Tales of Excess: 8 Planners Behaving Badly at Events

If you’re in the events industry, you’ve probably had an “over it” moment where you thought about that difficult client and then said to yourself, “I deserve this gift bag, even though it’s full of expensive stuff and only meant for attendees.”

We don’t blame you! And you’ve entered a No Judgement Zone here today. We snooped around and got 8 event professionals to give us their “over it” moments (illustrated with gifs, of course). Everybody’s got secrets…

1. Liquor free-for-all

“I was on the board of directors for a local marketing association and we had our big annual fundraising gala, which unfortunately fell on a snowy night and we had a lot of no-shows. At the end of the night, there was an open bar with many bottles of liquor and wine we had purchased ahead of time. Some of the event volunteers were helping themselves to the bottles, and instead of chastising them, we let them have a free-for-all and sat back and watched them. It was akin to watching crazed mothers fight over the last toy at a Black Friday sale.”


2. Vegas vacation

“At several of the major casinos on the strip­ the team members know that the best food in the employee dining halls comes about one hour after a big convention banquet closes. Line up for prime rib and turkey! I have found that the best giveaways are at big oil, military, and technology events.”


3. Today’s Special Value

“I was working an event in New York where David Venable, of QVC ‘In The Kitchen With David’ fame, was launching some new products with the media in attendance. They were giving away a 40 lb bag of products to attendees – a panini press, fancy trivets, some sort of space age can opener – and the event staff spent the entire time plotting how we were going to make away with bags for ourselves. After sneaking items into our personal bags all night, Mr. Venable himself came to thank us at the end of the night and ended up just giving us the extra bags in gratitude. Then we all felt like horrible people.”


4. Coat checking

“Everyone knows coat check is where it’s at. You’re only busy at the beginning and end of the night – plus people just hand you money for literally doing nothing but your job and sitting around all night. Back in my early catering days, we would all rush to coat check at a big event at the end of the night no matter what position we had been assigned. If you were smart about it, you could crash coat check and walk away with thirty extra bucks.”


5. Trojan horse

“I was working a big anniversary celebration for an important couple one year. They had hired a famous florist to provide elaborate centerpieces and I spent the whole evening lusting after these gorgeous arrangements. They had made it clear to the staff that they wanted the centerpieces intact at the end of the night so that one of their assistants could come pick them up the next day. I was the last one in the venue that night (as always) so I ended up taking one home with me despite what we had been told. Little did I know, it was completely infested with bugs and I spent the next six weeks battling an insect army in my house.”


6. Throw me a freakin’ bone here

“The catering team had these heinous mandarin collared zip-ups they would have to wear every once in a while to hoity-toity events. I really needed a Halloween costume quick one year, so I went to the closet where they kept the stash of them and took one for myself and an xx-small for my daughter. We were Dr. Evil and Mini Me.”


7. Stress relief

“A coworker and I once discovered 4 cases of surplus wine glasses. They were just…sitting there…calling to us. After everyone had left one night, we set two aside for drinking a bottle of wine and then took turns hurling the others, one by one, down a flight of concrete stairs.”


8. You got served

“Serving trays make really good sleds. Enough said.”