Recently LimeLight Expressions was interviewed by the Midlands Business Journal. We thought they asked wonderful questions regarding summer events. Our answers may be helpful for your corporate events and weddings:

∙      What are some of the biggest potential disasters our readers should plan for as it relates to company outings scheduled in the summer?

When planning summer company outings there are a couple different things to keep in mind:

Plan early: With summer schedules, not only do venues book up fast, but everyone has busy days, packed with everything from children’s sporting events and weddings to vacations and changing work schedules. To ensure the best turnout, be sure to give employees plenty of notice of any summer company outings.

Always have a back-up plan: If your event will be held outside, make sure to have a plan B! With wonderful Nebraska weather, you never know what the next day has in store. It’s best to include back-up plans with all your outings and be ready to easily move events inside if necessary, or have a make-up rain date in mind.

If the weather will be hot, make sure to plan for ways that guests can cool themselves down. Be creative! Anything from outside A/C units to fun fans or water games can help stave off overheating.

∙      What are some ways our readers should plan for/take these disasters into account?

First, you want to start by planning your event out, from beginning to end. Will you be using internal resources to plan your outing, a team/board, or will you be able to eliminate additional workloads by hiring a professional? Making these decisions early will help you get the right people in the right places.

Next, decide on the budget, location, and theme of your event. Setting a budget will really help you cut down on any unnecessary costs and keep you on track to hosting a successful event. No matter how big or small your company, everyone has a budget and you need to follow it to avoid accruing any unnecessary expenses.

Hiring a professional event planning company such as LimeLight Expressions can save a lot of hassle, as they help you keep track of your budget, research location ideas, and offer unique and fresh themed ideas. Plus, event planners have experience working with many different vendors, which means they know who to work with and can save you money by negotiating our your behalf. These also prevent disasters from popping up before or during your event.

The only real “disasters” that you unfortunately can’t control are the weather and other people’s actions, but you can certainly have back-up plans to guide you through these stressors. Another great reason to hire a professional event planning company: They live to put out fires! Often times a good planner will nip a disaster in the bud before you’ve even noticed it has started to bloom.

∙      What are some memorable times where you had to put emergency preparedness plans into action? Examples of disaster scenarios and what made the difference in those cases?

A few years ago, LimeLight Expressions had planned a company event for a very large group. Since the event was in summer and held in a tent, we knew we had to have A/C units pumping cool air into the tent. We also had designed program fans for guests to do a little self-fanning for an additional way to cool down, and we offered delicious, unique beverages designed to quench thirst on a hot summer day. We were ready for the heat!

Unfortunately, the A/C units had other plans. Despite our careful testing before the event, they decided not to work just in time for the party to start—in the promised sweltering heat. We immediately called the vendor, hoping for rescue. Alas, no one from the A/C vendor could arrive for hours. It was time to take matters into our own hands.

We first called an electrician friend to troubleshoot the (very expensive) A/C units. Fortunately, they were able to come and work their magic, but that wasn’t going to help our melting guests in the short term. The LimeLight team then called up every other vendor we knew and reserved what seemed like every fan in the city! We drove all over town collecting fans and, in the end, everyone was cool and comfortable until the A/C units were back up and running.

This last minute scramble wasn’t what we had in mind, but we did what we hope any professional would do—anything necessary to make sure the job got done and got done right!

∙      What are some of the biggest pitfalls associated with planning for “the worst”?

The biggest pitfall most people encounter when planning for the worst is the extra cost it can bring. Unfortunately, Plan B’s put another line item in the budget, and knowing that it may never be used can hurt. However, a good event planner or team should be able to foresee these items and be able to cancel or add items in a moment’s notice, developing a Plan B for their Plan B!

In any event, it is always better to plan for the worst and hope for the best. There’s really no other way to make sure your guests have a positive and memorable experience.

∙      Along the lines of the last question, what do you see as the biggest misconceptions associated with contracts and the company’s responsibilities in cases where disaster strikes? Please dispel any myths tied to contractual obligations and related matters.

Most contracts include a line stating that there are no refunds or exceptions made due to acts of God, etc. However, most companies are actually willing to work with the party and their clients to make sure that the event is success, ensuring both repeat business and a good word of mouth. With this in mind, many vendors will be more accommodating than their contracts suggest, if and when something should happen that is out of your control.

Of course, this is another great reason to hire an event planning company; the event planner likely has a good working relationship with the majority of venues and vendors in your area and are well-equipped to negotiate on your behalf in situations like these.

LimeLight Expressions has been in business for over 10 years and proudly has 9 awards celebrating their success in event and wedding planning and design. As you look for an event planner, take the time to find one that not only has years of experience, but also a good working relationship with the community and is fully insured. These safeguards will bring you the most memorable event possible, without the headache!

Now You’re in the LimeLight!