I have written before about the importance of delegation in events management and having people to help and support you. However, what happens when too many people become involved and stop you from doing what you need to do?
All event managers have experienced it – the barrage of comments and ‘helpful advice’ from volunteers, colleagues or clients who think something should be changed last minute or offer their opinions on how the event should look or work. So, at what point do you have to get people to back off and let you organise an event the way in which you know it will work? This doesn’t include the tips and advice which help to build an event, but rather those ones which override the things you have already confirmed and have in place, or that go against those parts of an event which are essential but that only an event manager cares about (i.e. health and safety, fire hazards, etc).
Before it gets too much, the best approach is to thank the person for their comments and say “this is already in place, but in case anything changes, I’ll bear X in mind”. This usually helps to get them to back off for a while, but without offending them (good for clients and colleagues!).
You could also give them something else to focus their efforts on. Is there a part of the event which they could look after or take responsibility of? If so, send them that way…and away from you!
In my 10+ years of running events, I have come across this kind of behaviour on numerous occasions and find that one of the best ways of staying calm is to try and remember that the person’s intentions are good and they only want the event to be as successful as possible. Don’t forget that they usually think they are helping, and so are unlikely to realise what a burden they are becoming, so try to distract them or refocus their efforts without going into meltdown!