Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ready for anything?

Last weekend served as a wake-up call that no matter how much you plan and how hard you work, sometimes circumstances can derail your best efforts.

Last Saturday was supposed to be ASGA's New York City Student Government Training Conference. It was going to be the largest conference we've ever done outside of our national conference in DC.

My daughter and I fly to New York on Thursday night, trying to stay ahead of the blizzard blasting the Big Apple. But by Friday morning, the conditions were terrible-- blowing snow and drifts of several feet. Our taxi spun out trying to turn and its tires were constantly slipping on the icy roads.

Over the past five years, ASGA has produced nearly 60 conferences and we've never had to postpone one because of weather. I didn't want to cancel, but the host college was closed and thousands of flights were cancelled. On the Wheather Channel, the only bad travel area on the U.S. map was New York City!

I just couldn't in good conscience produce the conference knowing how dangerous travel conditions were going to be for anyone brave enough to drive. After conferring with the host college, we just made the "call" and quickly wrote all attendees Friday morning.

This was frustrating, as our team was ready to produce the conference. All of our materials had arrived and we were ready to set up. It looked like all of our speakers would be able to make it in time.

If we had produced the conference, I predict half of the attendees would have had to cancel. Their colleges and universities would have stopped them from attending.

Postponing the conference was the right decision. It was a wise decision to help protect the safety of our attendees.

It just shows me that no matter how much you do to be prepared for anything, there is something that will come up in your path that you have never encountered before. We're always learning and coping!