Friday, May 18, 2012

Risk Management for Successful Meetings

Say you've planned a fun-filled team building event for your company; you know the event inside and out, every second of the day has been accounted for, all details are outlined to a tee, you know the event inside and out and you have a weather backup in the very unlikely event of rain. 

But what would you do if one of your colleagues and guests suddenly collapses? It shouldn't take a catastrophe before we realize the importance of having a risk management plan. 

Barbara Dunn, attorney at law of Howe and Hutton, Ltd has plenty of experience dealing with liability and emergencies. “We've heard it a million times: hope for the best, but plan for the worst”. Dunn recommends going over any risks that many occur at your event upfront. For example, if it’s an older group, the planner should take in account whether or not they are healthy enough to head to a remote location. If the event occurs in extreme heat or altitude, consider the possible issues with serving alcohol. Meeting planners should refer to this checklist to prepare for possible event emergencies: 

1) Identify all potential problems that may occur

2) Assemble a crisis-management team

3) Identify corresponding contingency plans for each risk

4) Check insurance coverage

5) Consult with security personnel at the facility

6) Collect emergency-contact information from attendees

When faced with an emergency it is important to keep everyone calm and act quickly to get the proper authorities involved. If someone is ill or injured, do not hesitate to call for a paramedic. When planning in a hotel or other large facility alert the staff immediately as they can best direct a resume team, law enforcement or fire fighters to the exact location quickly. 

Remember, as a meeting planner it is your responsibility to discuss risk management. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s better to be safe than sorry. When you are prepared for an unexpected event, it will allow your attendees to keep calm and be at ease knowing that you have everything under control.

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