5 Tips for Bad Weather Communication to your Event Participants
Managing communications around adverse weather is crucial for maintaining trust, safety and satisfaction of tournament attendees.
1. BE PROACTIVE
- When to Communicate: Communicate the possibility of bad weather as soon as it is identified, allowing attendees to make informed decisions and preparations.
- Updates: Regularly update attendees as the event date approaches and as conditions change.
Example: If you know weather could be a problem at your upcoming event – prepare your participants and attendees for it. They may not be aware of the potential issue (as they may be coming from out of town) and communicating in advance builds awareness that the event might not go as planned.
2. SAFETY INFORMATION
- Precautionary Measures: Outline the safety measures attendees should take, such as wearing appropriate clothing or bringing necessary items (e.g., rain gear, water).
- Emergency Procedures: Clearly communicate the procedures in place in the event of severe weather, including evacuation routes, shelter locations, and first aid stations.
Example: In your pre-event communications, your Emergency Action Plan and specific procedures and protocols around severe weather are crucial to successfully preventing a weather related accident. If you have a text opt-in platform, include that information here so that parents and players can set it up prior to the event.
3. BE CONCISE
- Clear Messaging: All communications needs to clear, concise, and free of insider jargon. Specify the nature of the weather conditions and the potential impact on the event.
- Visuals and Alerts: Use visuals where applicable to quickly convey messages.
Example: When communicating about inclement weather show a visual of the weather on a map. Let your attendees know when the next time you will update them. Uncertainty is what creates stress for parents and participants which results in more work for the event directors.
4. MULTICHANNEL APPROACH
- All Channels: Utilize every communication channel—email, social media, text messages—to reach as many people as possible. Create draft emails ahead of time that include proper branding and pre-loaded lists of attendees, so when you make the call all you have to do is update the information in the body of the email and send.
- On-site Signage and Announcements: On-site, make use of visible signage and public address systems to convey real-time information to attendees.
Example: There is never too much information. Define your channels and one message should be delivered through all of them.
5. EMPATHY & SOLUTIONS:
- Empathize with frustrations: Acknowledge the inconvenience and potential disappointment that changes or cancellations may cause.
- Offer Alternatives and Solutions: If possible, offer alternatives such as rescheduled dates, refunds, or other compensation. Explain the steps attendees should take if action is required on their part.
Bad weather sucks, and creates a negative vibe around the event. No one can control the weather (which 90% of your participants know) but event organizers can certainly control the preparation, communication, and customer facing response to it,
Being receptive to feedback and promptly addressing any concerns will further build trust with your participants.
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