Maybe it's awful of me, but I can't help wondering if the Boston Marathon organizers had a crisis management plan, and if they were able to see it through from start to finish after the bomb went off.
It also made me wonder about you: When was the last time you updated your event's crisis management plan? Do you even have one?
As event organizers, we're lucky that most unexpected dilemmas don't involve bloodshed, just the on-site A/V guy. But what happens if your next event is disrupted by an act of terrorism, flu epidemic, heart attack or natural disaster? Will you be prepared to limit risk and control panic?
These are a few of the essential items that should be present in your crisis management plans:
- Outline of communication flow from first responders to risk management team to attendees and families, meeting stakeholders and media
- Cancellation requirements and procedures.
- Essential phone numbers for emergency, on-site and off-site personnel.
- Incident-specific action item checklists broken down by timeline and available personnel (i.e., hurricane vs. bird flu).
- Communication and transportation plan for attendees stranded by the event.
Don't forget to update them frequently, especially when something previously unthinkable (like a bomb going off at the Boston Marathon) occurs.
Want to know more? Here's are some helpful links:
- Crafting a crisis management plan
- Limiting your liability
- Customizing force majeure clauses
- Tips for managing the media (plus hotel safety tips)
Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments field below...