Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Putting on an event is a big deal. From a one day get-together to a multi-day trade show, you are well aware of the challenges.
Let’s be honest: it is hard to make it through an event without at least one person getting angry. Many years ago, dealing with such a situation was simple. You would wait for the issue to be presented, and then deal with it one-on-one. The matter was kept rather hush and taken care of in person.
In today’s world, where social media is in charge, things are not nearly as clear. Rather than take up a concern with an event organizer or staff member, many people immediately run for their Twitter or Facebook accounts. It is time for them to share their bad experience with the entire world. And as you know, that is not a good thing.
If you are lucky, you will make it through your event with only positive social media feedback. This is what you are hoping for, as positive reviews can begin to “roll down hill.” One person says something good, and next thing you know everybody is in on the action.
Unfortunately, there is no way of escaping negative feedback. This is going to happen from time to time. It is important to realize this is a possibility. It is even more important to have an action plan in place.
Here are three tips for handling negative social media feedback, either during or after an event:
Don’t Run and Hide
This is the easy thing to do, however, sweeping a problem under the rug is not going to make it any better. In fact, this may make the person even more upset, thus leading to a bigger problem.
Once you know the situation, contact the person via the same social outlet. It is best to ask if they would DM you, so that the issue is solved without the glaring eyes of other. Ask them questions such as:
- What type of problem did you incur?
- Could we have done something better?
- What can we do for you right now to improve the situation?
- Do you have feedback we can implement in the future?
- Would you like to speak via email or on the phone?
You may be surprised at how these questions can help “put out a fire.”
Don’t Become Combative
It is very easy to lose your cool when somebody blasts your event, company, and/or reputation on social media. But remember this: if you blow your top, you are going to look even worse in the end.
Your goal is simple: diffuse the situation to the point of making the person quiet down on the subject. As noted above, this often means asking questions and doing your best to provide a resolution. If something was an issue to one person, it could snowball and make more people angry. Fix it, and fix it fast.
Offer a Concession
Take for example a person complaining about the long lines in the restrooms. If possible, respond via personal message that you are sorry for the issue, understand why they are upset, and vow to fix the problem. Then, do everything that you can to offer more restrooms.
Offering a concession does not always work. There are times when a person will continue to complain, hoping to get you involved in a social media shouting match. As long as you do everything you can, as long as you try to make things right, you can feel good about yourself.
Negative feedback is a big part of the business world. You need to realize this is coming at some point, especially if you are an event planner.
You cannot please every person 100 percent of the time. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to try. If you come across negative social media feedback, the tips above will help you put the issue in the past.
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