The International Congress & Convention Association offers a downloadable guide to crisis management, developed in conjunction with Andy Williams, vice president, quality assurance and business development, Safehotels Alliance AB (which provides independently verified security and safety certification for hotels and meeting venues worldwide). A wealth of information on everything from working with local emergency services to creating a crisis management plan, it suggests the following 9 steps for meeting planners:
1. When researching, conducting site visits, and selecting your meeting venue and location, consider the likely crisis situations which could impact your meeting or event, including the time period leading up to the event as well as during the event.
2. Evaluate each potential crisis situation in terms of location, area, transport travel route, city, or country. In addition, seek to understand the culture of the location/country and its approach to risk and crisis management.
3. Review and understand the venue’s technical systems, building infrastructure relating to fire, life safety, security, and IT infrastructure.
4. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the crisis management team.
5. Develop pre-determined communications and reporting procedures using all communication lines at disposal relevant to location and contingency backup should one or more communication lines fail. Consider cell phones, smartphones, direct-dial landlines, Internet based social media and satellite phones.
6. Plan logistical and resources support as appropriate to the assessed crisis situations should response be required.
7. Conduct a crisis management team scenario training exercise one month before your meeting or event.
8. Prepare media statements in advance, pre-brief PR department or agency about your event and the potential crisis situations assessed for the event.
9. Review recovery and restoration guidelines and resources specific to the venue and location.
5 Easy Steps for Mitigating Event Risks