Event Hangover

After any big event, there is a hangover. You get invoices paid, you’re looking over recap reports and feedback from attendees, and then it hits you. You simply don’t have the motivation to do another thing.

Thinking about the next year is exciting. You know there is a lot to do and you want to act while things are fresh in your head, but a comfy chair while binge watching Netflix is the only thing you can do.

When It’s Over

The time to plan for the end of your event is at the beginning. Event planners can envision what their event looks like when the curtain goes up, but what about when the last piece of garbage is picked up?

I’m painfully aware while typing this blog that I’m a hypocrite. I just wrapped up my latest event Brandemonium and I’m just getting started on the end. I should have had the online survey, thank you letters, and site updates completed last week. I should have put this event to bed so I could actually sleep. Going through ‘to do’ lists has the opposite effect of counting sheep.

Deadlines Keep You Honest

I’m working on a big event and it’s less than a week away. Needless to say, I’m understaffed and overwhelmed. One thing is for certain, event deadlines keep you honest.

I’ve worked in other industries, but there is nothing quite like an event deadline. You don’t promote a festival that is “Coming in Summer of 2018.” Event planners publish specific dates and times and that’s that.

The Flake Factor

Why do they do it? Why do people agree to perform or volunteer only to bail at the last minute? Welcome to a nagging variable event planners face: The Flake Factor.

There are warning signs. If the person is from out of town, they never get around to making their travel arrangements. If a request for information is emailed, they never reply. It’s bad enough to make a commitment and then back out, but why string the event planner along?

Building Consensus

When planning my first major event, the one thing I did not anticipate was the need to build consensus. I figured I would tell people about the MidPoint Music Festival and everyone would jump on board. I was very, very wrong.

I remember pitching potential sponsors, the venues, the media, etc. and walking away very frustrated. I was baffled by the negative or ambivalent response; however, I kept at it. It was not because I had a tough skin. I just wanted to see the idea become reality.

Is There Ever a Good Time?

As people change their preference from buying things to buying experiences, the number of new events is growing rapidly. According to IBIS Word, the event industry currently boasts an annual growth of 4.8%. Since there are only so many days in a year – and hours in a day – it’s getting harder and harder to find the right time to have an event.


One tricky aspect of event planning is handling capacity. Long lines and bottlenecks are indicators that capacity has not been properly addressed. Or has it?

Event Signs and Wayfinding

Signs and wayfinding might be the most overlooked aspect of an event. When I started doing events in 2002, I got stuck with this job and did not care for it one bit. I was ill prepared my first time out. I just bought a bunch of bungee cords, zip ties, rope, etc. and drove to Over the Rhine (Cincinnati, OH) with a car full of vinyl banners. All the bars participating in the MidPoint Music Festival were supposed to get a banner, but no two venues were the same. Some venues had nothing to attach a banner to. Other venues required a longer ladder than I had.

DiaZam to the Rescue

I founded Bunbury in 2012. The event takes place in downtown Cincinnati along the Ohio River. One of the stages – sponsored by the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) – sits at the bottom of the Serpentine Wall. It’s a great location for a stage because people watching the bands can see the river, the boats going by, and the Newport skyline…except when it floods.