Meetings and Events

If your corporate or nonprofit event is coming up soon, and you wake up in a cold sweat hoping the nightmare about a disaster doesn't come true, you're obviously worrying that things could go wrong. And, of course, they can. But the best antidote to worrying is to be as prepared as possible - this week's articles can help.

Effective event preparedness and planning often starts with identifying the threats and preparing for worst-case scenarios. (Item #1)     See what these event pros have to say about how they avoid disaster. (Item #2)     Being safe and keeping your guests safe while on-site is the number one most important job you have. (Item #3)    

Incidents like the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks, the shooting in San Bernardino, CA, and the spread of the Zika virus have highlighted the need for meeting planners to review their organizations' risk management plans. (Item #4)     Joan Eisenstodt helps planners imagine the worst -- and shares five steps to making sure they are ready to handle it. (Item #5)     Almost all nonprofits have special events and anything can happen, but it's not necessarily the crisis, but how an organization responds that people will remember. (Item #6)    

As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Advanced Planning: Why You Need a Disaster Emergency Plan

From hurricanes along the Gulf Coast to tornados in the Midwest, a number of natural disasters strike the United States every year. Hurricane Sandy reminded us that disaster, and even the mere threat of a disaster, can have a profound impact on the meetings and convention industry, ranging from the cancellation of flights to the postponement of meetings. Convention planners, facility managers and destination representatives say many in the meetings industry could significantly improve their disaster and emergency plans.

2. Event Pros on Their Biggest Fears--and How They Avoid Disaster

Event professionals cite weather problems, technology failures, check-in confusion, and red carpet disorganization as among the issues that keep them up at night. Planners, producers, and other industry professionals share their event-day nightmares and the real-world solutions they implement as protection.

3. Six Steps to a Safe Meeting during Natural Disasters - What every On-Site Meeting Manager Should Know

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, fires…when a natural disaster hits while you're on-site at your event, know what to do. You're the On-Site Manager. You're the one people will come to (whether it makes sense or not) in the case of an emergency. You are the voice of reason. People tend to wait for someone to tell them what to do and you're that person. Take charge!

4. Meeting Planners Hone Their Risk Assessment Plans

Events including terrorist attacks and disease epidemics have started to occur in places that had usually been considered "safe." That means a strong and up-to-date plan should be in place to ensure the safety and security of attendees regardless of where a meeting is held.

5. Five Steps to Managing Meetings Risk

"This is an 'I-scare-you-to-death," session, and I'm aware of that," said Joan Eisenstodt, who touched on the deadly Oregon shooting that had occurred the prior day. "I learned years ago that when people come into a facility, they think they're safe. And they're not." In addition to the basics -- such as knowing where exit doors and AEDs are at all times -- here are Eisenstodt's five steps, paraphrased by Convene.

6. Six Specific Risks to Nonprofit Special Events

Special events raise awareness about vital causes and raise funds to cover some of the costs of service delivery. They can be as simple as a small open house or as large as a major sporting event. Making the decision to have an event involves certain risk. Not planning ahead can have a huge impact on your reputation and financial stability. While there's no way to know exactly what might come up, you need to consider the "what if" possibilities and identify what measures you will take to mitigate risk.

Quote of the Week:

"Risk is like fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled it will rise up and destroy you."

-- Theodore Roosevelt

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