Planning for events and things that could go wrong

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Sometimes, no matter how well organised or planned an event is, things go wrong. Whether it’s technology that lets you down, or simple human error, these things just happen from time to time.

Planning for events and things that could go wrong

For every event organiser, ensuring their event is a success is always at the top of their list. However, sometimes no matter how well planned or organised the event is, things can go wrong out that are out of the control of the organiser.

Planning ahead plays an important role in finding the solutions and being aware of what can go wrong (more of obvious things, at least) and to make a contingency plan in case they do.

We look at 3 things that we often hear about going wrong at events, and provide some important actions you can take in order to mitigate them.

Unexpected weather

We all know how unpredictable the weather can be in the UK, no matter what time of the year. If you’re planning an event, especially an outdoor event, it’s vital to have a plan in place for any adverse weather conditions that may put your event at risk.

Having a backup location, such as an indoor location could mean the event could still go on. For a school fete, this could be the option to move activities from the playing field to the school hall. Or for a festival or fete, having a marquee could provide some reassurance that the rain will not affect the day.

However, if you don’t have a budget that can stretch, having some sufficient waterproof coverings for any technical equipment could provide some protection against the wet weather, as well as ensuring your team are prepared to mobilise should the heavens open.

Choosing weather-proof options for your decor and equipment, such as plastic seating that could be wiped down, for example. Avoid cushions any equipment that could soak up the rain and be ruined.

You could even think about providing disposable rain macs and umbrellas for the rain, or water bottles and sunscreen for those hotter days. Ensuring your attendees are comfortable, no matter the weather, will contribute to the experience of your event.

Key performer or speakers drops out

Your event is set-up to be a day to remember, with your attendees eager to attend you can’t wait for the event to start. Then disaster strikes. Your keynote speaker, headline band or special guest has failed to turn up. Maybe their plane is delayed, they have come down with an awful bug, or have just let you down and cancelled at the last minute. Whatever the excuse, you have a room full of attendees waiting to see them and nothing to show them. What are you going to do?

It is impossible to predict that something may stop your performer from arriving on the day of the event, however you can be prepared and put a few plans in place to mitigate any risk of them not turning up.

  • Get as much notice as possible from the participant that they can’t make it 
  • Already have a back up in mind. Insert a clause in the contract stating you need to be notified at least 24-hours in advance if the participant has any doubt that they might not be able to attend – that way, if they’re starting to feel unwell, they should let you know.

In terms of getting them to the venue on time, ask for confirmation of their travel plans and ensure there is more than enough time between their scheduled arrival and time to be on stage. If you have the budgets, you could even organise accommodation the day before the event to reduce the risk of any problems occurring with their travel.

 No one shows up!

There’s only one thing worse than the entertainment not showing up and that’s a poor turn out on the day. The thought of a large room, with just a few people walking around aimlessly about is enough to make even the calmest of organisers break into a sweat.

People not showing up can be a particular problem for events that are free. This is because  people will not be motivated to attend as they have not made a financial investment to attend the event. It’s often a good idea to charge for tickets, even if you decide to donate all of the proceeds to charity. Having to charge for tickets should reduce the risk dramatically of people not attending.

Even when people have paid to come and attend your event, it can be assumed that around 20% of people will not attend.


Here at Event Insurance Services, we understand the risks faced by clients and the breadth of knowledge and expertise within the team is unparalleled. Our dedicated team of underwriters work closely with all customers, taking the time to advise on risk assessment and designing an insurance policy that provides the right level of cover for their event.

We provide a range of Contingency Insurance Cover options for events held across the globe. Whether you’re a small private organisation needing a simple package put together, such as event liability coverage or event cancellation cover only, or a multi-national organisation requiring an extensive risk management programme protecting your exposures for events across the globe, our team are here to help.

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