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Plan for inclement weather

Lightning Bolt Strike

By Brad Goodsell, president of Executive Travel Directors

This spring’s violent storms and tornadoes are a reminder that meeting planners need a back-up plan in case an event is cancelled or impacted by weather.

Even if sunny skies are predicted, you never know when a weather emergency will present itself. Don’t wait until nasty weather appears before you think about how to handle it. Before any meeting or event, think through the following items.

1.) Know how many attendees are on site and where they are staying (room numbers/specific hotels). Keep cell phone numbers handy so you can call or text last-minute plans.

2.) Develop a crisis plan in case evacuation is required, such as in the event of a tornado. Develop a chain of response to assist attendees in rebooking flights home.

3.) Decide how to handle power loss, specifically regarding how to provide food and water. Investigate options as you plan an event, before a crisis occurs.

4.) Establish a chain of command on site. If you can’t make decisions, who will be in charge? Consider appointing an executive attending the conference or an executive at the conference center to serve in this role.

5.) Try to avoid planning events in specific cities during times of the year when they are typically storm prone. Keep hurricane season and other weather issues in mind when selecting locations. If your event is planned in a location prone to severe weather, take precautions in advance.

Responsible for all facets of the Executive Travel Director’s day-to-day operations, Brad Goodsell was named president of ETD in 2008 and focuses his time on driving the strategic direction of ETD through sales and marketing. With prior experience in sports marketing, Brad has fostered relationships with clients that are allowing ETD to grow. He is a graduate of Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn.