The Martian Survival Guide for Event Planners

In the just-released film of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian, Matt Damon plays NASA astronaut Mark Watney, marooned on Mars where he has to use his wits to survive against enormous odds.

We’re big fans of The Martian at Eventbrite so we thought we’d share some of our favourite takeaways for event planners.

Okay, exploring Mars isn’t exactly like planning an event, but surviving on the red planet has more in common with organising an event than you might think…

Things will go wrong; you need to adapt
In The Martian, it’s not a case of ‘will something go wrong’, more a case of ‘when and how badly’?  Technology fails, tools break, the weather doesn’t cooperate.

For event planners this is very familiar.  It’s important to use technology that’s as robust and reliable as possible (like Eventbrite), and to be able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

If the lighting is on the blink, or the sound fails, or equipment isn’t in the right place you need to either solve the problem quickly and effectively or adapt, which is why great event planners tend to have a Plan B, C and D (at least!)

 If you think you might need it, bring it with you
Once you’re on Mars, you can’t pop to the shops if you’ve forgotten something – if you haven’t brought it with you, you’ll have to do without it.

Similarly, if you’re setting up an event in a remote location, check and double check your logistics, make sure you can find everything quickly, and if in doubt – bring it with you.

As an event planner you should always have a thorough checklist of what you will need, have it checked over by your team to ensure you’ve not missed anything, and always carry with you your ‘emergency box’ of equipment – things like duct tape, scissors, snacks, first aid kit, hand sanitizer etc.

Food is important
Mark Watney survives for much of his time on Mars on a diet of potatoes and more potatoes.

Hopefully the catering at your events will be better and more varied than that! But do remember the importance of food and provide options for different dietary preferences. If you’re in need of some inspiration ahead of the festive season, take a look at our 10 Great Christmas Party Food and Drink Ideas.

Don’t forget you can use Custom Questions in the Eventbrite dashboard to capture meal choices and dietary preferences.

Test and learn
Not sure if something is going to work for your event?  Want to develop your marketing and promotions plan?

Like Mark Watney, test it first!

Experiment with a new marketing channel or event idea in a small way (so if it doesn’t work you haven’t lost too much time or money), measure the results, and if it works then roll it out in a bigger way.

If you’d like to take a more data-driven approach to your event planning, then check out our post on how to Use Marketing Analytics And Eventbrite Reports To Improve Your Event ROI.

There’s no mobile phone signal on Mars – much like some event venues.

Ensure you can communicate with your team, using radios if you know there’ll be poor phone or wifi coverage.  Use Eventbrite NEON for entry management, which can work without a wifi signal.

In NASA mission control, everyone knows who is responsible for each part of the mission – make sure your team knows who to contact for each aspect of your event, and in case of emergencies.

You can use a RACI approach to event management to help make sure everyone is on the same page and communication runs smoothly.

While your typical event planning experience might be a little less extreme than Mark Watney’s survival on Mars, there are many great lessons we can learn from the film.

What do you think is most important for event planners to consider when running an event?


Source: The Martian Survival Guide for Event Planners by