Planning for the Unexpected
Today’s topic is brought to you by Mother Nature.
Who could have guessed that on April 14, 2018, one of the busiest Saturdays of the year for fundraising events, a snow storm would hit the Twin Cities? And, six weeks later, this past holiday weekend, the Med City Marathon in Rochester was cancelled due to extreme heat.
Even the best planners in the world can’t anticipate everything that could go wrong. There is the opportunity, though, to become smarter and sharper when forced to manage the unexpected.
Who Could Have Guessed?
The best learnings tend to happen when something goes wrong. Here are some curve balls the Ann Plans team has navigated over the years:
- A speaker got sick. Something could happen to anyone scheduled to speak at your event. What’s plan B if your emcee, keynote, or client speaker needs to cancel?
- The décor element that looked fabulous on paper flopped when executed.
- Partway through the cocktail reception, we discovered the venue staff had neglected to tell us the credit card machines weren’t working.
- 911 needed to be called because a guest became terribly ill right when the live auction was about to start.
- A caterer showed up more than an hour late when the event was already in full swing.
- Printer error! Some of the ordered signs were missing. The bid numbers that were supposed to be printed on the back of the programs had been forgotten.
- The portable restrooms arrived onsite with no toilet paper.
- A handful of guests took home the beautiful centerpieces that were supposed to be returned to the décor company.
- Bees descended on and swarmed the outdoor dessert display.
- Strong winds blew over all the hole signage at a golf tournament.
- The power went out just as the most important fundraising moment of the evening was about to begin.
The silver lining behind every curve ball is the opportunity to plan even better for the future.
May your summer be filled with wonderful plans and only the best kind of unexpected surprises.