Salvaging an event thats doomed: Emcees speak


The job of an emcee is very crucial for any event. Be it a smart and elite corporate event or an out and out mass entertainment night, the onus of making sure that everything feels seamless to the audiences is completely on the person anchoring the event.

But there are times when an event managers planning takes a blow and an event is heading straight towards disaster. How does an emcee react in this situation? Well this time at EE, we have two notable emcees in the event fraternity sharing their tales on how they made even disastrous events sparkle.

Recalling her experience, Sheena Chohan (left in photo) says, “Once I was anchoring a corporate event for sales professionals for a brand. In the audience were thousands of people and country’s top ministers. The event flow had reached to a point where the top minister was going to present an international CEO with an award and a famous singer was meant to come on the stage and sing.

Contrary to everyone’s imagination, as soon as the singer started, out of sheer excitement he jumped on one of the ministers table and stood there singing and dancing. Everyone had been looking forward to the musical performance but this put the minister at the table in a very bad mood and the performance was stopped.

It was an incident which transpired very rapidly and came as a shock to the audiences as well the organizers. I however, took charge and decided to do small interactive act to handle the situation. I got them to play a game, where the important guests got on the stage and started dancing.

In the end, I got the Minister and the top CEOs on stage with the singer and the singer performed 5 of his top hits with the videos in the background, and the audience enjoyed it more than ever. And the next day the Minister was so happy with the event that he could be easily spotted sharing his photos with the clients and CEOs.”

Narrating her most profound experience of handling an event disaster Shefali Saxena (right in photo) says, “Thankfully for me nothing huge has happened as of yet and most events that I have anchored have went fine however there is one particular incident that still haunts me. It was during a product launch for a leading automobile brand where the main product had to be launched through the slider curtains.

The moment of the launch was highly anticipated with media and audiences from all over the country gathered to witness the event. But as soon as the Chairman of the brand pushed the button for the product to be unveiled, a technological failure erupted and the slider curtains would simply not move.

The situation was about to become worse as the music for the launch had started and the fog machines were also into action however the product was still not unveiled. I sensed the panic in the situation and had to step in as an emcee. Since this was the time when the Jan Lokpal Protest at Jantar Mantar was at its full force, I used the same topic to ask for more applause from the audiences. And while I was busy engaging the audiences, the event planners managed to fix the problem and the product was launched without any further delay.”

When asked what prompted you to take such sudden charge of the situation Sheena says, “It all depends on quick thinking on your part and you have to take control of such situations as that is what you are hired for. Because of the way I controlled the situation the client today insists that I emcee all his events now. So it is the happiness of the clients that matters to you more than anything else.”

Shefali responds to the same question and says, “Experience is the key here. You know it from your experience that when is an event falling apart and when are you required to chime in. Luckily I have been anchoring events for quite some time now so the decision on when to step in comes instinctively to me.”

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