You Can’t Please Everyone – A Lesson Learned

Event planning can be a tricky business. Large, established event planning companies rarely run into issues when planning an event because that’s their sole responsibility. However, when internally planning an event for your company or organization, it’s easy to run into some problems.

I learned this the hard way after only a week at my internship. Majority of the planning process was complete by the time I started, but I was happy to jump in with last minute additions as well as work the event itself. The idea seemed simple enough – an adult Easter egg hunt! Execution was a different story. Marketing materials advertised an “Easter egg hunt and mimosa bar” in the hopes that our mainly adult audience would understand the age range for the event. Unfortunately that was not the case.

The day of the event we had over 150 people in attendance, five times the attendees from the previous year – great! But the mixture of kids and adults was not so great. Complaints came from both ends – too many aggressive adults upsetting the kids or too many kids at an adult event. It was clear we were not going to be able to please everyone.

After working out all the kinks and doing our best to appease the complaints, we decided to just go with it. Considering I’m a natural “people-pleaser,” this was hard for me to do. But in any situation it’s important to understand that things don’t always go as planned. If we can remember this as we’re advancing in our internships, jobs, relationships, and everything else, it will be easier to accept and welcome change. After all, we all know that it’s impossible to please everyone.

-Lindsay Pfeifer

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5 Responses to You Can’t Please Everyone – A Lesson Learned

  1. kativanloo says:

    Sounds like you jumped right into the fire during your first week and handled it like a pro. Events can be tricky because many things can go wrong, and you have to be ready to adjust your original plans on the fly. I also find myself trying to please everyone, but I try to remind myself that it isn’t possible all the time. Sometimes, like in your situation, it’s best to make do and try to make the experience as enjoyable as you can. Thanks for sharing!

  2. wujesi says:

    I am a people pleaser as well and I tend to take over too many projects. I have had the same thing happen to me, and I just need to remember to slow down and take things as they come. I enjoyed your post, it made me reflect on myself and my work.

  3. I also consider myself a “people-pleaser” but it is really hard to help people who are constantly complaining, especially at an event you worked so hard to plan. It’s frustrating trying to please everyone, because it is nearly impossible to please all 150 people in attendance at your event. Unfortunately, even if you are completely prepared there will probably be someone in attendance who fits along with number 11 from the Elite Daily article, “People like to hate; it’s just a favorite human pastime.” So at the end of the day no matter how many people complain, you absorb what they have to say and learn from it. Then you have to “shake it off” and look forward for the next amazing event in your future!

  4. jbrosy says:

    I think it’s awesome that you touched on the topic of success when a lot of us PDXSXers expressed on our first day that our greatest fear is failure. There are all sorts of forms of success, that being said, I think there may be even less forms of failure. It sounds like you came across some issues but by no means did you fail. Yes, you can’t always please everyone. Sometimes that’s hard to accept if you are a natural-born people-pleaser. I think you guys did the right thing by just going with it, letting things happen as they may. When it comes to events, that’s sometimes the only thing to do. Thanks for sharing your experience, Lindsay! It sounds like you’ve started your internship off on the right foot.

  5. Very interesting story, Lindsay. Even though I’m sorry the event yielded complains and the organization was a debacle, the idea of a combination “Easter egg hunt and mimosa bar” makes me laugh. It sounds like it was a lesson well learned, that sometimes you can only please the adults OR the kids, and it’s nearly impossible to find the safe space in between. The next event planning process will surely go over more smoothly.

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