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Calling All Entries! Cringe-Worthy Event Experience?


Do you have a crazy story of an event gone wrong? A time your AV cut out, or the wrong speaker was introduced, or you called a major stakeholder by the wrong name?

We are running a new contest to find the craziest, most-cringeworthy event experience and reward the brave soul behind it with a free, half-day custom event design experience and lunch for up to six members of your organization. 

The forward-thinking workshop will help your team:

  • Think through where you see your event in the next few years—and how to get there
  • Review attendee demographics, obstacles, atmosphere, and more
  • Develop branding possibilities, program design, event message development, and content creation
  • Create an event environment that will surprise and delight your audience (and higher-ups)

All you have to do is visit this page and tell us your funny, zany, wild story. Our team will review all the entries and let the contest winner know before the end of the year. Enter now. And don't forget to check back as we update this blog with wild anonymous stories!


C'mon down, Contestant #5! Let's see what you've won!

Congratulations to our winner and thank you to all who participated in our 2017 contest. Have a happy, healthy, and wonderful event filled 2018!


Entry #1 "The catered served us box lunches for our 800+ attendees that contained: expired chips, moldy fruit, and hot cans of soda. But that's not the worst part: There was a white substance on the sandwiches that I thought was mayonnaise, even though the sandwiches should have been condiment-free with individual packets of mayo and mustard on the side. I took a sandwich to the head chef and he told me it wasn't mayo, but instead was a 'chemical reaction between the acidity of the tomatoes and the white American cheese' that they used. Then, another employee from the catering company let it slip that the turkey on the sandwiches had actually expired three days earlier... Needless to say, about 20% of my attendees got food poisoning and refused to eat the remaining three meals at our conference."

Entry #2: " One of my staff punched an attendee and I became a referee when the cops showed up."

Entry #3: "A homeless man jumped onstage with the keynoter and we tackled him."

Entry #4: "A volunteer tripped at our registration desk and broker her leg." 

Entry #5: "I once held a program in NYC where we were using rear screen projection.  Behind the screen was also an exit to an alley way.  During one speaker's presentation, all of the sudden  the screen went completely blank.  The tech in the front of house kept trying to reach the tech behind the screen but was unsuccessful.  Turns out the tech behind the screen had to use the men's room and left for 5 minutes.  During that time, someone came from the alley, ripped out the cords for the two show laptops and ran away with  them.  We had to hold an impromptu 30 minute coffee break while we rented new laptops from the hotel and loaded the presentations onto the new equipment."

Entry #6: "A fire next to our HQ hotel blew smoke into our space and we evacuated at 3:00 AM."

Entry #7: "Attendees stuck on buses for hours in rush hour traffic."

Entry #8: “The co-chair and I were sitting at a table eating a late snack on the last day of our event, a rare moment of down time... we were looking over our event schedule from the hotel, when she looked at me and asked, 'were we hungry when we ordered the food?'  I said, no, we were eating when we selected the menu... she looked up and asked if I'd ordered the meatballs... the last break on the last day of our event, we always do ice cream, - little freezers come up and ice cream bars for all... this day, a large 'trough' with 750 meatballs AND freezers with chocolate ice cream bars come out into the hall... quite the combo and everyone is still talking about meatballs and ice cream bars...”

Entry #9: The AV technician fell asleep and forgot to hit the audio record button in the education sessions. 

Entry #10: The presentation that was happening in Room A was being amplified in Room B. There was a crossover in the wireless channels.

Entry #11: We VO’d a speaker to enter the stage, but they were still in the bathroom...

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