The Reason for a Rain Plan

The Reason for a Rain Plan

Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of planning the 2ndAnnual Street Hockey Festival presented by the Andover Hockey Association and held at Merrimack College. Last year’s event was a huge success and we were thrilled to be brought on board again this year.

There were around 75 kids signed up for an exciting day of fun: street hockey tournament, food, bouncy house, yard games, a raffle with really great prizes and of course a beer garden for the parents.

Everything sounded great, except for the weather…Mother Nature did not want to cooperate on this one. We were hearing varying weather reports on just how bad and the exact timeline, not that unusual for New England weather, so we decided to go for it. Unfortunately for us, that morning it was downpouring with no sign of letting up and we were forced to make the last-minute decision to postpone it to the following day.  It was definitely the right call and the event still ended up being fantastic!

As an event planner, we always recommend having a rain plan. Often, it’s an indoor option so the event can happen on the same day with some modifications; in this case, it made more sense to have a rain date, given the event could not really take place indoors.

Here are some tips for choosing a rain date and still pulling off a great event!

  1. Pick a day close to the original date: This will help to save money if you need to make a last-minute decision, as we did. The rentals were there and we were able to keep them for an extra day at no additional cost and the same for the bouncy house. If the rain date was the following weekend, we would have paid for everything twice.
  2. Have it in writing: Ask your vendors to put the rain date in your contract, if possible, to make sure they are holding it for you.
  3. Know your deadline: Find out when is the absolute latest that a decision needs to be made.
  4. Let attendees know of the planned rain date: Communicate the rain date in advance so that attendees are saving this date as well.
  5. Hire Swank so you don’t have to deal with any of the above 🙂

We’re always here for you and would love to assist with your next event, rain or shine!

Street Hockey, Music, Burgers & Dogs – What Could be Better?

Street Hockey, Music, Burgers & Dogs – What Could be Better?

Photo credit: New England Spots Photo – Alex Iannicelli

On Saturday, August 19, we worked with the Andover Hockey Association (AHA) to plan their first annual Street Hockey Festival at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell. This inaugural event offered AHA members a well-organized street hockey tournament, fun music, great food and plenty of family-friendly activities; creating the perfect opportunity to have some fun outside the rink!

AHA, the largest youth hockey program in New England, was looking to create a fun kick-off event where players, coaches and families could all gather and have a great time together. In addition to the street hockey tournament, there was a bouncy house, complete with a basketball hoop and large slide, provided by Busy Bee Jumpers, yard games and delicious food, provided by Aramark.

One of the event sponsors setup an endurance course and the local fire and police departments even participated in the fun, providing tours of their respective vehicles – a huge hit with the kids!

This event attracted nearly 200 attendees and directly aligns with the AHA mission of organizing and promoting a fun, safe, and developmentally rewarding hockey experience for all Andover children. Tournament participants also received a ticket to the UMass Lowell River Hawks vs. UNH Wildcats hockey game on October 6th, providing another opportunity to bring the Andover hockey community together.

“Our first summer street hockey party was a great success based on the feedback from the kids and the parents,” said AHA Board President, Matt McLaughlin. “It was like going back in time to the days when kids would just go out and play with their friends in the neighborhood and have fun.  Events like this make our community, our young players and their love for the game stronger.”

AHA and Swank Events is already looking forward to next year’s event and anticipates an even bigger crowd. We are incredibly grateful to the generous event sponsors, including: TSR Hockey, Valley Hockey League, Xcelerated Performance and New England Sports Photo.

The kids weren’t the only ones that had a blast!