Men are not monkeys

Skift Take

- Control

I love monkeys they’re great animals.

Nonetheless they’re pretty different from men. Individuals are intelligent.

They can create things, they have emotions and few other things I am quite sure you are aware of.

There are few mistakes you can do when you are hosting an event, that this post should help you to avoid.

If you’re hosting a corporate event, a party with friends, a huge convention, a themed dinner, an incentive, a team building session, or lunch with your big family, you are actually managing an event.

There are common mistakes that event managers of all levels make.

These mistakes require a specific post because they are very humiliating to the participants, making them look like monkeys.

Problem: Most of the business out there requires high degrees of control. The dynamics that control could elicit, lead to low customer/participant/attendee/partaker/uncle Joe/little Tom’s satisfaction thus predicting the overall perception of your event. Control is also the most critical factor in making feel humans as monkeys. Go there, do this,do that, stand up, sit down, have a coffee, now chat with your friend, are very powerful commands that will make feel your guest inappropriate.

Solution: I am a big fan of unconferences, Barcamps and Open Space Technology. The concept behind these methods is that the attendees should decide what to do and how to do it. The event manager becomes a facilitator that helps to keep the things together but no more than that. I am also aware that The more you are able to release control the better the final result.

– Loquacity

Problem: Attendees are there for a reason. It might have been that you’ve done a great marketing or that you’ve promoted your fancy buffet very well at that cool hair styling saloon, but now you got a certain number of people gathered. They’ve decided to come to the location you’ve selected and to give you their precious time for a number of reasons. Not knowing those reasons ignites an unstoppable phenomenon called loquacity. You start talking and talking and talking and talking and talking.

There are several bad effects of such approach but I’ll list you just a couple to give you an idea. By talking you are again trying to keep control. Trust me it is likely that you’re not sure what to do now that a lot of people are together. So you start harassing every single participant with flawless speeches about God knows what.

Solution: I remember that the greatest event I’ve attended was the one were I was free to move around meeting people, but at the same time when I needed something the host would materialize in front of me with a solution. To me that is the key.

The good manager works behind the scenes at all times. She/he has not decided to run the event for her/his personal glory. If a guest wants to entertain a conversation I think it is not polite to avoid a chit chat. On the other hand, you should remember that you are there to accomplish a specific task, make people feel at ease not to become the protagonist of the night.

– Stress

Problem: I think that a great sadistic approach that would make your guests feel like monkeys would be to transfer stress to them. I think that if you cannot hold stress this is not the job for you. Moreover, pouring flawless destructive emotions on your guests will quickly give a negative picture of yourself. The bad thing about releasing the tension in such way is that it is a genius mixture of loquacity with the desire of controlling again the situation.

Solution: If you are in a particularly difficult situation I reckon it is a good practice to make the guest aware of that situation. In this way she/he will be able to understand how you manage high levels of stress.


My suggestion in these three scenarios is that you maybe want to get ready before the event.

This has helped me in identifying potential stressful moments. By doing so you’ll be ready when stress comes and you’ll know how to deal with it.

Loquacity could be again be killed with preparation. Knowing what to do will throw you in the right place at the right time. Trust me, you won’t have the time to share a single word.

Control is the toughest to release. By keeping control we think we are doing the right thing.

My suggestion is to look in front of you, what do you see: monkeys or smart individuals?