Honestly, I have the utmost respect for event planners.

Event planners are detail-oriented, budget-focused and timeline-bound.

Everything I am not.

And yet….here I am planning our 2nd and 3rd 10,000 Beds Gratitude Galas, in Utah on October 27, 2018 and in California on April 13, 2019. But this time, with the help of an event planner! (join us! gratitudegala.org)

I mean, I can do it. I’ve done it before…many years ago I WAS an event planner for a minute.

And just recently, after a committed hosting sponsor dropped the ball (including financing for the event) just a month before our April 2018 California Gratitude Gala, I had to pick that ball up and run with it – much faster than any 62-year old should have to. But I did it (and survived), and our gala was amazing, thanks to our board of directors and volunteers who chipped in their time and energy to make the event happen.

But that doesn’t mean I recommend this…no, no, no!

If you are not an event planner, don’t take on an event. Just don’t!

They have a special magic, event planners do. It’s a gift…one many of us didn’t get. I know I didn’t. They smile in the face of disaster, they console, they create, they inspire, they make it happen!

My respect for successful event planners cannot be overstated. They rock the world.

Without event planners, the bride would walk down the aisle at the wrong time, the musician would have no speakers to plug in to, the overhead slides would be visible only on a monitor, the keynote speaker would talk 30 minutes longer than anticipated, and the delicious dinner you envisioned would be cold and terrible.

This brings me to my point: event planning is for the birds…unless you are a professional event planner. Everything and anything can go wrong, and a committed professional event planner will make certain those “wrongs” are not visible to the guests before or during the event. And as we all know….

The show must go on!

I had three weeks to pull together an event that was not planned, financed, or marketed…things we thought had been done already. And I did it…not because I’m amazing, but because all of the sponsors who had committed funds and all of the guests who had purchased tickets and all of the vendors who had contracted with us deserved this event. It wasn’t about me, or my organization, it was about them.

And so, we made it happen. And it was amazingly successful, in spite of me, and our guests and sponsors and participants were grateful.

Our events should never be about us, or the keynote speaker, or some celebrity…our events should be about our guests, for our guests.

Anything can go wrong when planning an event, that’s why a professional should be handling it…but one thing is for certain: the planning itself should never be the problem.

Any good event planner knows this…and that’s why they are successful.

For anyone planning an event, I suggest two things: 1) remember the event is not about you, it’s about the guests, and 2) hire an event planner.

Hope to see you at the Gala! Our event planner will be there too! 🙂


Jean Krisle is a motivational keynote speaker (Fast Lane Leadership, Five Finger Leaders & Failing to Win) and the CEO/Founder of 10,000 Beds, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The mission of 10,000 Beds is to connect those seeking help for addiction to those who are willing to help by providing addiction treatment scholarships.

Jean and her husband Hal have spent much of 2017 and 2018 #OnTheRoad4Recovery to change perceptions of recovery. You can reach Jean at jean@10000beds.org. You can support 10,000 Beds at 10000beds.org. #onebedonelife #failing2win #fastlaneleadership fivefingerleadership #ethicsdoneright #fastlane2success