Contingency planning is a vital aspect of any event management. Even the best made plans are unlikely to ensure that nothing goes wrong. When a major problem does occur event organisers are expected to be able to react quickly and appropriately. This ability to react stems from anticipating emergencies, accidents and problems, formulating plans and training staff in what must be done.
Industry consultant, trainer and speaker Tyra W. Hilliard, an associate professor at the University of Alabama, teaches meetings contingency planning at industry events. Some preparedness measures she recommends include the following:
- Form a crisis management team, including long-term and event-specific internal personnel as indicated by the threat and vulnerability assessment.
- Create a strategy for minimizing the impact of a crisis on meetings.
- Develop methods to inform meeting attendees about appropriate crisis prevention and response measures (e.g., emergency contact information, collecting medical emergency information on registration forms, posting and announcing evacuation routes, etc.).