No matter how long you’ve been thriving in event coordination, you can’t always predict everything that could affect your event operations. Anything, from fires to natural disasters and emergency medical situations, can put events at risk. The best way to mitigate any potential issues is to create contingency plans for your events.

Whether you are hosting events on virtual meeting platforms or in-person, we hope you never have to put your contingency plan to the test. Having one provides innumerable benefits for everyone. Here are seven reasons why having a contingency plan for an in-person event can help you:

Improves Peace of Mind

Perform a complete analysis of all possible threats and solutions in case an emergency strikes when creating contingency plans for your events.

This analysis helps understand the ins and outs of the event and leads to greater confidence in the planning organization. Once you understand the big picture, you can focus on what you can do to move things forward during an emergency instead of fretting over what went wrong.

Prevents Panic

People tend to panic in emergencies. Even if you’ve thought countless times about what could go wrong, it doesn’t change the fact that people attending your event will panic if there’s an emergency. Fear is a powerful response, so making crucial decisions while in fear could lead to incorrect and irrational choices.

A well-documented event contingency plan lays down a plan of action to follow and will help everyone move into recovery mode quickly. This is one of the best ways to secure everyone’s safety and ensure you have an easy-to-understand plan that will minimize the potential harm to your staff, attendees, and your assets.   

Minimizes Potential Tech Losses

Production losses occur when disruption occurs, whether it’s a natural disaster, a medical emergency, or a power outage. This is also true for corporate virtual events that depend a lot on computers and the internet.  Participants might also start to feel unsafe in case of an emergency.

Data could also get lost, and your equipment could stop working as well. Having a contingency plan that includes a rigorous course of action to reroute data, obtain new equipment, find exit routes, and help attendees will benefit you greatly.

To detect potential problems more quickly, assign a person responsible for checking that everything works properly, and in the case of malfunctions, a person that will acquire the replacement equipment.

Improves Trustworthiness

Your stakeholders are more likely to abandon your event if you show them that you cannot handle a crisis. An event contingency plan will allow you to show clients, investors, and competitors that your organization is resilient and prepared to handle any future disaster or emergency without it affecting your service.

This can improve brand loyalty, and increase trust in your organization and events. Develop a contingency plan that will allow you to act fast and regain control. Get ahead of any potential problems and don’t rely on luck, when at stake is your reputation, and therefore your business prospects. 

Reduces Bad Public Relations

Your operational problems and failure to handle a crisis can make headlines regardless of whether you are a large multinational corporation or a small local organization. Competitors might try taking advantage of this situation to exploit that, and event participants could become concerned for the future of your events.

Having an event contingency plan that helps you address a problem or get back on your feet can help you avoid bad public relations. It can allow you to communicate your response to the crisis and relieve any concerns it creates. For example, if your event’s key speaker needs to withdraw from your virtual meeting platforms, your contingency plan needs to include an equally qualified substitute who’s ready to fill in.

This will let all stakeholders know that your key speaker’s departure will not affect your event operations because you have a replacement in position.

Similarly, there is always a possibility that a staff member won’t arrive on time at the venue or will disappear for a while from their station. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily expect unfavorable headlines the next day, but it can negatively impact the attendees’ experience. 

This is why it might be a good idea to include in your contingency plan a specially designated person whose job is to move around the venue and look for such problems. It’s also good to have more staff at hand than needed to quickly replace missing employees and ensure attendees have adequate support.

Improves Insurance and Credit Availability

This may not apply to all events, but those with contingency plans for emergencies and disasters often have a much easier time getting insurance and credit than those who don’t.

One of the most significant benefits of contingency planning is obtaining better coverage with reduced premiums if you show your insurance company your event contingency plan. The less money your insurance company spends after a disaster or emergency, the better risk you are at. 

For example, if you back up all essential data each night as part of your contingency plan, you will have a much smaller loss if you lose all your databases than if you go through a natural disaster.

If your company ever needs credit, a lender might be much more willing to help you when you show them you have a plan in place to pay them back. For example, if you lose an event vendor because of a loss in sales but have another vendor identified and ready to get your event started, a lender will likely give you credit.

Empowers Employees during the Worst Times

Having an effective event contingency plan that outlines who’s responsible for what in an emergency can empower your employees. When you test your plan before the event and make all staff members aware of their duties, you will save a lot of time when an emergency occurs. 

You can prepare and share with your staff an event contingency plan template that lists everyone’s responsibilities and protocols in a clear and concise way so there’s no confusion regarding the right course of action in case of the unexpected. 

Instead of having attendees waiting around for direction, you will have a strong workforce who knows what to do and how to do it. You will waste a lot less time giving orders and ensuring employee coordination so you can focus on dealing with the issues at hand.

Final Words

Successful event organizers should always draw up contingency plans for virtual and in-person events so their participants can focus on engaging with their audiences and delivering meaningful live and digital experiences.

Having a contingency plan takes away the burden of dealing with an emergency that may arise at the very last minute. This is the best way to ensure everyone’s safety and minimize potential losses. 

There are many benefits of contingency planning, and it’s advisable to include it when organizing events. Check our event management software for many valuable solutions for online and in-person events and enjoy creating the best experiences for your attendees! 

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Author: Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – leading conference organiser in Birmingham offering event management and venue finding services. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.