As crisis management needs continue to envelop our country, now is the time to revisit and reconsider safety measures and protocols for in-person events. It is also an opportune time to train staff and prep vendors, making sure everyone is familiar with crisis plans and procedures in place.
In-person Events and the Importance of a Crisis Management Plan
When it comes to in-person events, having a comprehensive crisis management plan is crucial. Not only does it fall under your duty of care as an event planner, but it also ensures the proper precautions are in place to protect your stakeholders.
The list of potential misfortunes is nearly endless, with some items more specific to certain times of the year. For example, summer has a higher prevalence of heat stroke and dehydration. If hosting an event outdoors during this time of year, it is vital to offer refreshments at cool-down or hydration stations for attendees. This is not only practical but can also be incorporated into the theme of an event and presents a great opportunity for sponsorships.
Additional issues or a crisis that could arise include:
- Hurricane/weather-related issues
- Active shooter
- Medical emergency
The list of possible emergencies or situations can range from large to small. But, the important thing to keep in mind is that the more prepared you are, the easier it will be to pivot, find a solution, and quickly resolve the situation.
At Paragon Events, we’ve learned first and foremost that it isn’t enough to just have a plan A and B. To account for different scenarios, we may go as far as having a plan A through H sometimes! There’s no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to crisis management.
Life is full of the unexpected. That’s why preparing for all possible avenues is vital to ensuring everyone’s safety — from vendors to attendees and staff.
Things to Consider When Formulating a Crisis Management Plan
Do you have appropriate medical staff and trained officials on-site in case of a medical emergency, such as a heart attack? In the event of a hurricane, fire, or other events, do you have adequate insurance to pay for the damages and ensure everything is taken care of and covered?
Assess the risk associated with each scenario and evaluate the multiple factors involved. With this in mind, it is also important to note that a crisis management plan or call to action should not lead to panic, but should be straightforward and transparent without alarming attendees or others.
Crisis Management Plan Essentials:
- Insurance – Lessen your liability and protect yourself with proper documentation and plans. Do you have proper coverage for liability and cancelation?
- Incident reports & EMTs on site – Are you prepared if an attendee gets injured? What’s your plan of action? Do you have the proper documentation in place? What does the venue’s plan of action look like and how will you work together?
- Security – Do you have the proper security on-site to protect attendees and enforce rules? Have you alerted local authorities about your event and any possible situations or threats they should be aware of?
- Appropriate contract clauses – Knowing your contracts is huge! Force majeure is one of the most important clauses to protect your event. The pandemic taught the industry the importance of proper wording and coverage in specialty clauses.
Familiarize Everyone with Preparedness Plans & Protocols
It’s never a bad time to thoroughly review any crisis plan and have specific emergency preparedness training with your team. One of the essential components of effective crisis management is to continuously be looking at and evaluating your plans. Each event, client, location and venue will have specific needs to address. This means your crisis management plan should not take a one-size-fits-all approach.
It is important that leaders are identified and understand their role when the time comes to take charge. All of your key stakeholders should be aware of the full crisis management plan and clear on their responsibility. Everyone has a duty to act appropriately in the time of a crisis, so the more prepared your team, clients and vendors are, the more likely they will respond well if an incident were to occur.
Are you and your team prepared for a crisis?
Crisis management can feel scary and it’s not easy to prepare for every scenario. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to enhance your current safety plans, our team of experts can help craft a comprehensive plan tailored to any scenario. Contact us for more information.