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State of Event Emergency

If you’re here in the D.C. Metro area with us this week, you’re liking seeing the same thing that we’re seeing: white.  Specifically, a white blanket of winter wonderland that wafted in from the south. While the snow is quite beautiful, it also wreaks havoc on what Robert Burns dubbed as  “the best laid plans.”

Given that it’s Valentine’s Day weekend, I would venture to say that quite a few plans have been made. And certainly a number of events were planned in the city as well, including an event that we are involved in: the 15th Annual International Wine and Food Festival. I’m thankful to say that our event, while canceled for one day, will continue as planned for the rest of the weekend. We will persevere!

So this brings me to an important question: What do you do when something impacts or threatens your event?

Based on our own experiences, here are some TME best practices for dealing with potential interferences:

  1. Have a contingency plan – You’ve been planning this event for months. Dedicate some of that planning time to “what if’s,” especially if your event is during a season when a particular weather pattern is common. This will prevent you from scrambling last minute for the right solution; it will already be planned!
  2. Keep an eye on the weather – This might seem understood, but knowing it’s coming is vitally important to making informed decisions. A few days to a week out, be keeping an eye on local weather as well as what may be coming your way from other parts of the country.
  3. Keep everyone in the know – You know what it’s like when you’re waiting for information. Don’t do that to people. Your event may have guests, speakers, vendors, other planners, and a host of individuals involved. All of them are waiting for communication from you about the event. Even just letting them know that you’re observing the situation and will let them know when a decision has been made is better than nothing.
  4. Making the call – This can be a hard decision; a lot is riding on the go/no go word. Ultimately, the safety of all those involved is most important. Be swift and decisive in making the final call and then get the word out as quickly as possible.

We certainly hope that for all your future events, no such storms threaten, but now that you’ve read this, we know you’ll be prepared!

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