Have You Invited Mother Nature to Your Next Event?
Event planning is a detail-oriented profession – we just can't help it! We create backup plans for backup plans, taking every possibility into careful consideration, knowing exactly what to do if a curve ball is thrown at us on any big day event. But there always seems to be one factor that we just can't seem to ever really properly plan for no matter just how we try. Yes, you guessed it, “Mother Nature.” She has ruined even the best “Plan B” before and she can do it over and over again.
If you want to guarantee that a sudden, unpredictable storm doesn't play havoc with your next big event, there are a few key things you'll want to keep in mind.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In the run-up to your next big event, chances are you already have a huge list of attendees that are panning to attend. The minute it looks like the weather might start adjusting your plans, you need to reach out to everyone and keep them in the loop. If so much as one portion of your schedule changes due to a weather-related incident, they should know about it as soon as possible.
Send helpful emails with general updates or tips on what your guests or attendees can do to avoid the storm. This positions you and your company as a true, helpful resource and reliable host. Start a second communication thread for staff. Update roles and responsibilities and ensure that your scheduled staff and on-site team is fully aware of all contingency plans.
Don't Forget About Shipping
Always build in at least two extra days to ship any materials to the destination—no matter what. This is doubly important if you're shipping to an area that is historically affected by weather (like Chicago or anywhere on the Northeast during the cold winter months). Also make sure that you're working with a proactive shipping partner that will let you track your shipment in real-time so you always know where it is just in case Plan B, Plan C or even Plan D are necessary.
Whether you are the overall event organizer or the event manager exhibiting at a show, check out The Event Safety Guide from the Event Safety Alliance, available on Kindle. Designed for live event entertainment producers, with a section on conventions and trade shows, the Guide traces best practices from venue selection to rigging to weather to load out for all kinds of events.