With so many details associated with planning an event, it is possible to overlook the fact that some sort of disaster may occur. While disaster may be unlikely, you must be prepared for the unforeseen. Some things are out of anyone’s control, but it’s your responsibility to have an action plan.
Below are three potential (and somewhat common) event disasters you should plan for:
1. Medical emergency.
The more people you have at your event the higher the likelihood you will face some sort of medical emergency. Aside from choosing a safe facility and not engaging guests in dangerous activities, limiting risk is about having a solid response plan.
Limiting risk includes having solid emergency response plans
What will you do if an attendee faints or has a heart attack? How about if somebody trips and falls?
You should fully understand your event venues internal emergency response capabilities. Larger venues have trained staff and highly detailed procedures, while a smaller venue may only have a basic first aid kit. Depending on the size of the event, preparedness could be anything from having local emergency authorities on speed dial to having medical staff present.
2. A fight amongst those in attendance.
Would you expect this to happen at a business event? Of course not. That being said, this is way more common than it should be. Guests may have past history, a discussion group could get too passionate, or emotions flare up at cocktail hour. You never know when something could be said that leads to a fight.
You should have a general idea of how security would work in the event of violence or a crowd surge. Once again, your event venue’s response plan and size of your conference will help determine what level investment is made in security. Often, your best bet is to hire security, especially if the event is going to be large. The more people in attendance the better chance there is of a fight or disagreement.
Follow on: Crowd control is of utmost importance for everyone’s safety, and especially important for large events.
3. No electricity or water service.
Event venues will do whatever it takes to avoid this type of disaster, however it is not always possible. For example, a storm could roll through knocking power out. Or maybe a water main breaks and water pressure is suddenly lost.
You should plan for this potential disaster with your venue contact. You may find they have a plan in place such as backup generators. Review their evacuation plans, and subsequent crowd control strategies, shelter and transportation capabilities. Use common sense. If your event lasts four hours and everyone is local, you probably just wrap up and go home, but if 5,000 people have traveled from all over the world for three days of events, you better have contingency plans in place!
Your job as an event planner is to be prepared, to know how your team will react in any situation. Your plans may never be used, but they make it so that if the worst-case scenarios hit, you simple react – as planned. Don’t leave things up to chance or rely on luck.