Yesterday morning we woke up to a world of white here in Denmark. And even though the rough weather came as no surprise as it had been forecast for a few days, it seemed like the world came to a full stop. At least in my corner of the world.
The weather got me thinking that I’m happy I don’t have a big event today – for what if!
What if the speakers could not make it because of the weather? What if the delegates were snowed in? What if…?
As an event planner you control a lot of things (insert smirky grin here) but controlling the weather is not one of them. That is why it is necessary to have a plan B – and this plan has to be part of your overall risk management.
Let’s work on the example with the speakers who cannot make it. In a situation like this you have to be creative and think of alternatives. You could, for example, arrange a facilitated networking session if you don’t have a single speaker present. If you have at least one speaker there, you could set up a workshop or Master Class with this speaker. The delegates who has made it there will probably be happy to get a more ‘intimate’ experience and an event from which they benefit a lot.
If the delegates cannot make it at all, there is really no event! But your event might be a conference that lasts several days and where participants fly in from all over the world several days in advance, and then you have an obligation towards these people. What to do? You simply take advantage of the fact that the sum of knowledge in the room is bigger than what the speaker (one person) can supply and you find one or more participants who has something to contribute and then you arrange for a small and improvised workshop. Because, even though all of the event’s stakeholders count on you to fix EVERYTHING, most people understand that the weather is in fact out of our hands.
Is your risk management plan ready for winter?