Are you prepared?

Is risk management part of your vocabulary? If you are American, I am sure it is (even here in Denmark we hear about all the interesting lawsuits in which you can end up!) – but if you are Danish, I bet it isn’t!

This blog post is NOT going to be about terrorism…and in Denmark, we are used to being safe: It is a peaceful country, we have no hurricanes or tornados, and drive by shootings are quite rare. The most dangerous animal we have is the horse (if it kicks you, that is) and when the weather shows its teeth, we put on the Wellingtons and go on with our daily life anyway.

But that does not mean that you can just be laid back about safety and security at your event. Bringing many people together always increase the risk of a possibly dangerous situation: Someone can get a heart attack, and in those situations, you – the meeting planner – should always know who to turn to if you do not know CPR or cannot find the defibrillator yourself.

When you arrive at your venue, do you remember to ask them who is certified in CPR, where the emergency exits are, or where the nearest hospital is?

I have heard a lot of stories about large companies not letting their c-level executives fly on the same plane, but have you thought about this on a smaller scale? I once worked in a company where all staff involved in an event drove to the venue in the same car. What would we have done if we had been in a car crash and all had ended up in hospital? Possibly, a colleague or two could have stepped in and taken over the execution of the event, but would they have made it to the venue in time? And would they have been able to take over everything within a few minutes?

I have also met companies who were very fond of teambuilding exercises like kayaking, but those same companies have forgotten to think of the risks. And what do you do when one of your employees fall into the water…except for getting him out of there?

Meeting planners spend hour upon hour planning the event in the tiniest details – everything is thought of when it comes to catering, program, speakers, etc., but not much time is spent making a contingency plan.

I recommend that besides taking time to plan for all the fun and games at your event, you also plan for what can go wrong. Not just to look at all the negative things in the World, but to be prepared for the unexpected.

Boy scouts have a motto saying, “Be prepared!”. How prepared are you?

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