As Event Managers we are taught to say YES! Is it ever okay to say NO?

Kim Hesse sm

Kim Hesse

Hello Event Ninjas!
Oh this is an interesting topic. Steph, thanks so much for sending this question to me.
“We are always taught to say YES as Event Managers, is it ever okay to say NO?”
As event managers it’s drilled into us to be yes people, to solve problems and make miracles happen.

But is it ever okay to say no to a request that comes through to you?
Yes, absolutely it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say no if that request is going to jeopardise your event. If it’s going to make your event goals unachievable, if it means you and your team need to pull an all nighter and you are going to be stressed and frazzled going into the event.

I know last minute requests are inevitable, if you have to say no, don’t just say no…
Don’t just say no and keep going. Could you offer some suggestions? Something along the lines of “Yes, we can make this happen, if we do though it may mean that x,y,z is not going to be completed” OR “Yes, we can make this happen, if we do though it’s going to impact this section of the event.”

Ask the person making the request of you to decide which task is more important
The person making this request could be a sponsor, your boss or your client and because they aren’t an event manager, they don’t understand the intricacies of your job, nor the time or extra work this one little request is going to take.

That’s why they have you, you are the expert
You’re the one who sits above the event, you can see all of the pieces come together and if this one request is going to make some of those pieces fall apart then it’s your job to pick that up and not say YES to everything.

If something goes wrong at the event, it’s your responsibility, you’re the Event Manager
Take your time in responding to requests that may impact your event. Think about them and go back with some options for them to choose from. This proves you are the expert, you know what you are doing and that my event planning friends is exactly why you are in that role – because others need your advice and expertise and they depend on you to provide that.

So back yourself, trust your intuition and do what ever it takes to ensure the success of your event.

Have you had a request that you have said yes to, then regretted? Or maybe you have a cool way to handle last minute requests? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply.
Keep running events, connecting people and changing lives.
x Kim

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