There are so many ways to measure the success or failure of an event that you could argue the verdict can be spun any way you want. Maybe attendance was down, but you still achieved your fundraising goals. Perhaps the chicken was a little dry, but the carrot cake was simply to die for. See what I mean? With so many components to a successful event the grading scale is more complicated than simply pass or fail.
No matter how you analyze an event's success within your organization, there is one rating scale that you can always count on: The opinion of your guests. When attendees walk away with value, the sound of laughter and a buzz of accomplishment fills the room. A good keynote speaker will attract a line of people waiting to shake his or her hand. When the cocktail reception sparks new business relationships, your boss will get flooded with raving emails. Good news spreads quickly.
As planners, we sometimes let minor annoyances haunt the memories of an otherwise great performance. We have nightmares about the vegetarian who was accidentally served roast beef, or the brief microphone trouble that kicked off the event. Obviously these are you want to discuss with your supporting cast, but did anyone else even notice? In the end, if all your guests walked away with a smile, there is not much else that matters.
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