Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Experts Share Tips on Avoiding Event Disasters

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Experts Share Tips on Avoiding Event Disasters

Article excerpt

Weather in Oklahoma should be a top consideration when planning an event since clear skies and sunshine can change into thunderstorms in the blink of an eye, an event planning expert said.

Jen Roberts, owner of Toast OKC and a former event planner for Kimray Inc., said failing to consider the weather for an outdoor event is a recipe for disaster. Roberts spent six years as Kimray's event planner before launching Toast OKC about a month ago.

"Having a Plan B is crucial to every event plan," she said. "You need to check and see if the venue has an indoor facility as well. If there is nothing indoors, can you get a tent to avoid the hot summer or the potential for a storm? Whether the weather forecast is rain or shine, you need that Plan B."

Robin Mickel, executive vice president of PDC Productions in Norman, said some meeting planners hire a meteorologist from the National Weather Service to provide them with accurate forecasts.

"They tell you if you should have your event that day," she said. "You always need an alternate date, especially in Oklahoma."

In one instance, the NWS meteorologist informed PDC Productions and the Oklahoma City National Memorial an anniversary ceremony honoring the 168 bombing victims should be held another day due to inclement weather.

Planning an event also requires comparing a venue to the size of the event.

"You don't want a place that's too big where it seems no one is there and you don't want it too small where people think they need to leave," Roberts said.

The trick to finding the sweet spot is communicating with the venue, she said.

"People should know what the setup looks like. Is it a full- scale dinner or is it for a cocktail hour?" Roberts said.

Failing to establish clear objectives prior to planning the event can cause some major headaches for those in charge.

"Is your goal getting as many people there as possible? Or is getting the ideal day or time of day the most important part of the event? …

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