Sarah Fejfar 0:00
I think seeing empty chairs gives people a sense of question and unease of are more people supposed to be here and why didn't they come in? I did come, let's just eliminate all of those questions from their heads.
Sarah Fejfar 0:13
Okay, let's make it look like that you have to add at the last minute. Everyone's been led into the ballroom. And there's still a couple people without a seat that feels better than all of these empty tables and chair, how are entrepreneurs like us daring bravely to build a stage? Ditch the sweat pants, and step up to the mic? How do we create our own transformative offense? So we can get our message out into the world in a bigger way? It's not only profitable, but it's actually something we can be proud of.
Sarah Fejfar 0:48
That's the question. And the answers are inside this podcast. My name is Sarah Fejfar. Welcome to greenroom Central.
Sarah Fejfar 0:56
Okay, so so many people come to me freaking out and wondering what to do, because less people are showing up to their event than they planned. And so today on the podcast, we are going to talk about what to do. And the first thing to do is to not freak out. And I know that's so hard. And again, like easier said than done. But I really need you to be grace under pressure. There's a lot of people looking at you.
Sarah Fejfar 1:32
During this time, your team, the support team that you've hired your guests, and you need to be grace under pressure. Okay, so first is Don't freak out. Second thing I want you to do, if less people are showing up than planned is to determine what is your goal? What feeling do you want your guests to have during this experience you're creating, and I want you to name it. And I know that that seems super simplistic and irrelevant. But in a bit, we're gonna get back to why that naming that feeling, writing that down, is going to be so important.
Sarah Fejfar 2:24
It's, it's kind of like when I teach you in live event Academy to start with y times two, why are you hosting this event for your business? And why are you hosting this event for your community, those actors, your lighthouse, and the filter through which you make all of your decisions going forward? Well, this is kind of like a hyper focused version of that. So name, the feeling that you want your guests to experience at the event. That's number two. Number one, don't freak out. Number two, name the feeling.
Sarah Fejfar 2:59
Third, what I want you to do is to decide in advance months in advance when you're going to decide how to fix this, quote unquote, problem of less people showing up than you'd planned, okay. And the reason why I want you to decide in advance is because at the point at which it's time to make that decision, there's a lot of pressure on you as the event host, and a lot of things competing for your attention. And so removing the decision about when you'll make the decision really, really helps.
Sarah Fejfar 3:48
When I was in Florida once hosting an event, I had planned this gorgeous, magical, beautiful pool party. For one evening, we had gotten all of these amazing beach balls, I think they were all white of different sizes. And the plan was to float them in the pool and light them up beautifully with brand colors and just had all of these very kind of pool centric, themed fun things to do for the evening, all centered around being outside at this hotel pool for the night. And I think two days before the day before the hotel came to me and they said what time are we making the decision if the party will be outside or inside and I said of course is going to be outside.
Sarah Fejfar 4:53
I've looked at the weather mag map it looks amazing. We're having an outside and I A? And they said, no, no, we need to make a decision that day, at a certain time of when whether we're going to have it inside or outside. And we need to pick a time now. And I didn't want to, because in my head, we're having that party outside. That's, that's the plan. And they really pushed and said, No, we need to pick a time. And I think we picked like three o'clock. And I said, well, it doesn't matter, because it's not gonna rain. And then we get to that day, and we get to that time.
Sarah Fejfar 5:36
And it still looks really good on the weather from how, you know, from my, from my standpoint, and the hotel staff kept telling me know, the weather patterns in Florida are different, I was a Minnesotan at the time. And it's, you can see the rain coming, you see it on the map, and you know what it's going to arrive. And they said, it's not like that here. We're in the season where storms can pop up at any time. And the way the weather map looks, it appears like that's going to happen tonight. And so we really advise that we move it inside. And I very reluctantly said, okay, and sure enough, it was pouring cats and dogs that night.
Sarah Fejfar 6:25
But we did have the time then to have set it all up inside, to have taken all those beautiful beach balls, and someone had the idea to take a fishing line and weave it through the closures, the where the air goes in, there's like a little loop and tie them all together into these big towers of a beach ball just kind of repurposing the decor that we had. And, and then the the tech team put like water colors into the in some use and cool gobos that made it look like it was water kind of on all of the walls of the ballroom was a little cheesy. Yeah. But it turned out beautiful.
Sarah Fejfar 7:10
And if we had waited, we wouldn't have been able to set up something. So it's such a beautiful experience inside the ballroom. And our guests wouldn't have had an amazing time. And I tell you all of that, because when we wait to make the decision, after the time that the team recommends is the time to make the decision, we put a lot of pressure on a lot of people that are helping us bring our event vision to fruition. And it's not fair, it's not fair to put that type of pressure and stress on the team that is holding our event in their hands.
Sarah Fejfar 7:55
And so I recommend you working with your team, whether it's the team at the venue, your personal like business team and your tech team and asking them, hey, let's say that less people are planning to come than we anticipate. At what point do you need to make the do we need to make the final decision on the room layout and the plan. And if that's two weeks out, or one week out, or two days out, I don't know for what it is for you. But I want you to have that conversation months in advance and make a decision together and then stick to it. And you'll be so thankful that you did because you will reduce the pressure on your team.
Sarah Fejfar 8:45
And they'll feel better and happier about working with you through those changes. So now that we've first decided not to freak out and second, decided to we've named the feeling that we want our event guests to experience at our event. And we've decided when we'll make the decision on how to adjust things right. The fourth thing I want to talk to you about is what changes to make.
Sarah Fejfar 9:14
So if less people are coming than planned, you have two options. One you can change the space. So you can say well, this ballroom, this hotel is not the right fit. Maybe the hotel will work with us. If they have another space open and allow us to move to a different space. That's an option. That probably shouldn't cost much if anything at all. You could change space in terms of changing the venue entirely and then you might be out some money for sure.
Sarah Fejfar 9:54
Or third and this shouldn't cost anything is changed the layout of the space you will lot of options. Let's, let's pretend for the sake of our conversation today that you're in a hotel bar ballroom. Well, if the ballroom is just way too big for the amount of people that you now have showing up, you have some options. They're easy, you can bring the stage forward, and then pipe and drape off the line right behind the stage and just leave a bigger gap behind the stage. Most people won't notice how big the room is, when you do that, and then you can kind of dim the lights.
Sarah Fejfar 10:39
So people don't see how high the ceilings are, you can perhaps even pull an air wall and make the space that you have smaller. So those are some options to make it feel smaller, and have the guests not notice. Another option is if you can't make the space smaller in that respect, you can make the space feel more intimate by filling it with more stuff. So one way to fill a room with seats is theater seating, it's just chairs, you get the most amount of people with theater seating. But if you have less people showing up than you plan, you might want to switch to classroom seating. And classroom seating is where you add those long skinny tables in rows.
Sarah Fejfar 11:28
And then you can make one more adjustment beyond that. And instead of long skinny tables, which is classroom, you can do rounds, like banquet rounds. And they have all different sizes of rounds, you can do cocktail rounds, or I think they have was like eight foot and 10 foot rounds, you have to figure out what sizes you have to work with. But you can bring in the bigger size of rounds. And then you can see people only on the side facing this stage. So that's called Crescent rounds. And you can seat five people to around or you can even seat for people to around. And so those tables just take up way more space. And they just, they fill it and they make it it makes it feel more full. And if grand is your your goal, it'll feel like that.
Sarah Fejfar 12:27
It might even make it feels slightly more intimate if you're able to combine a couple of these strategies where you're able to bring the stage forward or close some era walls or adjust the lighting, so it's more dim. I think all I think you can see now visualize how you can make these adjustments, add to your floor plan and achieve that feeling. And that's where we go back to number two, where I said, let's name the feeling that you want your guests to experience? Is it intimacy? Is that a sense of grandeur? What is it for you about being in the space that you want them to feel in, and then let's have that lens on as we're making these adjustments.
Sarah Fejfar 13:16
Another thing that you can do, and this will this would be number five is on site. You can and this isn't this is something again, you would decide in advance and communicate with your team as this is how we run an event. These are part of our procedures, you can adjust the number of seats on the fly, if you're watching, you're registered that you know how many signed up for the event to come. And, and that number in and of itself is lower than you expected. But then let's say there are less people actually showing up on site than you expected. Keep a close eye on that because you can pull some tables out of the room, pull some chairs out of the room on the fly, so that it doesn't appear that there are any missing people.
Sarah Fejfar 14:16
There are no empty chairs. That definitely helps a lot. I think seeing empty chairs gives people a sense of question and unease of are more people supposed to be here and why didn't they come in? I did come let's just eliminate all of those questions from their heads. Okay, let's make it look like that you have to add at the last minute. Everyone's been led into the ballroom and there's still a couple people without a seat that feels better than all of these empty tables and chairs so you can have a stack of chairs planned in the back of the room where you're able to add some after you've let everyone in.
Sarah Fejfar 14:57
To kind of give that era of Oh, wow, more people have arrived than we have planned. Okay. So now that we've covered those five things, which is not freaking out, deciding in advance when you'll decide changing the space, right, we're naming the feeling that we want guests to experience. And then on site, we're monitoring the amount of people who are actually checking in and actually showing up to each sessions because it can adjust, you know, people might decide after lunch to not come down because they want to get some work done. So keep a keep a close eye on that.
Sarah Fejfar 15:41
Last Last thing I will leave you with is, I really want your focus during this whole time when you're making adjustments because less people are showing up than you had planned, I want you to focus on serving those guests who are in the room versus worrying about the guests who aren't in the room, the people who made it, their your ride or die, they just serve them well. And they will have and then insert that the word that that that feeling that you want to evoke in your guests, they'll have that type of experience, when they feel seen, heard and celebrated.
Sarah Fejfar 16:27
And so don't take your eye off the ball of serving, who is with you, in an effort to worry about all of the people who didn't come, okay, we'll get the next time. Right, that's when you'll go to filling events.com and grab that guide 107 ways to fill your event and make a plan to market your event in a different and more robust way. Next time, Thailand, your messaging, just refine, refine, refine, okay. And then the other thing that I would want you to focus on is documenting during your event.
Sarah Fejfar 17:10
So I really recommend a professional videographer and a professional photographer who focused on event marketing, marketing event storytelling, I want you to focus on documenting the angles, and the feelings that will evoke a fear of missing out on and then again, insert that word that we came up with before. That feeling that you want guests to have at your event that experience, the pictures, the videos of the angles and the moments and the feelings of your experience.
Sarah Fejfar 17:53
And once you document that, because 99.99999% of your next event guests are watching on social media and in your email newsletter. They are watching and trying to decide if they should make it into the room next time. And so your job is to document work with what you have. Get someone who's really good at photo and video, document. Invest in that so that you have all of these beautiful assets that evoke that feeling that you want your your guests to experience at your event. You have all those beautiful new assets to use when you're marketing the next event.
Sarah Fejfar 18:47
Yes. All right. I hope this is helping you feel better about how to handle the situation when it comes up. Feeling more armed with a plan. Go back and listen to this one and take notes if you were in the car on the peloton while we were hanging out together today and know that it's okay. It's totally okay. It really is all about being grace under pressure here. You got this. Thank you for listening to the greenroom central podcast. If you love this episode, then please take a screenshot on your phone and post it to Instagram and be sure to tag at Sarah Fejfar and let me know why you liked it and what you'd like to
Sarah Fejfar 19:36
hear or who you'd like to hear from in the future that would help me know what to create for you. Also, if it's on your heart to host your first or next event in 2023 and you need a jumpstart. Let's connect for a strategy session. Just go to greenroom central.com in a two hour intensive private session. I can help you pivot scale or start your event vision from scratch.
Sarah Fejfar 20:03
Together, we will build an actionable plans that you can feel confident and clear on your next steps. Go to greenroom central.com. Right now to sign up. This podcast is built on Kajabi. I loved how easy it was to get things set up, but more so I'm thrilled that my entire business is run within one platform, from my emails to my pages to my courses, and my podcast. It's all under one roof. If you love simplicity and scalability as much as I do, then go to greenroom. central.com To get a free 14 day trial from Kajabi.
Sarah Fejfar 20:40
I appreciate your commitment to leveling up and learning the mindset and strategy of live events. Keep going, keep learning. If you want more, head over to green on sexual.com For show notes and all the links in today's episode.