A few words about risk and crisis management.

An event has one thing in common with everything else you do – it rarely turns out exactly the way you intended. If you prepare yourself for this, you’ll be better prepared than if you don’t. So, here are a few words about risks, crises and crisis tools.

Copyright Themptander

What does your insurance cover?

Just because you and your employees want to go skydiving, you won’t necessarily be able to do it. Does the company’s insurance cover the alternative event you were thinking of? Is the whole Group allowed to ride Icelandic ponies, go skiing or fly in a hot-air balloon? Check the situation with your insurance company. Maybe it’s an idea to take out a short-term supplementary policy?

Hedge your event.

Talk to your bank about how you can guarantee that the price will stay the same when you pay for an overseas stay as when you book it. Regardless of exchange rates. Or pay in advance with favourable cancellation terms.

Make sure the guests have food, drink and heating.

No one’s tolerance levels are so low and patience so limited as someone who’s hungry, thirsty or freezing.

Research first, then promise.

Making a big announcement that the whole company’s going to a certain destination on a certain date before you’ve checked transport, hotels, whether the company rules permit the adventures you’ve planned, etc. isn’t a very good idea.

Think doom-monger, Eeyore, pessimist.Don’t be afraid to tell the truth.

Expect fees for changes to bookings, last-minute surcharges and more participants than expected, instead of convincing yourself that everything will run smoothly all the way.

Be aware of the expectations.

If a group of people had expected a full meal, a couple of sandwiches will be a disappointment. And being seated at a table will feel uncomfortable for someone expecting an informal social gathering. Do your homework and find out what the participants are expecting.

Major crisis.

Changes in the outside world on the scale of a cloud of volcanic ash, a bomb threat or an earthquake will affect your plans in two ways. Either by making them impossible to implement. Or by making it feel as though they cannot be implemented. In both cases, the key is to communicate and act.

Moderate crisis.

There’s always a risk that something will happen between the event being confirmed and it actually taking place. An unexpectedly poor interim report or the company appearing in the tabloids in a less than flattering context are two examples. Here it’s a case of acting promptly and if necessary modifying the event according to the new circumstances.

Minor crisis.

An event is, by definition, a live broadcast. It doesn’t get any more live. If the food runs out, a speaker fails to turn up or there’s a rainstorm, you need to have lifelines to grab in order to make sure that the outcome is still a success. These lifelines are known as Reliable Business Partners. Suppliers you’ve worked with for a long time, can rely on and you know will help you out.