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Event Professionals Basics: Handling a Crisis

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Event professionals handling a crisis

Putting it in simple terms, designing and delivering a successful event basically consists of numerous involved parties and a large amount of details to finalise before launch. Due to the large number of factors affecting the program flow and overall attendee experience throughout the event phases, it should be expected that things could possibly go awry from time to time. As there are multiple teams to manage and several stakeholders’ needs and expectations to consider, event professionals are often on edge and need to be resourceful for overcoming any potential obstacles they come across.

So, what happens when a relatively small issue escalates to a full-scale crisis? Here are some tips to consider for handling a potential ‘burning’ situation:

Don’t sweep issues under the rug 

Keeping an honest and transparent attitude is key, especially in times of crisis. No matter the circumstances or the issue’s importance, it is crucial to take responsibility and look for a holistic solution, always maintaining control of the situation by involving the appropriate people for not letting it get out of hand. 

Don’t play the ‘blame game’

Focus your time and efforts on finding the right solutions and ensuring that this kind of unpleasant – and potentially damaging – situation does not repeat itself in the future. For doing so, avoid pointing fingers and fly into temper -although sometimes it is really hard to keep your composure- instead keep a cool head and facilitate cooperation with your team to turn this around.

Act fast

Depending on the severity of the emergency or crisis, there is a high chance your attendees start flooding-in with questions and requests for explanations. When this occurs, it is paramount to make fast decisions and act accordingly, however try not to get overwhelmed by stress or panic, as it will reflect on your decisions.

Identify the source of the crisis

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. What is the underlying cause that triggered the crisis and at what stage of the event planning process did it break out? By identifying the cause at an early stage you can later move on with finding the appropriate way to re-structure your procedures for minimising the possibility of going through a similar crisis in the future. 

Learn and move on

Over analysing and dwelling on what happened should be averted as it affects both the ever-important response time and resources you require for addressing the problem. Consider the crisis a lesson learnt and use your energy and combined efforts for improving existing procedures.

Looking back at the early stages of event planning, it is immensely important to have a solid crisis management plan in place, assessing the potential risks based on probability and potential consequences. Be sure to highlight the issues that are most likely to arise and agree on the ones that pose a greater threat to the course of your event. As a next step, try to map out comprehensive emergency response processes in detail, and assign roles to your team members for taking the appropriate actions in case of an emergency.

Whether you are interested in enhancing the overall event experience, boosting participants’ engagement or activating your target audiences, MCI can help you achieve your goals. For more visit us here.

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