Yikes. Nobody likes to talk about crises, but that’s almost a reason why we should talk about them. Crises are inevitable, so let’s all agree not to ignore the subject and be prepared.
When something goes wrong, whether it’s before, during, or after an event, it’s important to stay calm and get an understanding of what occurred, why it occurred and how to ensure it won’t occur again. Once the situation has been handled and everything has settled, it’s time for a team meeting with everyone who was involved. Do not – I repeat, do not place blame on anyone. Pointing fingers will make the situation worse before it gets better. Use the meeting simply to touch bases on how you can improve as a team.
It may require a look at company policies or you may need to do some good old-fashioned mediating between team members. Your recovery plan depends on the type of crisis that you faced, but it’s imperative that you address it immediately to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Take some time to reevaluate your risk management plan if you have one, or to create one if you don’t. It’s also your responsibility to reach out to the client and provide a solution to the issue, whether it’s a simple apology or a refund.
If worse comes to worst and the crisis puts you in front of the public, be it a bad review or a viral video, do what you can to diffuse the situation. Don’t ignore or try to delete negative comments – this can come across as shady and now is the time that you need to emphasize your transparency as a company. When responding, be respectful and stick to the facts. Take responsibility and see if there is a way to resolve the situation.
Although it can seem like the best move is to continue analyzing what you could have done differently, it’s important to learn from it and move on. It can be easy to dwell on a crisis situation, even after it has been settled. However, by giving the situation more attention than necessary, you take away from your present work and can diminish your self-esteem. Rather than overthinking, take your lesson and continue pushing forward.
People make mistakes – get used to it. The difference between a success and a failure, however, is the courage to get back on the horse and keep going. Don’t give up just because something went wrong. If everyone did, the events industry wouldn’t be as competitive as it has grown to be today! We all slip up from time to time, so stick it out and keep it moving.