There will always be a situation that leaves you seeking a solution. Even weeks spent pouring over the schedule and mapping out every scenario and contingency plan can still leave you facing a situation that will leave you stumped. It is in these instances that you need to be quick on your feet and react to a situation. Here is where a Crisis Management plan certainly helps.
We come well versed in the knowledge that if you fail to plan then you will plan to fail. Here are our top five tips in navigating through a crisis.
No one’s going to listen to a raving lunatic running around in circles. Being prepared to the teeth won’t help if you can’t delegate or communicate effectively. A cool head and calm approach will allow you to process information efficiently. Armed with the right tools, and key points you can lead your team in the right direction.
Take for instance our team that dealt with a first-aid crisis in Croatia. With numerous guests needing assistance, they credit this key rule as the reason why they were able to manage an unexpected situation and come out the other side for the better.
Emergency Contact list
As an Event Producer, our core business is people and supplier management. Our contact lists are invaluable and the background knowledge of each vendor’s capacity and their abilities to push the bar is what makes the difference between a good event and a mindblowing one. They are the experts in their working fields and their experience to support your events is often invaluable when it comes to troubleshooting.
Assign a lead point of contact for all vendors. Create a list that contains the vital contact information of all personnel vital in each segment of your event. From the venue to security, cleaning staff and even the valuable part-timers, no individual is too small in our books.
In the wrong hands, information can be compromised or worse miscommunicated. There should, at all times, be two clear reporting lines — that between the organiser and stakeholder. There should always be clear definitions of roles and responsibilities when you begin planning your events. For instance “Donna is in-charge of vendor sourcing”, “Tim is in charge of organizing the pitch proposal deck”, “Sam is handling all matters related to AV/Lighting”.
Apart from educating the “on-ground staff” on best practices in communicating as a team, it also teaches them to give and receive clear and concise briefs in advance. To ensure that your team is well prepared, one must always state key points such as date, time, quantity, the rationale behind the request so that their intentions are understood.
To leave little room for confusion and delegate duties, we kick off all onsite events with an official full team briefing. With all “live show” teams under one roof, we go through the sequence of events, identify stakeholders and any last-minute changes or task swaps to pre-empt the whole team of their roles and missions.
Back up contingency checklist
In our world, it is a given that no matter how well planned an event is, there is always going to be a possibility that anything can and will go wrong. Our response time in dealing with these is critical. This can be everything from having an onsite toolkit, event backup plans, (wet weather, electrical outage plans) to evacuation planning in case of a crisis on-site (fires/terrorist threats)
Improvise, adapt and overcome – It doesn’t matter if something goes wrong, what is important is how fast and efficiently we fix the problem.
We live by the motto “If plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters”.
Work with reputable vendors
Incidents tend to happen when we need to make budgets and compromise quality to keep our bottom dollar good. I believe that if you pay peanuts, you are going to get monkeys.
Be a vendor that has integrity and does not compromise our standards to the client.
Stay firm and educate.
Work with reputable vendors that have strong work ethics, choose professionals because of their consistent reputation to deliver good un-compromised quality work with attention to detail and safety. This does serve to work out in the long run. Sure, you might miss a few fast cash opportunities but all it takes is one bad accident and an entire company’s reputation is in the pits.