Do You Meet Your Own Standards

Planners forget the basics

One thing that always makes me laugh is planners. We will work 24/7/365 ensuring that everyone involved in an event has their shit together yet sometimes, we forget to check what we are doing and that ends up bringing down the whole show.

This week, I became the poster child for unforeseen truckloads of crap that could have been prevented.

Let me walk you through it…..

I am scheduled to speak in Mexico and made sure that all of the details were set. I checked the flights, the room, the program, my presentation, etc, etc, etc, etc….. but I left my own details unchecked.

I have been traveling on this passport for a long, long time and as you can see, it is a little worn around the edges and the back is peeling away…. I never gave it a thought because no one has really ever said anything….. BUT I SHOULD HAVE NOTICED and I should have said….”time to get a new one” but I didn’t and because I didn’t, the American Airline’s ticket counter lady finally said “no traveling on a damaged passport”… that is the rule.

meeting planner passport
uh huh, little raggy there
Damaged Passport
Peeling like a sunburn…

Now, to be fair (to me!), no one ever said anything… I have had people laugh and I have had people comment that it looks really used but no one, including US Border agents ever said “you should replace this” so I put it out of mind.

Just because I am being fair to myself does not let me off the hook however.

I would never let a vendor show up with worn out table throws, worn out AV equipment or worn out printers… why should I be any different? Why should I not hold myself to the same standards that I hold everyone else too?

Because I did not check my own shit, yesterday cascaded out of control.

There was the stupid exchange at the American Airlines counter (I am always sweet to the people working, it is not their fault), then the call to my ride to come back to the airport and get me (at 4:00 am), the emails to the event producers saying that I may not make it (embarrassment), the leaving of the phone where it could not be found because I was busy thinking about other stuff (needed it to make calls), the call to the passport office (uggg), the visit to the passport office (bigger ugg), the call to the ATT Store (who likes to call them), the visit to the ATT Store (even worse than calling), the tearing the car and house apart looking for my phone (clean up), the eventual finding of the phone (in a place 5 people had checked) and all of the other ensuing garbage that goes with a day like this and it does not stop there because I still do not know if I will get a replacement passport (stress).

But what made this day truly awful is that I feel that I am really letting some great people down.

I have great information to share with this audience and they want me to share it and now I may not be able too. I am working to get a new passport and may make the show if the stars align, there is a northwest wind and the Dali Lama smiles 4 times on Wednesday….. All of which could happen.

So, before your next event, look at what you are doing and make sure that YOU meet your own standards. Is your binder perfect, it your outfit good for the job, is your desk clean, is your passport in need of a refresh…..DID YOU REMEMBER TO <<INSERT WHAT YOU NEED TO DO HERE>>.

Remember, a perfect event starts with you and if you are not up to the job, the show may not go on.

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Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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