Despite the careful planning that may be considered when organizing a given event, it may be difficult to anticipate some occurrences like natural disasters. However, proper planning may mitigate the effects of such occurrences. In this case study, a tornado interfered with an auction event, which was planned to take place on a Saturday evening in July. However, the client decided that the event should go on even in the absence of an electricity supply. This decision presented numerous challenges as explained in this paper.
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The most outstanding challenges for this event included weather, the lack of risk management, physical dangers to attendees and staff, a difficult client, poor planning, and contracting an inexperienced event organizer.
The avoidable challenges here included the lack of risk management, physical dangers to attendees and staff, the client, poor planning, and the inexperienced event organizer. Given the timing of hosting the event during the summer when the probability of having tornadoes was high, the events manager should have refused to sign a contract without a cancellation insurance coverage in place (Lockstone-Binney, Robertson, & Junek, 2013). Additionally, he should have indicated a strong force majeure clause in the vendor’s contract (Lazito, 2013). According to Firoozmand and Zamani (2017), the force majeure clause states that venues and vendors have the right to cancel an event in case a natural disaster occurs. In this case, vendors and venue would cancel the event and thus compel the client to accept their terms legally. This move could have handled the challenge of a difficult client. To deal with the issue of inexperience, the event manager should have consulted people with the requisite skills to understand the nature of work he was about to handle (Moyle, Kennelly, & Lamont, 2014).
Advantages/disadvantages of Continuing with the Event
The advantage of continuing with the event was that there was a probability that people would attend despite the tornado. This aspect would eliminate the interference of the client’s calendar schedules. On the other hand, carrying on with the event had several disadvantages. Huge losses were made as items were sold at low prices while others were unsold. Additionally, the event manager and the client’s credibility would be affected as attendees would not understand why the event continued even after the occurrence of a natural disaster. Finally, the event manager would experience delayed payments as the auction failed to meet its target.
Convincing the Client to Move the Date of the Event
Moving the event to the following week was the most sensible thing to do after the tornado occurred. First, all vendors were ready to offer their services during the following week without charges. Similarly, the media houses were willing to advertise the event during the same period. In this case, moving the event’s date to the following week would ensure minimum losses. People would have time to recover from the tornado and attend the event. All the logistical challenges faced during the event would be solved by postponing the auction date. Finally, the event would only be delayed by one week.
This case study presents an example of how planning an event can be affected by natural disasters. While the event manager could not prevent the tornado, he could have persuaded the client to postpone the date of the auction by at least a week. As such, the challenges faced would have been avoided by such a decision, thus saving the credibility of both the client and the event manager.
Firoozmand, R. M., & Zamani, J. (2017). Force majeure in international contracts: Current trends and how international arbitration practice is responding. Arbitration International, 33(3), 395–413.
Lazito, K. (2013). Mitigating risk: Analysis of security information and event management. International Journal of Business Intelligence Research, 2(2), 67-75.
Lockstone-Binney, L., Robertson, M., & Junek, O. (2013) Emerging knowledge and innovation in event management. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 4(3), 46-51.
Moyle, B., Kennelly, M., & Lamont, M. (2014). Risk management and contingency planning in events: Participants’ reactions to the cancellation of Ironman New Zealand 2012. International Journal of Event Management Research, 8(1), 93-106.