the Big Event Fail challenge. You can also connect with other event professionals online, attend our in-person Party People happy hours, and unlock opportunities for awesome prizes!

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.