3. BE PROACTIVE ABOUT
RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES
An event planner’s client wanted to do a
“hay bale maze” activity indoors. The
planner knew of the inherent fire hazard
associated with this type of “fun element” and advised the client to talk to
the local fire marshal.
This idea led to Plan B, which was
prepared using a main stage and four
mini stages with acts performing at various intervals and using fake hay bales
and flame retardant materials. This plan
met the client’s goals while directing the
traffic away from entry points and equally
distributing the crowd of attendees, which
was in the thousands.
LESSON: Think through every
potential risk from all sides and
bring in the most knowledgeable
people to assist with the ideas.
4. READ THE FINE PRINT
IN ALL CONTRACTS
At a major corporation, a planner had
signed a contract for a fairly large event
many months away and sent it to the
hotel for the countersignature. Upon
receiving the countersigned contract, the
busy planner filed it without double-checking it.
A few months before the event, as
space was being assigned, the space the
planner thought she was getting was not
assigned to her group. The planner then
read the countersigned contract and
found that one of the hotel assistants
had handwritten the room specifications
without telling her or the sales manager.
Fortunately, the planner received the
space needed and the meeting went
ahead without disruption.
LESSON: ALWAYS re-read a counter-
signed contract before filing it for
Your business is changing.
How do you keep up?
5. DOUBLE-CHECK THE
EVENT IN THE NEXT
SECTION OF THE
A charity hosted its annual fundraising
dinner dance at the same hotel every
year, using two sections of the ballroom
plus the adjoining foyer. On one occasion, a corporate group with a speaker
contracted for the remaining two sections. No one at the hotel mentioned to
the charity or the corporate group that
the other would be next door.
On the night of the event, the band
for the charity function began playing
while the speaker next door still had 15
minutes of his presentation to go. The
corporate planner complained to the
charity planner who kindly quieted the
band until the speaker finished, but
guests on both sides felt cheated.
LESSON: Always ask the hotel’s convention services manager about
events that may be occurring in the
space next to the meeting that you
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6. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
A planner was warned by the hotel staff
three days before the meeting that there
was a possibility of picketing in front of
the hotel on the major attendee arrival
day. The planner wrote a blast e-mail message to all the attendees, giving them
instructions to use an alternate door if
the picketing occurred.
At about 10 p.m. on the first day, the
chief security officer informed the planner that a bomb threat had been made