Brenda Rivers answers additional questions from the 08.08.18 Mitigating Event Risk in an Unsafe World webinar.

1. Do you recommend the playbook at every location/meeting or just high risk locations?

The 6 stage process in the playbook should be followed for all sizes even if it is just basic.

2. Is a union strike in the middle of my meeting considered my crisis?

A civil disturbance is a foreseeable risk if you are using union labor. You should have a back-up plan.

3. How do I determine vendor competence? Is there a checklist on how to check on all of these items?

Look at the contract terms with vendors:  service levels, financial security, insurance, years in business, references.

4. What do you do when the hotel will not share a copy of their emergency protocols? I have asked hotels for this before and they say they cannot share for security reasons.

Ask in the RFP if the hotel will share emergency protocol (non-confidential) and participate in risk management plan with the client; if not, recommend another hotel.

5. How do you encourage clients and attendees to take security seriously ahead of the program without instilling fear?

Talk about what is at stake and the positive side of risk. Event risk management is a corporate social responsibility with positive benefits of caring for attendees, being informed and ready to act in case of a crisis.

6. Should you include the exact time the meeting starts in the RFP in each room or some buffer time for speaker set up, etc or is that assumed by the hotel?

Electronic devices should not be used in threat of a bomb or active shooter.

7. Do you find that most hotels/venues are prepared to assist with the details of crisis planning? I am thinking they might be in the best position to assess some of the risks of their venue.

Many hotels are realizing they have a duty to inform meeting organizers of risks of the area, past crises or disruptions and what their security teams are trained and prepared to do in any emergency. They are potentially liable if they do not participate in risk mitigation; the attendees are hotel guests too.

8. How do you convince leadership the necessity for a Crisis Response Plan?

Find a champion in your leadership who supports a meeting risk management plan. Show what is at stake: attendee safety, the financial investment of events, legal liability for negligence, and damage to reputation if duty of care is ignored.

9. What would you recommend to do if a week or several days in advance of an event you have scheduled, a hurricane/snow storm is forecast to hit your event location over your event days?

Hopefully you have these covered in the force majeure clause, discuss the options to cancel and rebook, or to move forward with a reduced attendance.

10. When exhibiting at a trade show do you recommend conferring with the association as well as the venue on their risk management protocol?

ALWAYS ask for the emergency protocol of your first responders, partners, venues in advance and train your team on what to do in the event of xxxx.  Who to call first and how to take care of attendees until help comes. Crowd control, alcohol issues, protestors and medical emergencies should be planned for and anything else like active shooters, assault, robbery etc...depending on the event and the location.

11. As a third party planning company, who's responsibility is it to ensure Emergency Preparedness?  The client must own some of the responsibility, yes?

The client usually thinks that if they are paying a third party, then it is their job to handle the crisis. So, make sure you follow the 4 standards of duty of care: investigate, inform the client and recommend mitigation, then create the crisis management plan. Keep a written record if the client ignores your recommendation or won’t spend the money. That way you have your documentation, you can demonstrate your lack of apparent negligence...you might not be off the hook but have a good case.


12. How can we get more info on the 6 hr class that Brenda mentioned that will be taking place in Denver later this year?

December 6 is a 4.5 hour training on how to create your risk management playbook.


Click here to watch "Mitigating Event Risk in an Unsafe World" on demand!