Crisis planning: 'As an industry we are falling behind'

Dale Parmenter, group CEO at DRPG, says event planners must take more responsibility for learning how to protect their delegates.

It’s our duty as event planners to protect delegates, and organisers should be planning for attacks as a possibility at their events.

There is no getting away from it as the media reminds us of the risk and keeps it at the forefront of people’s minds. The fear remains prevalent.

As an industry, we are falling behind in this area and we need to take responsibility ourselves.

Although your event is much more likely to suffer a crisis based around the transport, weather, equipment or human error than any attack scenario, at DRPG we are discussing crisis plans in relation to the terror threat because this appears to be people’s primary concern at the moment.

It would be better if we could collaborate more with suppliers and industry peers, and create clearer lines to show who is responsible for what elements.

Industry-wide, we produce a huge range of events with a variety of budgets. It may not always be financially viable or sensible to create a large-scale crisis management plan. But here are five steps I think will help planners create robust and thorough crisis planning documents:

  1. Define a crisis
    Ensure your teams understand what constitutes a genuine crisis.

  2. Know your command structure
    Define and make known who your key crisis strategists are.

  3. Know your contact structure
    Understand how you activate your crisis plan and reach your crisis team 24 hours a day.

  4. Liaise with your key suppliers
    You and your suppliers should ensure that your crisis procedures work alongside each other.

  5. Have social media guidelines
    Know your social media policy before a crisis occurs. A handful of poorly worded tweets could escalate a minor crisis to a full-scale PR disaster.

Crisis documents should be dynamic. They must consider everything from the cloakroom through to your client contacts, your on-site team and your contacts in the wider business.

Your crisis planning should be transferable to any situation, even the most unlikely. Don’t be unprepared.

This article was written by Dale Parmenter, group CEO at DRPG. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of C&IT Magazine.

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in

48 hours in... Istanbul

48 hours in... Istanbul

From a boat tour on the Bosphorus Strait to rooftop belly dancing, here are our top picks for two days in the Turkish city.

ILEA UK's new board announced

ILEA UK's new board announced

The International Live Events Association says it aims to be an inclusive and inspiring global community during a 'challenging time'.

LIVE UPDATES: Morocco to start reopening borders

LIVE UPDATES: Morocco to start reopening borders

Find out which countries are on partial or national lockdown, what travel restrictions are in place and what size gatherings are allowed.

Smyle appoints new managing director

Smyle appoints new managing director

Creative agency reshuffles its senior leadership team to support its new virtual and hybrid events business.

Hospitality industry welcomes VAT reduction in chancellor's summer statement

Hospitality industry welcomes VAT reduction in chancellor's summer statement

MICE sector continues to wait for further clarification on financial support and a date for restarting live events.

How have event apprenticeships been affected by coronavirus?

How have event apprenticeships been affected by coronavirus?

A group of apprentices share their experiences of learning about the industry during lockdown.

RSVP podcast Ep6: Jessica Rabbit, fraudsters and sleeping in army trucks

RSVP podcast Ep6: Jessica Rabbit, fraudsters and sleeping in army trucks

This week's special guest is Julia Charles, managing director of Julia Charles Event Management.

'Working on the inaugural Invictus Games was amazing'

'Working on the inaugural Invictus Games was amazing'

A-List 2020: Rachel Douglass is a senior event manager at Yellow Fish.

Venues #LightItInRed to show support for events industry

Venues #LightItInRed to show support for events industry

Campaign to draw attention to struggling events businesses and employees lights iconic buildings red.

Dear C&IT: Graphs and data are useful but they can’t measure feelings

Dear C&IT: Graphs and data are useful but they can’t measure feelings

Metrics are great but don't forget to create a memorable experience, says Phil Staines from FIRST.