Another round of winter storms is scheduled to hit the East Coast this evening and tomorrow, with as many as 18 inches falling between Washington and New York. And though D.C. planners are postponing and canceling this week’s events on a individual basis, New Yorkers are so far staying the course.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday, is a massive enough undertaking that it appears there aren't any parties or shows anticipating postponement. Events on tap for tomorrow evening, the series' unofficial kickoff, are going ahead regardless of the weather.
“We are moving full steam ahead,” said Amfar vice president and director of development Gregorgy Boroff, who has planned the foundation's annual New York gala tomorrow night at Cipriani 42nd Street. “We’re proactively reaching out to our attendees to let them know that the show will go on and to find out if they have any guest name changes or are expecting fewer people at their table. That way we can minimize the number of empty seats in the room.”
Fashion Week presentations at off-site venues, including Gen Art's “The New Garde,” are also still on—as are the New York City Ballet's annual luncheon and a dog-friendly party for Purina gourmet label Chef Michael's.
Meanwhile, Washington's recently snowed-in planners are a tad more apprehensive about the rest of the week.
“There was no right decision,” said Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association D.C. chapter president Tina Jordan, who canceled a 400-person conference scheduled for tomorrow at the Washington Hilton. “In the end it was a matter of wanting a successful event. For our sponsors, we want the best R.O.I. possible and, most importantly, we didn't want anyone to risk their safety getting here.”
The Afcea conference will now take place at the same venue sometime in mid-March, but other Wednesday events got bumped one day ahead of schedule. A concert celebration of civil rights music in the White House's East Room, planned by first lady Michelle Obama, will be held Tuesday night instead of Wednesday. There's no word on whether scheduled performers such as Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez will be able to make it.
Still, there are some Washington planners who won't let the weather get the best of them—or their clients. Event Emissary owner and Andrew Mellon Auditorium event manager Jenna Mack went ahead with a gala for the American Architectural Foundation last Friday, during the last blizzard, when her client hired buses to transport guests to and from the venue. Well over half of the expected attendees made it.
“Yesterday, I had a shovel digging out the end of the driveway so that I could get a truck into the loading area,” said Mack, who had to move a Foundation Fighting Blindness event from Wednesday to Thursday. “You do what you have to do. It's just snow.”