How I Saved the Day: Tornado Turnaround

Cvent Advocates is a fun and bustling VIP community of enthusiastic meeting and event planners. In addition to building relationships with like-minded individuals, advocates also have access to top industry content and resources in the Cvent Advocates Hub. We love hearing about our advocates’ experiences, that is why we created the mini-blog series, How I Saved the Day. We asked our Cvent Advocates to share a time when they almost encountered an event catastrophe if it wasn’t for their witty solution. You’ll feel their franticness, and applaud their quick thinking, as you read and enjoy their relatable experiences.

I* was managing a week-long conference at a church in Illinois in the fall season. On the second morning of the conference, I received a phone call at 5 am from my liaison at the venue to inform me that there had been a small tornado that blew through at 3 am that demolished the entire east wing of the venue. They immediately contacted structural engineers to ensure the safety of the building, while I assembled the entirety of the employees who were hosting the event. We decided to divide and conquer. We organized into teams and we cleaned up the parking lot, roped off the destroyed wing, adjusted our meeting spaces for breakouts accordingly, and recreated signage. Meanwhile, our video team put together a quick one minute video from the security footage that documented the actual tornado to be shown to our attendees. This was able to contribute to the event’s story and show attendees all the hard work that happened before they arrived which was much appreciated.  All in all, it was a win!

*This true story was submitted by Cvent Advocate, Traci Espeseth.