Archive for January 9th, 2008

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Change is healthy, change is good. But – with parties – change for its own sake is not only a world of extra hassle, it also often involves tampering with a proven recipe for success. (And that is a recipe for disaster!)

Which is why so many corporate party planners – once they find the right venue and entertainment for specific events (like the annual Christmas party, for instance) – go back to them repeatedly. This benefits not only the planner, but also allows the guests to have a continuing familiarity with the flow of the event.

In order to avoid that familiarity becoming contempt (your “groove” could be other folks’ “rut”), planners frequently work on a 3-year schedule. They either use the same good-fitting vendors three years running (before changing), or else use specific rooms and bands or deejays every third year.

Brides whose older sisters have had a successful ceremony and reception will occasionally try to capture the same magic, while changing each of the individual elements. Unfortunately, this all too frequently ends in failure at some level. (For comparison, imagine baking your favorite dish with entirely new ingredients. It’s not usually as good.)

My friend and classmate Bill Turner’s committee spent hours and hours planning our last reunion. Eventually, they decided on a weekend that coincided with our school’s homecoming, a venue that offered a nice mix of intimate and large rooms, and my band for the music. You can imagine Bill’s surprise when – after all this work – a member of the following class told him that her committee had completed their labors in one hour flat. Knowing how much effort our gathering had taken, Bill was incredulous. He asked her, “How did you do it so fast?” As you may have guessed, her answer was that they had decided to hold their event on Homecoming weekend, at the same venue we’d used, and with my band.

Change is good. But sometimes, simple is better.