The decision has been made, the plan completed and all the leg work has been done! The venue has been selected and booked; the menu decided, the suppliers interviewed and arranged. An outdoor event it will be!
You’re planning an outdoor event in sunny San Diego. You know San Diego, where “The weather is sunny and 75 every day!” So no worries, right? But the niggling question remains – do you need an “in case of weather” related back up plan or not?
In a word, the answer is a resounding YES! Though it will add to the bottom line and is not always budget friendly, the answer every time is yes, yes, yes! No matter what city your outdoor event is being held in, it’s event planning 101 to secure not only an “in case of inclement weather” location but to always have a back-up plan on hand…as they say, just to be on the safe side!
Planning an Event – Say Yes… To The Back Up Plan!
So you’ve decided on your outdoor venue and event plan, but what does a back-up plan involve. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson when planning an outdoor event for a client, coincidentally in San Diego, for 5000 guests in September. It was a welcome reception that included food stations and bars, lots of décor, a band, strolling and stationary entertainment, high profile look-a-likes and more. The location was an outdoor park located within walking distance to the hotel s so transportation wasn’t required. I questioned myself. Was a back-up plan was actually needed? But knew I would be making a big mistake if I didn’t make the plan.
So, even though I was sure I didn’t need it, off I went and arranged a standby location at a nearby hotel. Since the hotel was involved, catering the event, I was able to negotiate a rate that wouldn’t break my budget. I then created an event floor plan and event flow through. First question, if needed, when does the weather related switch have to be made? Once the floor plan and event flow through were completed, I spoke with all the suppliers. A well informed supplier will always contribute to a successful event. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, if everyone is on the same page, then everyone knows what they are responsible for regarding event success!
Planning an Event – So Did You Use IT?
In case you’re wondering, the day I arrived in San Diego the weather was beautiful and sunny (75 degrees) but each and every day between conference set up and the welcome reception it rained. And I mean RAINED! But truly, I never worried. I knew I had a well thought through plan and that meant there was no need to fret.
We woke up on Sunday, the day of the outdoor event. It was foggy, the ground was wet and the skies were threatening. I consulted with my client to get the final word – indoors or out? And much to my surprise, my controlling client left the final decision up to me. Because I had a backup plan, I had no reason to worry. I just monitored the weather outlook for the rest of the day and based my decision on that. An outdoor event it would be.
I’m happy to say, we were incredibly lucky. The client, the attendees and I were happy we didn’t have to go to Plan B. But I was glad I had it. In the end, the weather cooperated and we pulled off exactly the event we had planned. And a great time was had by all!
Backup plans can and will help in the long run. There are so many different aspects to an event that can be ruined due to a number of influences. Do your research and if your event falls into that category, always have a back-up plan. You’ll be happy you did and with any luck you won’t have to use it!