As frustrating as this thought-process may be, it’s an honest assessment that has to be done especially when people and money are involved. In the events industry, it’s called contingency planning but more commonly known as Plan B … the backup plan in case the original plan fails. Does your event have a Plan B?
Below are 5 Questions for your Plan B.
Will your event be held on a holiday (weekend) or during inauguration, march/rally, parade or walk/run-athon? If so, anticipate many road closures and travel congestion. Advise your guests (and remind vendors) of road closures in advance and provide alternate directions to avoid congestion. Above all, do your best to remain calm as well as flexible. You may experience delays but ‘the show will go on!’
Will your event be held outdoors? If so, preempt the heat with lots of iced water, shade and fans (hand-held, electric or other). Further, be mindful that food spoils in the heat and sun. Rain is a strong possibility. Consider your indoor option or secure a tent, especially if the indoor option does not have capacity for all guests. As well, consider the availability of restrooms and electricity (or generator backup) and medical options (see more info below).
Will your event be held in the winter? If so, prepare for snow and ice and expect delays from your guests, and potentially, your vendors.
What are your medical options in the event of accidents/emergencies? Most venues have a first aid kit and direct communication with local first-responders. But if your venue is on the beach, lake, park, etc. then you’ll need strong cell reception, access to more than one mobile phone and an address (closest intersection) to contact 911. Pack Band-Aids, Neosporin, gauze, alcohol wipes and aspirin, too.
Do you need event cancelation insurance? For events where the risk of losing a substantial investment is great, I highly encourage cancelation insurance. A single day event is very affordable for peace of mind.
As you formulate your Plan B, I encourage you to read contracts carefully and ask lots of questions. In fact, communicate and collaborate with your event team – your planner, venue, caterer and others. These industry professionals will share their experience, offer guidance and be better prepared to react when the situation occurs. Their goal is to help you and your event succeed so make it a team effort by talking Plan B strategies!
This piece of advice reminds me of a 5-Star Wedding Wire review received by Saint Germain Catering. Last week, after the heat wave followed by 70 mph hurricane-like winds and torrential rains, power was knocked out at many establishments, including their clients wedding venue. The Catering team acted fast, contacted the client and helped solve the problem. As you can imagine, their client was grateful!
Was this information helpful? Have you ever had to implement a Plan B? If so, please leave a comment and tell us about it.Ashleigh Dorfman, CSEP