As the Secretary and Vice President of Education for my local chapter, I was responsible for creating the agenda and looking for volunteers for each of the events. While I enjoy helping out, this role comes with its share of challenges. Here are some of the challenges I encountered: speaker cancelling last minute, people stuck in project, last minute work demand, sudden no show—to name a few of the excuses I received over the last eight months.
Like any event, no matter what the challenge and obstacles, the show must go on. Here are some of the ways I managed to handle the last-minute challenges:
- Always have a backup speech.
- Use table topic to drive the session.
- Create an open discussion, asking, if you could make one change in our club, what would that be?
- Share fun facts for each of the members or play “a lie and two truths.”
Last minute changes create a headache for the organizer, but I look at it as an opportunity to apply my creativity. The goal is getting out of the jam and achieving a good outcome. In my opinion, you have to live with the fact that the best kept plan might not work. When things do not work out, always look for the next best solution instead of lamenting why people drop off at the last minute. You cannot control people’s last-minute actions, but you can choose how you react to the situation and still provide the best experience for your audience.