In Part 1, I shared with you the disaster that befell me as I walked out the door for the conference. I also showed you some preventive actions I could have taken to eliminate possible causes of the disaster before it even happened. In Part 2, let’s talk about what happens when you do all you can to preventive tragedy and it still happens. What contingent actions can actually reduce the effect of the problem?
We opened registration on Thursday afternoon at 4:00. The on-site registrations came in in a trickle. Only 14 people registered. We heaved a sigh of relief. This was going to be just fine. We would make it through without folks knowing (unless we told them) what are challenges were. Dinner was a celebration with an adult libation and a good night’s sleep. We did not have to activate any of the planned contingent actions.
Friday dawned bright and early. We were down in the registration area at 6:30 to make sure we were ready. Because the last 2 years have been relatively slow in on-site registration I had dropped the number of counters and volunteers we needed for on-site considerably. The doors opened at 7:00 and there was a long line already waiting for us to open. That line did not diminish for over 2 hours. We registered 120 people in that time frame. That does not include the folks who had pre-registration challenges like they didn’t pay; they weren’t members; they needed to prove they were students. You get it right? Oh, and I had groups of one-day registrations that had been done during pre-registration for which I had not record. Remember this was the file I did not print before the hack.
One contingent action was that when the line was too long, I stepped away from the badge printer and took registrations and payments. This helped the line to move more quickly and to get the attendees to their first presentation. With those who had registered for one-day only, I am happy to say that each group brought with them the list of folks who had pre-registered and there was no question of how they had registered/paid.
At the end of the 2 hours, we finally could breathe a sigh of relief. I personally still needed to input and print the badges for that 120 people. There were a few that grumbled and a few who never returned to pick up their badge. (It makes you wonder if they were able to get to what they wanted to see and hear without the badge or did they just pay and wander off to Disneyland. Who knows but them!) Overall it was successful because I and my team knew how challenges would be handled before they actually occurred. When you plan contingent actions, they are like disaster recovery plans – you hope you never have to pull them off the shelf and implement them.
Right now it is the end of the day. We have handed out all but around 50 of the 800 pre-registration badges and have cleaned up all the work we did today. I even had a moment to walk through the exhibit area to see what wonderful books, programs, jewelry and massage were available. I know that in a lull tomorrow, I intend to take advantage of our great massage therapist. In addition, it appears she is a network marketer who might be interested in working with me on Herding Cats.
It was definitely a day to remember and to tell stories to future conference goers. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!
What contingent actions have you planned for your team to not deviate too far from your course to a successful team with high retention and soaring residual income?
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Linda Patten, MBA, BSN, RN has over 30 years of experience leading women to success in building and achieving their dreams. She turns networking marketing women from product sellers to leaders of highly functioning teams. To learn more about her innovative programs, click on Contact Us.