Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Monday morning quarterbacking and Cape May event planning.

Monday morning quarterbacking is according to Websters New World College dictionary,  “a person who, after the event, offers advice or criticism concerning decisions made by others; one who second-guesses” the decision maker. My guess is that folks who rarely volunteer are the first to Monday morning quarterback events. In case you missed it, last Saturday’s Oktoberfest was cancelled on Friday afternoon. No rain date was planned. 

Oktoberfest, Dragon Boat and Harbor Fest are three examples of Cape May’s largest events. All are weather sensitive and subject to crucial planning choices, including rain dates when possible.

Oktoberfest is  slightly different from the other two since it takes place on an already crowded neighborhood street-historic Jackson Street. Closing Jackson Street on the first Saturday in October is fine. Closing  down on a Sunday with  a heavy check-out from two hotels and numerous B&B’s is next to impossible.

These events don’t happen by accident. Lots of coordination between, the City, merchants, residents and vendors takes place for months in the year-long planning. I know because I have worked on many of the committees putting these events together. I can tell you first hand, that the last thing anyone wants to do is cancel an event.

Canceling and moving to a rain date is anguishing enough. Canceling and not having a rain date (see above) is excruciating for everyone involved. Planners know that people look forward to this event and food and retail vendors have increased their inventories.

The vendors (sometimes 75-100 of them), the oom-pah band even the relied upon port-o-potties have to be immediately notified of a cancellation.

As an event planner, you have to make a call based on the information you have at your disposal at the time a decision has to be made, in this case roughly 24 hours before the event.

Available weather forecasts called for morning thunderstorms and gusty winds. Event planners, imagining vendors setting up in the worse conditions had no choice but to call the event. Who could blame them?

Looking through the filter of the weather (sure the sun came out) apparently a lot of people could blame them. The Monday morning quarterbacks showed themselves by Saturday afternoon.

Of course it was disappointing to lose the event and the revenue to the vendors, the neighborhood association and the Chamber of Commerce. Heck, with two beer gardens planned, no one was more disappointed than myself.  Thirsty or not,  I will be the last one to second guess the decision makers.



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  1. Ron Goldstein
    October 8, 2014 / 3:27 pm

    Thanks for the support. All the usual cry babies came out by Monday in force.
    Yes, very difficult decision but a proper one, all things considered.

  2. Craig van Baal
    October 9, 2014 / 3:24 pm

    You are so right John. These events are so weather sensitive. It was a wise move to cancel. It was done for the safety of the participants. Why else would one cancel? Safety first and last. Thunder storms and high winds are a recipe for disaster. No one wants to use that recipe.

    • JohnCooke
      October 9, 2014 / 4:06 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting Craig. I like the comment one person made on Facebook….Monday morning QB’s need a hobby.