Friday, January 22, 2016

Let It Snow: What Is Your Inclement Weather Policy?

I'm stranded in Virginia at my parent's house. assures me I will be here until Monday at the very least.

I guess if you must be stranded, it might as well be with people you love.

Well, it seems the perfect time to break out an inclement weather post!

Businesses, little league, and other types of groups that require people to gather in order to do something communally usually have some kind of inclement weather policy.

If you were ever involved in the PTA or a church leadership, this set up will not be shocking to you!

Then there are the groups where a single person makes a decision, and everyone else just has to wait and see what it is.

Someone (usually the superintendent of schools) decides which schools will be open on any particular day, and they often let everyone know at about five in the morning. You just go to the website!

Does your artist business have an inclement weather policy?

DLW Storyteller Inc., my company, has one.

We instituted this after a particularly bad year where we lost about six thousand dollars in revenue during one horrifyingly snowy week in February.

Our inclement weather policy dovetails right into our regular policy, so it is neither elaborate, nor needlessly complicated. Here are the steps.

1. A week before a show, the company contacts the venues to confirm times and dates. (this is standard procedure)

2. If there is some sort of inclement weather, a plan is put into place. One of four things could happen.

                a. We will consider the situation as we get a little closer to the date. (This requires a follow up phone call to see if action needs to be taken, or if we plan to attempt the show as scheduled.)

                b. We move the show to another day. (This avoids headaches...unless we run into more weather, and then you just go back to step one.

               c. We roll the dice, and just wait and see. (Sometimes this works, and our optimism is rewarded. Sometimes Mother Nature laughs heartily, and we discover at about five in the morning that the school is closed, and we need to think about another date.)

               d. If the show is cancelled on the day in question, and we have not picked another date because of our rose colored glasses, then we offer the school the next available dates. We usually follow up with them if they don't pick one after about a week, but most venues get back to us within about forty-eight hours.

3. If the venue has trouble finding a date to reschedule, we work to accommodate them even if it means rescheduling for the coming year. Some places decide to cancel the event altogether. Eight years ago we instituted a deposit policy that is non-refundable. If an organization decides not to book the show, that is their prerogative, but we do not offer refunds. The only way a group would see that deposit again is if my company was responsible for the cancelation.

It is very simple, but it makes the snowy season much less stressful. It also makes venues feel better when they know you are thinking about how to make the show work. We also make sure we instigate the contact and the rescheduling so they are not running around after us.

So, there you have it.

As for me, I'm going to curl up here at my mother's house, and have a nice cup of tea with honey.

The school I was supposed to visit this afternoon in North Carolina was closed last night, and probably won't even be open Monday, but that's okay since the show was rescheduled for next Thursday last Wednesday.

Happy Snow Day!

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