Exploring contingency planning for adverse weather conditions : how well do event managers plan for inclement weather?

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Bridges, Trudi
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Mitchell, Helen
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
events planning
risk management
contingency planning
events managers
inclement weather
weather forecasting
special events
entertainment events
New Zealand
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Bridges, T. (2014). Exploring contingency planning for adverse weather conditions : how well do event managers plan for inclement weather? An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Business (MBus).
This research investigates the impact inclement weather has on outdoor events and the project planning implications for event managers. How well do event managers plan for inclement weather and how many just hope for the best? In March 2012 hundreds of New Zealanders had their weekend plans disrupted due to an impending ‘weather bomb’. The Met Service had issued a strong wind warning with gusts of 120km/h predicted along with heavy rain. The role of the event manager is to deliver the event according to the event scope and organisational goals and objectives through the development of an event plan (Getz, 2012). This is achieved through the event management framework of the development phase, operational planning phase, implementation, monitoring and management phase followed by an evaluation of the event (Mallen & Adams, 2008). Closely aligned is the contingency planning framework of identifying and managing risk. Contingency planning is the advanced preparation of action to meet unexpected events that could significantly impact the occasion should they occur. For every aspect of the event there should be a contingency plan. To discover how well event managers’ plan for inclement weather a questionnaire aligned to the event management process was developed to explore event managers’ preparedness for the effects of weather on their events. Fifteen event managers of outdoor events from throughout New Zealand participated in the research. Potentially there will be those whose events have suffered detrimentally to inclement weather conditions and those that have not. Results showed event managers in New Zealand are well aware of the perils Mother Nature can deliver to an event. There was evidence the event managers have good monitoring systems in place to monitor impending weather conditions. They are also cognisant of the need to provide shelter and protection from the elements for their patrons. The research results indicated elements of weakness when planning for contingency in the areas of budget setting and seeking appropriate weather insurance to protect an organisation from potential financial losses that inclement weather may bring.
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