Do You Have an Emergency Plan in Place for Your Next Trade Show?
Emergencies all have one thing in common, besides their unfortunate nature, and that’s unpredictability. If natural disaster suddenly descends at your trade show*, every second counts. Luckily, if you already have a plan in place that you can turn to in times of crisis, you can facilitate a smooth and effective response.
If you don't already have an emergency plan, now would be an excellent time to make one (or maybe even a couple). Don’t know where to start? Keep the following in mind and you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.
The Myth of “One Plan to Rule Them All”
As planners, we know each event is different. Crisis management and emergency planning are the same. Different considerations and responses are needed, which means different plans must be designed ahead of time to fully address all possibilities in the most comprehensive way possible.
While it’s impossible to prepare for every potential scenario and focus on event performance as well, there are things you can do to minimize risk regardless of the situation you face.
Perform a risk assessment. Think about the most relevant and severe threats that you could potentially face and take steps to eliminate or mitigate them.
Educate your team about the details of your plan. Be sure everyone is on the same page because teamwork is key when there is an emergency. Should an unexpected situation arise, you will have a solid foundation of existing plans and collaborative spirit that puts you in the best position to address the situation.
This applies to exhibit design as well. Partner with suppliers who demonstrate a commitment to safety.
It's Not About the Plan. It's About the Planning.
One of the most critical things to understand is that safety plans won’t save you but planning will. Just like events, the planning process is about bringing people together to focus on the most important goal of all – safety. It’s about collaborating with all stakeholders to make sure everyone is knowledgeable about risks and the individual roles they will need to play should an emergency arise.
We’re hopeful that you’ll never need to act on your emergency plan. But if you do, you are prepared to handle every situation thrown your way.
*Think lights out at CES 2018.