Office party planning

Listen to the conversation with an event planner to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Ayako: Hello, sales department. This is Ayako speaking. How can I help you?

Sam: Hi, Ayako, this is Sam from Events-4-U. I'm calling about the piano you want at your Christmas party next month.

Ayako: Oh, good. It would be a great surprise to have one there for our boss for the night. He can play and it would be a great addition for the party. Have you been able to source one?

Sam: Well, yes, I have, but …

Ayako: But what?

Sam: Well, we're going to either have an issue with the logistics or the budget, or possibly both.

Ayako: Oh dear.

Sam: Well, we've found a baby grand piano, as you requested, and it's available for the date you want.

Ayako: OK, great. So what's the issue? Is it too expensive?

Sam: No, it's within the budget you gave me, so everything there is OK. But it's too wide for the entrance doorway into the building.

Ayako: Oh, I see. So what are our options? Could we dismantle it outside and reassemble it inside?

Sam: Er, no. Unfortunately, you can't really do that with pianos. But don't worry, I'm sure we can find some inventive solution.

Ayako: Do you have any ideas?

Sam: Well, we could hoist it up to the first-floor balcony. The door there would be large enough to fit it through.

Ayako: Great. That sounds like a good plan.

Sam: That would work, though it would increase the cost considerably as we'd need a crane, an extension on the insurance policy and probably two to three additional people to manage getting it successfully into the building.

Ayako: Oh, I see. Well, we can definitely stretch the budget by about ten per cent, but we shouldn't go over that. If we exceed the budget by more than ten per cent, then other areas of the party budget will have to be cut. And we don't really want that.

Sam: OK, so this idea won't work then. Sorry if I wasn't being clear. The considerable budget increase I was referring to would add a further fifty per cent. You know, cranes are expensive.

Ayako: Oh … um … OK. So what other options do we have?

Sam: Well, how fixed are you on the piano being a baby grand? Would an upright piano be an option?

Ayako: Hmm. I don't know.

Sam: It would fit through the door on the ground floor and cause fewer problems. I've also got the option on a really nice white vintage upright piano, with black design work.

Ayako: OK. That sounds like it might work. Could you send me over some photos of it?

Sam: I'll do it now, together with the rental and delivery information and costs.

Ayako: Great. Thanks, Sam. Let me think about it and I'll call you back later today.

Sam: Sure, no problem. I'll wait for your call. 


Worksheet82.28 KB

Language level

Average: 3.1 (10 votes)

Submitted by natakozak on Wed, 08/03/2023 - 14:00


In my case, I prefer to solve problems in messengers, because it is much easier that way. But there were also cases recently when I needed to determine the place and time of a meeting, resolve some plans or talk about rescheduling lessons through a phone call.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 06/09/2022 - 04:56


it was just yesterday. I work in a company from 7:30 am until 14:15. I tried to teach at a university. everything was ok but we had only one was time. I couldn't take classes before noon. finally they manage to give me classes which hold after 14:15.

Submitted by 600020876 on Mon, 27/06/2022 - 11:07


i really like this site, its so pro! i like the people on this site aswell they my brodas luv u!!!!!!

Submitted by jmajo on Thu, 12/05/2022 - 15:35


Usually I have to do that at my work, last week I have to work on a solution to a problem where there was an issue with a service at my work, so the clients where calling at us to complain about an internal website, I had to call to the webmaster and get a solution with him, it wasn't very easy to find it but at the end of the day, he could fix the bug and all went fine to the clients.

Thanks for the episode.
Great site!

Submitted by ninaals on Wed, 23/02/2022 - 14:15


It wasn't a discussion,however there was one time I had to receive instructions and couldn't hear very well so I also had to repeat myself.

Submitted by misty on Tue, 11/01/2022 - 21:03


It is not actually a problem, but I have discussed changes of appointments through phone call. It is quite challenging to change dates and time of appointment especially now due to pandemic.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Tue, 12/10/2021 - 15:10


I don't work yet but I solve a problem daily with friends on call.
I like to do that.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Mon, 04/10/2021 - 23:59


The last time I had to discus a problem of a mobile phone contract on the phone was last year in March 2020.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Mon, 30/08/2021 - 22:25

Nowdays is widespread to solve our problems and not only problems, even happy moments on the phone. I think is faster than to talk face to face and if you`re shy is more easy for you. That`s modern way to solve our problems on the phone. But I think solve problem face to face is more real, you can see face expression,gesture.... even you can understand if the person in front of you is worry, shy, lie.... COVID change everything now :/

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sun, 25/04/2021 - 12:39

I was solved many problems on phone. When my friends feels any problems related to study they they call me and asked solutions for it. I liked to solve friend's problem. My friends appreciate my knowledge. In this time covid is very dangerous in my country. I'm sad to see this situation.
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