All event planners have made at least one big mistake in their career and if they tell you otherwise, they're lying. Some mistakes are minor and some are really big. My biggest mistake occured when I was first starting out in the business. I was working my first show for a company and I left a box of CD recordings of the speaker's talks on the show floor during move-out--and they were thrown out. They had cost quite a bit to produce and they were going to be sold after the event to increase its revenue. I was distraught and thought for sure I was going to get fired; but as it turned out, it wasn't all that big a deal and no one cared. But others have not been so lucky.
Today I was reading the Monday's edition of the New York Times and came across an article about an Event Planner who had a really bad week. Seems 60 out of 90 pieces of art loaned by various Columbia Alumni for a recent art showing at the school got thrown out after the show. The art was by a now-deceased amatuer artist, Sam Steinberg. Steinberg had been something of a celebrity on the Columbia campus back in the 60s and 70s. He was a real character and everyone knew him. He owned a snack stand near the library and he would sell his paintings along with the candy bars and other goodies to the students. There aren't a lot of these paintings left.
At the end of this art event, the loaned artwork were put into plastic bags and someone was to come by that evening to pick up and store them away until they were picked up by the alumni members. Apparently, no one came by to retrieve them that night, and the paintings were all picked up by the cleaning staff the next morning and sent to the trash compactor on campus.
Of course people are angry because there are not that many paintings by the artist left and now theirs are "not retrievable." The Director of Alumni Relations was quoted as saying that the loss was a result of "an error on my team's part." Translation: the planner who was in charge of arranging the details for this show is having a very bad week.