What is it about going out of town and having whatever could go wrong, go wrong, i.e., Murphy’s Law.

I was heading for Los Angeles to do registration for one of the organizations I have been working with since 1995 on their conferences. With that much experience, you would think that I had everything down to a routine , right? Wrong!!

Because the organization is mostly volunteers, the conference committees change for every conference every year. Therefore, the organizational memory comes from very few people and I am one. Each committee tries to reinvent the wheel, which makes consistency from year to year difficult.

Let’s talk about the most recent one in Los Angeles. Online registration ran very smoothly from start to finish. It was after registration closed that variations happened. Large groups of registrants came out of the woodwork such that we went from 175 registrants at close to over 250 w hen I left for LA. Dramatic, yes? That was not all.

The number of exhibitors increased so much after registration closed that one exhibitor was put on stage. Lunches, of course , also increased exponentially until the caterer cried “uncle.” Volunteers were a challenge as to who should register, who should get a badge, and how the lunch rebate would work.

Well, these were all outside influences that represent weather patterns to knock you off course. Remember too that not all course changes come from the outside. I made my own challenges.

Mistake #1, I kept answering email and doing work even though I said I was going dark at noon the day before I left.

Mistake #2, I took my thumb drive out of my compute r bag to do that work and forgot to put it back. Although, I would have sworn I felt it there. Thank goodness that my husband was somewhat computer savvy and could send the files to me, which leads to…

Mistake #3, I forgot to activate and then couldn’t activate my database program. I set up a Word document with the badge template, and didn’t know if it would work until morning. As a back up to the back up, the General Manager had a copy of the program on his lap top which he brought to the conference. Surely, one of these will work. The final result was to hand write badges because the crush of people registering was too much for the printer to handle especially when I was the only one who could handle money and print badges. Then we could always talk about hair spray and that is a story for another time.

These are the same kinds of activities that can throw you off course in reaching your dreams. Because I work with project managers and other planners, and have spoken to over 300 experts in the field of Conference Management on this subject, I can show you how to plan for the storms that will affect your navigational course.

Something else I have learned as a business woman is to ask for what you want. If you loved what you just read, this content is not for free. As a form of payment, I am asking you simply to comment or share this on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter.

Linda Patten, MBA, BSN, RN has over 30 years of experience leading women to success in building and achieving their dreams. She turns networking marketing women from product sellers to leaders of highly functioning teams. To learn more about her innovative programs, click on Contact Us .