How to Plan for Emergencies at Meetings and Events
Your plan is probably to nail down every possible detail of your event in order to ensure it goes off without a hitch. As an experienced corporate meeting planner can tell, you, though, never know when an unexpected emergency might arise. This is why it’s so important to work closely with your global meeting planner to come up with a plan for emergency preparedness that ensures you address any emergency, large or small, with a suitable response.
How can you plan for emergencies at meetings and events when you have no idea what types of situations could arise? Here are a few tips to help you ensure the safety and security of event attendees in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Ask Venues about Emergency Preparedness
Says Chelsea Litos, VP Account Management at AMI, “Your event is not the first rodeo for most venues, which means they’ve already got plans in place for emergency situations, from a person experiencing a seizure or heart attack to a disaster level event like a mass shooting or a fire. They’ll have first aid on hand, numbers for the nearest emergency services, and protocols for evacuation, if necessary. This is your best resource when it comes to emergency preparedness for your event.”
Collect Info on Local Emergency Services
Even though your venue likely has solid plans in place for emergency or disaster situations, it behooves you and your global meeting planner to take steps to become aware of emergency services available in the venue and the local environs, especially if you have off-site activities planned. Collecting contact information for local PD and fire departments is a good idea, as is finding the nearest hospitals, pharmacies, alternative lodgings, alternative airports (and other travel hubs), and so on. This will only help you and your global meeting planner to create a comprehensive plan for reacting should emergency situations arise.
Talk to your Corporate Meeting Planner about Adding Event Security
There’s a chance your venue has security services in place, but you may want to go the extra mile to ensure the safety of guests by hiring additional event security. At the very least, you’ll want security details at points of entry to ensure that only registered attendees get into your event, but you’ll also want extra bodies in place to direct an evacuation, for example. Your corporate meeting planner should be able to help you hire an appropriate security team for the size and scope of your event.
Work with Your Global Meeting Planner and Venue on Evacuation and Disaster Plans
Although the odds of a disaster during your event are slim, you need to be prepared nonetheless if you want to avoid liability and keep guests as safe as possible. Working with your corporate meeting planner and the event venue staff, you should be able to come up with suitable plans for coping with disaster scenarios, including those that require a full-scale evacuation. Having these plans in place and being prepared to execute them if necessary could not only help you save face in the aftermath of an emergency but actually save lives.