There is only one way to be absolutely confident that you are fully prepared for any eventuality in the planning of your upcoming event and that is to invest heavily into crystal balls. Lacking that temporal forecasting capability, there are some steps that you can take to steer clear of some of the Great Unknowns which could dynamite your next event. Don’t tempt the Gods of an ever-changing climate
No one on Earth can forecast when a major natural disaster will wipe out the entire infrastructure for your upcoming event, but there are some strategies you can pursue to minimize their impact. Before booking a venue check the elevation and floodplain maps. You don’t have to be a producer who booked Calgary’s Saddledome this summer to realize that it’s very difficult to put on an event when the eighth row of your arena is underwater. Similar precautions should be taken for Tornado Alley venues and Gulf Coast cities during their respective stormy seasons. Although some have lauded it as a bold step to provide recognition for New York City football fans, the booking of Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey’s Meadowlands outdoor stadium on Feb. 2, 2014 is a fiasco waiting to happen as it is not at all unusual for that area to be blanketed by blizzards in early February. If you don’t tempt fate and the Gods of an ever-changing climate, you will have a greater statistical chance of being able to pull off a successful event without the weather forcing a cancellation.
You don’t want your spectators stuck in traffic when the event starts
When you’re planning an event which has an expected attendance in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of spectators, you have little choice but to pay very careful attention to the logistics of how all these people are going to get to your venue, where they’re going to park their cars when they get there, and how they’re going to be able to make their way home. If you’re booking a venue which is accustomed to accommodating 5,000 attendees but you’re now expecting it to attract ten times that number, you’re going to find that not only do you not have anywhere near enough parking spots but that you are also pushing the capacity of public transit systems to their breaking point. You can only fit so many people onto a bus or a subway train, and unless you have managed to pull off a magic act with the city’s transit commission and increased their schedule frequency tenfold, you’re going to have a lot of cheesed off people holding tickets to your event stuck in traffic for an hour or more after your show starts.
All online posts from your event must be moderated
It may seem anathema to the spirit of the free exchange of ideas on social media surrounding your event’s promotion but there is a strong case to be made that every single post and tweet be moderated and greenlighted in advance by your management team. All it takes to nuke an entire event is just one misbegotten online posted phrase offending a racial, religious, special interest, or other identifiable group, or taking a controversial position on a political or other current event. Before you claim that couldn’t happen to you, it has happened to many other promoters and producers and the result has not been pretty. Not only your own event’s social media postings need to be pre-approved but also those of the primary presenters and personalities. Even though the “star” of your event cannot effectively claim to speak for your management, there will still be a perceived identification with your show in the public firestorm which will surround their derogatory statements whether they are intended or not.
There are thousands of things that can go wrong in an event which you can’t possibly plan for, but if you are able to be proactive and take some important steps to obviate some of the most serious ones, you’ll be in great shape to celebrate the success of your event, not cry in your beer over its failure.