When PSY came down to Penang to perform at the highly politicised BN Chinese New Year concert recently, it triggered numerous videos that went viral, including the above video, which highlighted the very poor and inept event management skills of the company that conducted the concert.
Picking myself up from the floor after laughing too hard, it suddenly struck me that apart from the humourous, epic-fail side of this video, it could also be very beneficial to everyone in the event management industry – as a superb real-life case study of what NOT to do when managing any event!
Without further ado, I proudly present 10 event management lessons you can instantly learn from this video:
1. Prioritize your event agenda: If the main highlight of the entire event was PSY’s concert, it wouldn’t be a sin to discard some items on the agenda…like this Loh Sang activity. After all, having too many items on the agenda would easily dilute the main highlight, on top of eating up too much time and also cause too much discomfort to the people in the sweltering heat. Which brings us to point no 2…
2. Take care of your audience: Personally, I would think the Loh Sang activity would work if it was a CNY Dinner or some makan gathering, where every other table in attendance also had its own set so everyone can lou hei together-gether. In a concert setting, it would seem quite illogical to conduct the activity for just the VVIPs whilst the rakyat watches on under the hot, hot sun!
3. Make sure the size is right: And even if you were somehow forced to conduct the Loh Sang activity, it would be best to ensure that the portion set before the VVIPs is big enough or sufficient. I don’t know about all of you, but the entire segment where the big horde of VVIPs hovering over the small Yee Sang dish seems so, so wrong…
4. Plan the event flow, and stick with it: The video highlighted what the entire mess of the program flow. Should the Yee Sang come out first? Was there going to be any speeches before the ceremony? How were the VVIPs supposed to stand? When were they supposed to start? Should PSY be invited too? It was quite clear that the program flow was certainly not under control…
5. Confirm (and confirm again) the roles of the guest of honor: It seemed quite evident that PSY wasn’t pre-warned or informed of the Loh Sang ceremony. His ‘rejection’ to participate could very easily be avoided if all his roles and responsibilities were spelt out clearly, even before he arrived in Penang.
6. Designate a floor manager to control the workers: You know you have a complete mess on your hands when you see the ministers on stage start to order the workers around. This has got to be well communicated from the start that all the event workers will only take instructions from a designated floor manager for more effective implementation of the event.
7. Filter your event emcee: It was just plain downright comical how the emcee was allowed to wander all over the stage in the middle of the planned Loh Sang ceremony. To top it all off, I don’t know just how long more the VVIPs nor the crowd could stand her high-pitched screaming and meaningless commentaries..
8. Be conscious of prop movements on stage: Watching the Yee Sang table being carried here, there and everywhere is really BAD, and EMBARRASSING….
9. Be time conscious: It was already bad enough that PSY refused to join in the Loh Sang ceremony. What was worst was this awkward 5+ minutes of DUH? time when the (already sweating and tired) crowd and the VVIPs stood around and did nothing but clap and hoped that PSY would turn up. An easy cover would be for the emcee to apologetically announce that PSY was still getting ready backstage and quickly proceed with the Loh Sang cermony. Timeliness is always key in any event management.
10. Advise the VVIPs on stage protocols: In the midst of waiting and waiting for PSY, some of the VVIPs actually started to fiddle with their smartphones, taking pictures of the crowd, possibly tweeting, etc. Personally, I don’t think it was rather appropriate at such a function.