Dealing with a difficult guest can be challenging in many ways than one, especially when they dislike almost everything to do with your function. Either they’re complaining about the seating arrangement which so them sitting far away from the guest speaker, or the catering staff aren’t dressed as nobly as they expected. it can certainly be enough to drive a sane person up the wall and off their rocker.
It may seem that there’s very little you can do to leave such a guest appeased, but you’d be wrong. Satisfying a grumpy guest might be hard, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips on how you can manage your event without needing to explain your choice of décor to a disgruntled attendee.
- Have a special place on the guest list for them
No, no, we don’t mean you need to seat them in some obscure area where guests aren’t subjected to criticism after criticism. Rather, you should get to know each guest’s needs. It may seem taxing, but from the information you have before you start planning, you can arrive at who might be a potential problem just by assessing their individual inclinations.
Knowing that Miss X objects to the human consumption of meat for instance, might mean it’s better to seat her away from the avid meat eaters and closer to people who enjoy salad or a vegetarian option. Mr. Z may not agree with another guest’s taste towards mixing premium whiskey with Coca Cola, so take care not to seat them in the same area.
- Stick to the script
If you have dealt with a problematic guest in the past, you’d know that they look for the tiniest mistake before proceeding on an entire tirade of how they couldn’t find decent parking and the attendant addressed them as mister, instead of doctor. The trick here is sticking to the script as much as possible. If you say the main course will be served at 8pm, then it should come no later.
If there are complications, ensure that the grumpy guest is aware of the problem and is one of the first people to be served. This will make them feel important, so they’re likely to moan less, but beware they probably won’t thank you for the consideration.
- Take the high road
There are times when you feel like giving a problematic guest a piece of your mind, but it’s not worth it. As you may be aware by now, other guests in attendance probably think this guest is as horrible as you do but just want to enjoy their evening. If you give in and decide to shout at the difficult guest, others may see your reaction as unprofessional and judge you more than the disgruntled individual. So keep it cool.
However, this is not to say that you should allow disgruntle guests to walk all over you. If they take it a bit too far and are definitely making everyone uncomfortable, your best bet is to kindly ask them to leave.
- Try keep them preoccupied with something other than alcohol
Plying your angry guest with booze may seem like the best idea to keep them sedated, but that’s only if you want your function to be connected to a scandal that may reach social media. If you want to keep a guest preoccupied while you make a game plan on how to appease them, serve them food. Food has a way of pacifying guests, so always have someone serving canapés around the corner to show up ‘conveniently’ when your problematic guest is about to open their mouth.
While you may or may not win by using these tactics, it’s essential that you make an effort to try and make them happy. This is especially the case if the guest is integral to your event, be it a potential investor, a journalist critic, or your granddad or grandmother. And if they aren’t happy with you at the end of the night, you can always have a nice glass of wine afterwards safe in the knowledge that you did your best and that it’s all now in the past.