Plan B… Whether You Think You Need To or Not
April 2nd, 2019
Plan B…very simply, you must have one. A good event planner is an expert at handling chaos, a great event planner is one who plans for the chaos ahead of time.
I once heard a wedding planner tell a group of event professionals that she never has to have a plan B. Someone in the shocked audience asked her why and she said it works in California. Let’s also point out she also does a lot of outdoor weddings. I think the majority of the room thought hmm… since we are in New England and we are known for our weather being, let’s say, unpredictable, we were all wondering how she could not need a plan B? Yes, as New Englanders we must be on top of the weather, but I also think, besides weather, there are other things we need to be prepared for in our plan B’s. For this blog, I will address how to plan for the weather.
Most of the time, the reason for a plan B is for an outside event that may have to be altered because of inclement weather. Safety is our first concern when addressing this and should be yours, too. Making sure your guests are safe is the most important thing.
Let’s talk about rain during an outdoor event. If the event remains outdoors during a rainy day, will the guest be sheltered from the elements? Do you need to add a tentto the event? Will all the essentials of the event fit under a tent? Is the area under the tent normally well drained? I always suggest that when you are planning to use a field or grass area, that you make sure to visit that area on a day after it has rained to see how dry the ground is. I can tell you from experience, this will save you from having your guests standing in puddles or worse, not even be able to use the area and having to relocate on the morning of the event.
Whenever possible, book a site that has an indoor alternative, but make sure you can fit your whole event inside. I know that does not always happen and often if the event is rain or shine, your attendance will be lower. If you do have an indoor location that you can use but it’s going to be a challenge to fit the entire event you have planned inside, then a plan B with alternative elements is key. You can still have a FUN time, but the elements might be a little different.
We are often asked about rain dates. It sounds like a dirty word to a performer and an artist, as that means they must reserve two dates, one is just in case. Often the performers will ask for a fee to hold the second date because they have to give up work for that date. Of course, if a rain date is a must have, you should feel comfortable working with your vendors to make the best plan that meets your event needs and their schedules.
No one can predict our New England weather,but I feel no matter where you are in the world it is best to have a plan B. Even if it is to tell the guests, “bring a raincoat and a change of shoes. The FUN will be here no matter what!”