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Wednesday Wisdom: Priorities, Planning & Mother Nature

September 12, 2018

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Business Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

I learned long ago in my early event management years one can arrange for the best event of the year by planning the small details, sending out beautiful invitations and obtaining media coverage so everyone knows about the event only to discover Mother Nature has authority in the outcome of the celebration.

As Hurricane Florence speeds toward America’s eastern seaboard, I think about all the brides who dreamed of being married this weekend in this region now frazzled needing to move their location or date and notifying guests. There are also companies with golf events, non-profit fundraisers and black tie galas in the path of this monstrous storm facing the same scenario. I know how they feel because I’ve been a three decade event planner and because my sister and I are scheduled to race in our first triathlon on the Delaware coast this weekend which includes a ½ mile swim in the ocean.

Priorities come quickly into focus when making decisions. Mother Nature is powerful and undiscerning in whose path she’ll cross with life-threatening situations. I have said to many wedding clients choosing outside wedding settings to be prepared for the extra stress that goes into worrying about the weather. In the event planning and travel industries planners can secure insurance policies to cover extreme weather situations but often it leaves the guest to contemplate their participation stake in the event.

My sister’s mother-in-law died this week putting additional stress on our decision to participate in the triathlon – another unforeseen life occurrence that affects personal and business obligations. I wanted her to make the decision about our commitment to the triathlon, not me. I ran in the Boston Marathon so I feel I could swim, run and bike in remnants of Hurricane Florence. She is in a different mindset and so we decided last night to at least cancel our hotel reservations to get money back but keep the triathlon on the table until Thursday.

The company hosting the event has not made any announcements about their decision which doesn’t help their participants. I assume since it’s their 22nd year of hosting the event, in a month prone to hurricanes, they have event insurance to cover their expenses. I also hope they allow 2018 registrants to use their fees for 2019 in light of the weather situation. In the end I’m sure they are grappling with an event that could produce liabilities and financial loss, as business owners we sympathize with this situation.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is a clear reminder to women entrepreneurs and small businesses planning events or hosting corporate programs, to have a clear communication plan for cancellations as well as insurance policies to protect themselves. Mother Nature doesn’t only wreak havoc on events but to businesses structures, cars and revenue if a business needs to stop for a period of time.

Let’s keep our thoughts with the numerous businesses and individuals in the path of Hurricane Florence and pray for their safety and swift return to normalcy.

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