"Sunny with Snow" by Parhamr as commonly used in weather forecasts
“Sunny with Snow” by Parhamr as commonly used in weather forecasts

Right now, I’m supposed to be speaking at the AMA in the AM (the Baltimore Chapter of the American Marketing Association) but instead I’m writing a blog post. You see, we got some snow this morning and the event has been postponed – hopefully until a nice warm, sunny day! It’s difficult for organizations to make the decision to cancel an event, but hopefully people understand that it’s more important to stay safe when the roads are bad than it is to attend an event.

Weather considerations are a major factor in many event planning decisions. Many meeting and event planners select warm weather venues during the winter months but snow is not the only reason for a weather cancellation – hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, thunderstorms, and even extreme heat have caused events to be canceled. Some events even have alternate online plans if the event won’t be able to be held as scheduled. Fortunately, this morning’s event wasn’t of a critical nature and the decision to cancel was an easy one.

Considerations when making an event cancellation decision:

– Weather conditions / forecast: Are there weather advisories, watches, or warnings in effect? Is there more bad weather predicted during the time of the event?

– Travel advisories: Have local, state, or federal agencies issued travel advisories? Is there a snow emergency plan or other travel limitation in effect? Has the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued an alert?

– Number of attendees expected: Is it a small meeting or a large conference? The number of people attending makes a difference in how easy an event can be rescheduled.

– Distance of attendees from event venue: Are the attendees local or do they need to travel long distances to attend? Are the attendees staying in the event hotel/venue?

What other factors play into your decision when canceling events? Please leave a comment below to let me know.