October 04, 2023
By Caroline Howard

Picture this, you spend three months planning your biggest event yet and the day comes and things start to go wrong. If you're an experienced event planner then you know this is bound to happen, but if this is your first event you might be caught off guard.

Here's a list of things that can and might go wrong at your event. If you know them now, it could save you later!

Things That Go Wrong at Events

  1. Weather
  2. Run out of food
  3. Speaker gets stuck in traffic
  4. Attendees don't show up
  5. Not enough event space available
  6. Bar tab goes over budget
  7. Not enough seats
  8. Too hot/cold
  9. Theme fell flat 
  10. Speaker drops out last minute
  11. Food doesn't meet expectations
  12. Fire
  13. Power outage
  14. Missing event items 
  15. The stage isn't set up right
  16. Attendees are confused
  17. CEO is unhappy in general 
  18. Way too much leftover food
  19. Speaker content is poor (offensive, not funny, dry, etc.)
  20. Important members are late
  21. AV company makes last minute changes
  22. Food is left out from the BEO 
  23. Scheduling is off
  24. Transportation mishap (falls through, late, accident, etc.)
  25. Forget to share documents beforehand, like powerpoints
  26. The speaker goes over time
  27. Not enough break time between segments
  28. Not enough water
  29. DJ plays a bad set
  30. The event is short-staffed
  31. Not enough parking
  32. More guests arrive than RSVP'd
  33. Parking is too far away
  34. Losing attendee attention
  35. Epic lines
  36. Something in the venue breaks (pipe burst, flooding, etc.)
  37. Event manager for venue doesn't show up
  38. Main event contacts don't answer their phones or go MIA
  39. Road blockage right before the venue
  40. Attendee/staff/speaker flights get delayed
  41. Medical emergency
  42. Forget to provide dietary options for food 
  43. Bathrooms out of order or not enough of them
  44. Rooming issues (not enough rooms, last minute cancellations, wrong room assignments, etc.)
  45.  Political incident

Now that you know 45 things that can go wrong at events, you're prepared for the worst! Hopefully, you avoid most of these, but you never know what will happen.

Need a way to make your events run more smoothly? Check out Cvent's Event Management Software. 

Caroline Howard

Northern Virginia native turned southerner at The University of South Carolina. My skills include planning 4,000 attendee corporate events and then blogging about them.

My friends always ask where I am, because when I'm not behind my laptop writing, I'm off exploring new places like Cuba and Spain.

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