Over the years, I have visited about 250 Ontario festivals and events. Although I have found them have been interesting and enjoyable to visit, I have also seen many challenges. In this article I will describe 5 of the Top Ten Challenges I have experienced.
7. WEATHER PLAN – No-one can control the weather, but an effective “weather plan” can, at least, minimize the affects. Even “indoor” events can be affected by poor weather (snow, freezing rain, hurricanes, etc)! Making alternative weather plans helps in two ways. Firstly, it tells your volunteers what will happen in case of disastrous weather, a plan to follow. And, secondly it tells your potential visitors what you plan to do if the weather turns bad. One of the most important aspects of any weather plan is communications, both to your volunteers and to your visitors. If an event is going to be cancelled or postponed, you have to let people know. “Letting people know” can easily be accomplished through your website. First by publishing your weather policy and then by providing a contact telephone number should a cancellation or postponement take place. A “Postponement or cancellation notice” could also be placed on your website. When serious thunder storms threatened the opening night outdoor play of the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, they had an alternative plan and location in place. Even though the weather looked fine when they made the decision, experience told them not to take a chance on the weather forecasts for the area. They made the decision in plenty of time and then let festival visitors know of the location change.
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