Event Planning Tips, Your Event Career
Be Ready to Deal with These 7 Party Guests
You can expect to meet a variety of different personalities at any social function you plan. If you’ve been hired to do day-of coordinating at a wedding, you’ll mostly be walking around to make sure the event is running like a well-oiled machine. Your job is to ensure that your clients are happy and having a great time, but you might find yourself whisked away in the fury of exuberant party guests.
If this is your first rodeo, here’s a rundown of 7 party guests you can expect to being dealing with.
1. The fixer-upper
You’ve seen these types around. From fixing a broken chair to casually readjusting an off-kilter picture frame, this type of guest is the party’s self-appointed, pro-bono handyman.
No matter how hard you’ve planned to make sure that everything goes well, there’s always a possibility that something can go askew. The fixer-upper is an opportunist who’s on the prowl—just waiting for something to go wrong. These guests are well-intentioned folks, but sometimes they may end up stepping over the line and start fixing things that aren’t broken.
It may be hard for them to stop playing master-carpenter or messing around with the table arrangements to suit their tastes. Just remember to be friendly but firm and gently nudge them towards the dance floor and distract them with the rowdy conga-line.
2. The networker
This guest doesn’t waste any time. You can recognize them by the way they start handing out business cards before they’ve even taken off their coat. This person has the flashiest smile and the sharpest suit. They come to the party with one objective and one objective only—to get their name out there. Whether they’re trying to swing a new job or promote their new start-up, they seem to be everywhere all at once. Expect them to twist all light-hearted conversation into advertisements about how great and competent they are.
The networker won’t just be a nuisance to the guests. As a working professional, they will undoubtedly try their hand at chatting you up. As with the majority of the guests on this list, be polite, but deftly pull yourself away. If they are being particularly clingy, excuse yourself to the back room and manage the behind-the-scenes action for a while. They’ll get the hint, hopefully.
3. The entertainer
This person lives the most interesting, Instagram-documented life. They know just enough about every subject to be able to participate in any conversation. Not only do they ooze charisma and charm, but they also have a knack for know exactly what to say and when to say it. How to spot them? Well chances are, they’ve already approached you and complimented your party-planning skills. Slick.
While this guest is definitely not like the other, more abrasive guests, the entertainer can cause you some problems. They may be you so engaging that you end up spending a little too much time with them. Even if this person has given you the most intellectually and emotionally stimulating conversation you’ve ever had, remember that you’re not being paid to chat with the guests! You have work to do, so politely pull yourself away (even if you don’t want to), and get back to coordinating! Your clients will be sure to thank you for your services.
4. The hot-mess
Every great event has a wildcard—it’s unavoidable. This party guest jumps in at random, sometimes awkward, moments and attempts to dominate the conversation. They should, theoretically, realize that if they are at a wedding party that it can’t revolve around them. But we can’t rely on logic sometimes. They are also the likeliest offenders to end up way too drunk by sipping other people’s unattended drinks.
This guest is a hurricane that somehow managed to take on human form. It may be easy to humor them at the beginning, but the most boisterous of their kind will escalate their bold behavior and may cause problems for your clients. While it may not be your job to babysit, you may end up having to hail a cab for them halfway through the program.
5. The emotional wreck
You’re not sure why this guest decided to come to a party to then spend the whole time wallowing in their own self-pity. They will alternate between bear-trapping a poor unsuspecting guest to listen to them reminisce about the “good ‘ole days” and sitting alone under their own personal storm cloud, silently picking at their food. If you hear them wailing about their own single-ness in a celebration of marriage unions, run the other way.
This Debbie Downer can put a damper at whatever table they are assigned to. Consider introducing them to the previously mentioned entertainer. If the entertainer is worth their salt, they’ll know how to turn that frown upside down. Otherwise… be prepared to comfort the emotional wreck with a box of tissues and a comforting pat on the back.
6. The self-proclaimed rival
Whether they are a certified event planner or just a party planning hobbyist, you can bet that they have something to say about your planning choices. Despite being a guest, this person isn’t in a celebratory mood at all. In fact, they spend more time examining your décor choices, questioning the wait staff, and scrutinizing the reception programming than socializing with the other guests.
Interactions with your “rival” might be the trickiest to maneuver. If this person is a big name in the wedding planning industry, shutting them down as they give you their “helpful tips” on planning may end up costing you in the long run.
Not only will bad blood tarnish both your reputations as professionals, but you never know when you might end up working with them. Your best bet is to diffuse the situation. Be polite, engage in light conversation with them, and then excuse yourself. They should know that you are there to do a job, and will respectfully allow you to go do it.
7. The child
No, we aren’t talking about an adult baby (although you certainly might come to know a few temper-tantrum throwing adults in your day!). Whenever families are involved, you can bet that there are children. Just because they’re half the size of an adult doesn’t mean that they are half the trouble! Even if you’ve convinced your clients to hire a supervisor / caregiver to attend the party and keep watch over the children, kids have a knack for running away to do their own thing.
Their free-spirited ways can spell disaster if they get tangled up in the light/sound systems or even run into a waiter carrying a full tray of food. Besides keeping them under your nose, the best thing you can do is keep them distracted. Be it shiny toy robots, the classic crayon-coloring book combo, or a Snakes and Ladders game on standby, there are plenty of ways to keep kids occupied. Just be sure that the play-equipment doesn’t leave a huge mess behind—say no to paints!
One response to “Be Ready to Deal with These 7 Party Guests”
Loved the 7 tips by Celine, great information. Yes I have seen these types of guests they can really be a challenge. But your tips ate great. Thank you