With an increasing number of incidents occurring around the world, meetings and event planners are understandably seeking assurances from their chosen event partner. In light of the recent attacks we have witnessed, this is particularly true for Europe, where we see a great number of our clients placing a much stronger emphasis on emergency response planning.
Ultimately meeting and event planners, DMCs, convention centres and hotels around the world are looking for reassurance that should an emergency occur, we would be able to help them as much as possible, through following procedures that have been implemented as part of a risk management strategy.
Risk management planning in today’s environment has become an essential part of organising any event. Having said this, even with the best measures in place, we cannot completely protect our clients from incidents that can or may occur.
Communication is key
Experience in the industry is still somewhat limited when it comes to emergency risk management procedures and whilst most companies are beginning to implement internal plans and training processes, the real questions we need to address are: How is the plan being communicated both internally and externally and are people really prepared to respond, should it need to be implemented?
As I lead the team at Pacific World to actively develop a comprehensive risk management strategy for all types of events we curate, here are some questions and measures we encourage the industry to openly share and acknowledge during the planning stage.
One of the key learnings we have noted is that risk management strategies are a lot clearer and more successful if there are two separate teams on the ground for events. One team should be responsible for focusing on the successful delivery of the conference or event, and there should be a separate team dedicated to implementing the emergency response plan, should this be required.
Event planners must have a clear understanding of what information the authorities would need in the event of an emergency. Because this information is often unknown, many event-planning companies are not able to include this in advance, as part of an emergency response plan, so finding out and preparing accordingly is one sure way to get ahead of the game.
Another important consideration to account for is how attendees can be located if they are not at the event location. If an incident occurs, what measures can be put in place to allow attendees to ‘check in’, confirming that they are safe?
It’s also vital that the chosen event management company has the capabilities of acting quickly when it comes to logistics and ensuring that clients can be moved promptly from any unsafe situation. If delegates need to be diverted from one destination to the next at a moments notice; can this be done by the event company responsible?
Whether you're a DMC or an agency, risk management strategies can't be ignored. Now is the time for companies to look at what they're doing- and make the changes they need to stay strong in an unpredictable world.
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