Last Updated on October 7, 2021
As an event planner, you should live by this mantra: if you plan for the worst you will never be surprised at what happens. On the plus side, the worst very rarely comes into play. On the downside, you never know when something could go horribly wrong.
Here are the three questions you need to answer:
- What types of event disasters are most common?
- What is the best strategy for preventing these disasters?
- What process should you follow if a disaster strikes your event?
Let’s start out with the first question. Here are some of the most common event disasters:
- Bad weather
- Loss of electricity
- Loss of internet
- Fight or argument
Some of these things you can control, others can come about at any time.
For example, you never know when bad weather is going to hit. Even if the forecast looks favorable, things can take a turn for the worse. As a result, attendees and speakers may be late to arrive. Furthermore, you could find your venue struggling to maintain power and internet connectivity. It could also bring safety concerns, limit attendance numbers, and make sponsor satisfaction low.
Being aware of common disasters is a great place to start, however, it is more important that you have a strategy in place to prevent trouble.
Here is what you should do:
- Consider any preventative measures you can take for each type of disaster.
- Be on the lookout for trouble from the first minute of the first day.
- Hedge off minor problems before they become major issues.
For the sake of this list, let’s consider how to prepare for the possibility of a fight. Even though you expect everybody to act in a civilized manner, there is always the possibility that an argument will spill over. Keep your eye out for people who are not getting along or possibly drinking maybe a little too much. Additionally, get to know the security team at the venue. This way, if something goes wrong you will know exactly who to get in touch with.
Finally, let’s assume that disaster strikes home. These are the things you can do to deal with the problem in a timely and efficient manner:
- Identify the exact problem (be as detailed as possible).
- Put your emergency plan into effect.
- Stick with solving the problem until you are happy with the solution.
- Follow up to ensure that the problem does not “come back to life.”
- Document everything in case further issues arise.
The most important point is to identify the exact problem. For example, you may come to find that the venue lost its internet connection. That is the problem, but what you need to know is why this happened. Was it caused by severe weather? How about a problem with the service provider? You cannot successfully deal with the problem until you pinpoint exactly what you are dealing with.
Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best
As an event planner, you never know what each new day will bring. As long as you plan for the worst and hope for the best, nothing will come your way that you are unable to handle.
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