For every event, there are problems that arise - the inevitable consequence of managing countless details and bringing large groups of people together. Thankfully, though, for every problem, there are dozens of solutions. With so much at stake, it is the duty of an event planner to come prepared with an array of answers about what to do when things don't pan out as expected. Here are 5 tips to help you think quickly on your feet.
Conduct a Risk Assessment
Review the key elements of your event (time of day, venue, location, expected # of attendees, demographic of your attendees, possible weather conditions, etc.). Ask yourself what the obvious risks are. Will a lack of parking spaces present any issues? Is the location of your event in a place known for poor weather? Are you expecting older guests who may require a more accessible venue? Evaluate from a common sense level as much as you can, then dig deeper.
Create Contingency Plans
What's your plan B? What about your plan C? For any of your most critical risks, be sure to have a couple of back-up plans up your sleeve. If you're planning an outdoor event and a storm hits, where will your attendees be directed for shelter? Making big decisions like this on event day can end up costing you a great deal more money, time and resources than if you prepared in advance. Creating an event contingency plan also allows you to inform your event staff and volunteers in advance so that everyone knows their responsibilities should chaos erupt. Save some time as you plan by using a contingency planning template.
While it's much easier said than done, it's extremely important for event planners to keep a level head and apply all focus and energy on solving the problem at hand. Your event staff, volunteers, and attendees will all be looking to you for decisions that ensure the safety and quality of their experience.
There will be some emergencies that require extra hands to solve. Recruit volunteers to be at your disposal for when this happens. It's important to meet with all volunteers prior to an event to offer training on how they can improvise when the need arises, and to supply them with helpful tools, such as the InitLive app that can help you, the event manager, communicate with them at the touch of a button.
Communication is Key
For contingency plans to be implemented fast on event day, having an efficient means of communication makes all the difference. By using the InitLive app to communicate with event staff and volunteers, the entire event team can be rallied to create an immediate alternate plan. The app can be used to divide labor more effectively so that any loose ends that need attention can be tied back into place quickly.
With all this in mind, it's no wonder that event management is one of the most stressful jobs out there. Investing all sorts of time and energy only to have your some or all of your plans not work out is a disturbing thought. Protect your event by creating alternate plans that enable you to be flexible and by using tools that enable you to communicate them fast.
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