Monday, November 25, 2013

Cancelling the Event

"The heat index is heading to 110, so stay in" advised the radio DJ.  That was not what

Debbie wanted to hear as she drove to the mall.  Today was the first of five events that Debbie planned to have at the outside mall.

With a heat index soaring to 110, I'm going to need more shade, otherwise people are going to cook on the concrete patio, she thought.

Several phone calls later the realization sets in that tenting is out of the budget. She must go forward as planned. 

Debbie arrives early to insure that all is being setup properly and to meet with the mall representative who hired Debbie's company to produce the events.

With the heat index reaching dangerous levels, and a pitiful turn out for the first two morning events, mall management decides that, for public safety, they would cancel all remaining afternoon and evening events. Debbie is informed over the phone.

Now, the scramble starts, cancelling the remaining events and keeping participating agents and entertainers happy.   Canceling an event is harder then producing because of cancelling penalties, which clients seem to overlook, and causes headaches when management finds out that they are still on the the hook for the majority of the cost.

"Hi, I have some bad news. The mall has cancelled the event", says Debbie.

A disappointing "OK" is uttered. "I'm glad you called, I'm still at home and haven't left yet", says the voice.
"I'm working with mall management to reschedule your balloon entertainment for the next event, and hopefully we can extend the hours to make up for this cancellation", says Debbie.

"Since this was a 1 hour event, lets just scrap it, and change the tentative hold dates to confirm bookings“, says the voice.

"I can't promise anything, but I will try to schedule you for a longer time to make up the difference.  I've worked with this client for years and they are a fair company", Debbie explains.

Debbie was happy to find an entertainer who was giving her room to wiggle out of the cancellation policy. She knew the others were not going to be so accommodating, but she was trying to save the client money.

Debbie appreciated all the vendors who worked with her, and reworked the last four events with mall management to join the remaining events into one big event lasting five hours , instead of singular events happening throughout the day.

This new format allowed Debbie to keep her word and rescheduled the balloon entertainer for five, multiple hour events.

Take away Points:

  • Have a backup plan for all weather conditions, and safety procedures.
  • Understanding all cancellation policies and make an amendments if necessary.
  • Have emergency telephone numbers handy.
  • Be creditable and keep any promises made.
  • Building a business relationship is about understanding, commitment, and the willingness to work together to overcome unforeseen obstacles.

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