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Confessions of a First Time Event Planner

The event planning industry is no easy feat. Though it is often overlooked or underestimated, the amount of work that truly goes into pulling off events with no disasters or explosions is remarkable. Through my experience in helping to plan the Dine Like A Professional event hosted by PRSSA at LSU, I have gained a newfound respect for all the people pulling the strings behind the scenes at events.

In class, professors always tell us that if people know your name, it means you’ve done something terribly wrong. People pay more attention to bad experiences than good ones; it’s just human nature. The first rule of thumb for public relations professionals is not to give anyone anything negative to say about the event. People expect excellence, but excellence is what goes unnoticed. If there are no negative aspects of the event to remember, people have a better chance of remembering the positives and having an overall good feeling towards your organization or the event.

What people seem to notice, and often, are the things that go wrong at events. So, a professional must be able to think quickly on their feet and solve the problem before it even happens. Their work behind the scenes is what makes the event what it is.

Next time you go to an event, take a look around you and see if you can spot anything wrong. If the answer is no, there is likely a public relations professional thinking of every possible scenario and solving every problem before it becomes reality. Being well prepared for anything is what makes a good professional. So, hats off to all the professional event planners in the world, and a special thank you to everyone on the professional development committee for PRSSA at LSU who helped make the event excellent, even if it was what was expected.

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