With Preparation You Can Put Out Almost Any Fire

From the:

Beauty logo smallAnalyzing and assessing risks allows us to understand them so we can make educated decisions on how best to manage them.

Risk consists of two components: acknowledging something can go wrong and the destructive consequences that will happen if it does.

The first step is to identify risks. They can result from human error, financial changes and market fluctuations, technology breakdowns, and/or disease, weather and natural disasters. With all we have on our plates as meeting professionals, it can be easy to overlook these risks.

The process of analyzing risk can be very involved. You need to get detailed information on the risks from all areas relevant to your project. A good first step is to discuss the program with your insurance carrier.

When it comes to guests’ safety and fire, one of the best things you can do is get certified in crowd control. You’ll learn how to move guests to safety in a quick and orderly fashion avoiding panic, which could result in tragedy. You can become certified online HERE.

It doesn’t take much time to get your certification, and the time is a small investment in yourself and your business. In this case as in many others, knowledge is a beautiful thing!

From the:

Brain Logo smallAlthough risk is present in every component of our days, we leave home each morning
and lead productive lives. We can’t change the presence of risk, but we can mitigate its potential damage by being prepared.

We each react to extreme stress differently. Regardless of the situation or your mindset in a moment of crisis, without a plan or the proper tools in place, your ability to manage it can be severely hampered.

My barbecue caught fire during the summer. Not a simple, “the burgers were flaming” fire, a full-on inferno at the gas line. The propane tank was full so the fire had hours of fuel. I wasn’t sure what the physics behind propane tanks exploding was, but I knew I had to get the fire out quickly and that water wouldn’t work. Thankfully I had two fire extinguishers nearby. My preparedness compensated for my lack of knowledge on the subject of propane gas explosions and a crisis was averted, save for my destroyed grill.

My point: Identifying risks requires a two-pronged attack: forethought into what can go wrong and preparing for it with both knowledge and physical resources.

On-site at events, that means knowing where defibrillators and fire extinguishers are and when they were last serviced, meeting with the security team, understanding evacuation procedures, having a planner staying at every hotel guests are at, making sure that person has a list of all guests staying there and contact information for all key players. Knowing where the closest hospital or walk-in clinic is, and directions to it, are also essential.

Bringing a well-stocked gang box means you can handle office emergencies, but for true emergencies, make sure you have flashlights and first aid kits complete with warming blankets, CPR mouthguards, rubber gloves and ice packs.

With all we’re responsible for during a program, averting or minimizing a disaster is paramount. Remember: Well-prepared is beautiful!

Planning A Meeting? Assess Risks Now

From the:

Beauty logo smallMany issues in the event business are unique to our industry and, even more so, unique to each type of event we produce. Regardless of the size or nature, your event can be challenged by anything from security, safety, and financial and legal issues, to unforeseen disasters of the man-made or Mother Nature variety. To ensure your event’s success, you must manage all of these possibilities properly and nip any problem in the bud.

Not all risks are as obvious as foul weather, medical emergencies, delayed flights, terror threats or power failures. Sometimes unknown risks lay dormant and unseen — until they strike.

One of your best risk-management weapons is the ability to think quickly on your feet, always keeping the safety of guests and staff a top priority. After all, what will impact your attendees more, the pyrotechnic show starting five minutes late or that fire broke out because you were rushing?

When managing risks don’t try to do it all on your own; the more eyes the better. Teach your staff to observe their surroundings and to report anything that is a possible threat to the safety of any attendee or the event itself.

Finally, you and your staff should follow all regulations and practices in your best attempt to eliminate or lessen any associated risks.

From the:

Brain Logo smallIdentifying risk starts the moment you confirm you’re planning a meeting and must
remain top of mind until the final bill is paid. Here’s a checklist of things to consider:

  • What is the weather at your destination typically like on your program dates?
  • What is the airlift pattern? Can you avoid putting all your executives on one flight?
  • Are you confirming what competitive or incompatible groups are in-house on your dates?
  • What kind of attrition have you negotiated? Did you build in a resell clause?
  • Do you have a travel-advisory threat built into your force majeure so that if the threat level goes to a certain color you don’t have to host your program?
  • Have you confirmed with your banquet manager that all food will be clearly labeled no matter how basic? Food allergies can be deadly and many people don’t pay attention to what they’re eating.
  • Do you have event insurance?
  • Are you paying attention to Americans With Disabilities Act codes when doing you room sets?
  • Are your stage sets fire retardant or fireproof?
  • Do you have your speakers make multiple copies of their presentations and designate someone to carry all the backup files?
  • Are you taking time to go over all the important details with your audience/speaker/executives/talent? Assume nothing.
  • Are you scheduling daily meetings with your team to discuss the next day in detail so they can be ready for whatever is thrown at them?

Bottom line, it’s up to us to think of it all and be alert on-site. Risks are only a challenge if they get ahead of our preparedness.

If you’d like more suggestions on how to identify and prepare for risks, email me at:
*protected email*

And until next time, remember, smart is beautiful.