Those of us who plan or produce meetings held in in-door venues, or who plan events in areas of our country that historically have had temperate weather, need to think again! Case in point, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area and the recent SuperStorm Sandy, followed a few days later by a major Nor’easter.
My company was fortunate as we are in an area,that was basically unscathed, except for a lot of rain and wind. But think of the rest! And— the rest is a lot of people; probably more people than live in some countries.
The personal and business impact on those people is almost beyond comprehension.
Consider the event planning and meeting planning industry. Hundreds of events were cancelled or postponed. For non-profits, this affected their 2012 revenue. For their suppliers, clearly there was a huge loss of revenue. Many of those suppliers were in the zones affected by the storms and lost power, equipment, food, company infrastructure. About two weeks of events were cancelled in the New York area.
New York City Taxis Flooded in Their Storage Lot
The most visible event that was cancelled is the New York Roadrunners’ New York City Marathon. It was controversial to hold it so close to the storm with so many victims in need and then when it was cancelled, there was another controversy about cancelling. The main controversy about the cancellation was that it was so close to the actual marathon, thus costing participants a lot of time and money. However, many of the runners got together to volunteer and help Sandy victims. This was a good outcome for many and yet, not a good outcome for many.
Clearly, all of us in the meeting and event services business need to re-consider our risk management planning and our insurance needs.
No matter where you live, or what service your provide to events and meetings or type of events and meetings, you must sit down and think this out, so you and your clients/stakeholders will be minimally harmed by extreme weather occurrences in the future.