Today and tomorrow (and maybe for a few days after that), a large swath of the country is going to be dealing with a monstrous snowstorm. Even Dallas, Texas is under a freeze warning! For many of us, winter is just another part of the year. There is always a possibility that the weather will cancel your plans. This presents some inconvenience when you’re calling off a committee meeting, a class or a networking event. But what if it’s something with a significant investment involved – whether on your part or that of your guests?

For most people, calling off an event isn’t going to cause too much pain. There will be some rescheduling, you may face a loss of a vendor deposit, etc. But before any of this happens, you should still have a plan in place if you need to make the call.

-First and foremost, determine the definite reasons for calling off the event. Natural disasters are an obvious one, but it may get a little fuzzy after that. When does it go beyond what your contigency plan can handle? How icy do the roads have to be before you cancel? If a thunderstorm is predicted during an outdoor event; do you call it off completely or just have everyone take cover if lightning presents? If your keynote speaker falls ill but all other presenters can make it, do you proceed? These things need to be considered. You can’t account for every possibility but making some of these decisions will guide you for whatever may come up.

– The next thing you need to know is how you will communicate a cancellation to your attendees. Will it be personal calls, emails? Call the local TV and radio stations so they can include it in announcements if necessary. It never hurts to make your cancellation policies public knowledge either. Sidenote: This is also another reason why I am a huge advocate for creating registration systems or asking guests to RSVP. It’s so much easier to target your audience if you know who is coming and you have their contact information!

-Don’t forget your vendors! Always check cancellation policies on contracts and be aware of the costs you may incur with a late cancellation. If you are considering calling things off, let your vendors know so if they are able, they can hold off on preparations and deliveries.

However, if you are holding an event like a wedding or reunion that requires a lot of vendor deposits and expense, you may want to consider event cancellation insurance. Yes, it exists. (For some more in-depth information on event cancellation insurance, see here.)

If you’re holding an event that is supposed to generate income – like fundraisers, festivals, conventions, concerts, tournaments – you should definitely have event cancellation insurance. Of course, these things are generally major undertaking so I’m likely preaching to the pros on this one.

via Washington Post

The main thing to remember is that an important part of planning is planning on your event not happening. Even if you’re planning a baby shower for 20 – consider a cancellation plan. It will be much easier to tell the mommy-to-be (or other guest of honor) that the party is off if she knows in advance, the conditions for canceling.

It is not the most fun part of planning but it will serve you better than blind hope and keeping your fingers crossed!

This event is so…so…Fiestalicious!
OK – not really what I’m looking for but I don’t think one word can describe it. When looking at the pictures from Mindy Weiss‘s Guac-off event all I could think about was how much I would like to be there. In fact, all I could think about all day was how much I wanted to be there!
Take a look. Can’t you feel the sun on your face; hear the mariachi band in the background and taste the delicious guacamole?

 There are few tables I have seen that are casual and amazing at the same time. These strike the perfect balance.
Anyone hungry yet?
 
 Love how this display uses wood containers of all types!
 There were 75!! guacamole entries.
All photos via Mindy Weiss
For more photos of all the fun check out the Mindy Weiss blog.
What a perfect event for summer or the transition of seasons – when you can’t really do beachy/tropical anymore and autumn/harvest-y just isn’t quite right yet. Don’t forget about it as a potential Cinco de Mayo party either!

Awards Season

It’s that time of year! The Golden Globes, Grammys, the Academy Awards and the like are happening. The production of the award ceremonies are grand enough but how about the fabulous after-parties that go along with them? These past Golden Globe parties are shining examples of fabulousness:

InStyle’s 2009 bash created by (the!) Tom Ford. Photo credits

HBO’s party this year. Ummm, custom sculptures to fit your theme? Yes, please! Photo credit
Classic Hollywood glamour at NBC Universal’s 2009 party. Photo credit
HBO’s 2009 party. Think about the person who had to anchor the “floating” tables in the pool; and then swim around and light all the candles. Photo credit.

The use of lighting, the color saturation and the custom decor pieces make these parties a visual experience. Can you imagine having the budgets and resources that go along with creating these visions? Coming up next, I’ll show you my version of an awards ceremony!