March 11 had finally arrived.. RainMakers Live was just a few hours away.. and everything seemed to be going just fine.. after weeks of hardwork, there was nothing much left to do but sit back and watch the results unfold before our eyes..
and then came the unexpected..
Vinod and Gwen called me that morning.. and the moment i heard their voice, i knew there was bad news.. the Google and MapQuest maps for the venue were wrong! and they found out about this only when they actually went to the venue to set up stuff.. that was about 4 hours before the event.. too late to warn the invitees about this! i mailed all the guests about this just in case.. but i guess that didn't really help.. many of them ended up going to the wrong location..
2 o'clock came and went.. and there were hardly any guests at the venue.. you could see the tension rising.. people were shouting on their phones, a few were trying to explain the cause for the delay to guests who had already arrived, and the rest were just walking around restlessly..
It wasn't until Vinod sent Roy and Wenxiang to the other venue to redirect lost guests that a steady flow of guests started coming in..
the event finally started at 2:50 - 50 minutes late..
the turnout was less than expected (but not too bad either.. we had about 90 people finally)
but when the event did start.. it made up for everything.. everything fell in place.. the speeches were awesome, the panel discussion was interesting, and by the end of it, everyone seemed to have forgotten about the initial confusion.. the feedback we got from the guests and esp from Yu Ling (who called it the best NUSEA mixer to date) was simply great!
the networking session after the event was nice too.. there were lively conversations all around and people just didn't wanna leave.. we really couldn't hide our smiles of satisfaction :)
afterwards, we (the organizers) went out for dinner with 3 of the speakers (Gaurav of billmonk.com, Robert of licketyship.com, and Paul of meetro.com).. it was great talking to these young founders and CEOs.. these people could easily pass of as senior year students at University.. and yet here they were, proudly showcasing their companies and letting us in on their dreams..
among the things i learnt on that day was the fact that no matter how much work u put in to an event, u can never be too prepared.. there's almost always gonna be something that u overlooked.. what it takes is the preparedness to handle such unexpected obstacles and make the day a success no matter what.