Always Have A Plan “B” (And “C” And “D”…)- Because (Stuff) Happens

Posted by Dave

Tomorrow night, my band is booked to play an outdoor barbecue for a convention group. The date has been on the books for months. But – according to tomorrow’s weather forecast – the outside temperature as the party begins will be in the low 50s and falling fast. Looks like we may have to go to our fallback (or Plan “B”) option – a climate-controlled, indoor ballroom.

No problem, right? Wrong. You see, I’ve also had an afternoon event scheduled for months, emceeing a charity golf tournament. My evening client knew this when they booked me, and made arrangements for me to do an early set-up at the barbecue site. Problem solved – right?

Wrong again! Today, the agent responsible for the evening job was told by the hotel that a luncheon in the ballroom (Plan “B” – remember?) won’t end in time for me to complete my early set-up. I can’t be at the golf tournament and the ballroom (or any other 2 places) at the same time. So we now have a new problem.

Enter Plan “C”. In the event the barbecue is moved indoors, one of my friendly competitors in the local variety band business will set up his PA in the ballroom. (Just as I would do for him.) It won’t be exactly the same as if we were using our regular equipment, but it will work just fine.

The show will go on, as scheduled. But – as you can see – not only a back-up plan, but a back-up for that plan will have been necessary. As you plan your next event, be prepared to deal with similar last-minute contingencies that can de-rail your party. It is the rare event that actually goes off without a Plan “B” somewhere.

An axiom of military planning says that battles aren’t won by the armies with the best plan – the victories go to whichever side adapts best after the plans fall apart. As the commanding general of your party, you can adapt quicker if (1.) you have experienced and trustworthy vendors working with you (ready – and able – to adjust to new realities), and (2.) you expect a surprise or two before the night is over.

Charge, General!


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