It was the premier dinner for one of Los Angeles’s major business associations, an annual event that was high ticket and attracted the captains of industry and political leaders, including the Governor. Set up on the balcony of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, on a nice day it is a perfect location.
On this day however, it rained: the sun umbrellas and patio heaters did little to offset the poor drainage and wind. Shoes got wet, hair got droopy, donors and sponsors alike got soaked and all left early.
It was a wash out, literally and figuratively.
Too Hot Vs. Too Cold
A patient community that was particularly temperature sensitive was planning their annual event. The choice of city and venue were therefore unusually important however, due to the general economic status of the group, some of the more affordable cities were not an option. Amazingly, Atlanta in the middle of August was selected.
During one of the hottest years in memory, the hotel responded by cranking up the air conditioning to near Arctic levels. Staff walked around in sweaters underneath blazers, and guests shivered, hugged themselves and made a run on sweatshirts.
Of all the billions of critical details in front of any event planner, managing the weather is one aspect over which no one has any control. It is essential that you have a backup plan.
Can the event be moved inside, can the thermometer be adjusted, and can rooms be changed? While some of this may seem obvious, time and time again we all hear the stories of weather intervention. With some foresight and a little planning, the memory of your event will be a positive one, not a war story.
Got a war story of your own? Leave it in the comments below.
If you’d like some help with a fundraising event you’re planning, get in touch.
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This is part 1 of an 8 part series in “What not to do when planning your Fundraising event“.