No one wants to talk about it, but sometimes it just cannot be avoided. A disaster strikes your meeting and you need to have a plan because whether you like it or not, you are the "go to" person meeting participants will look to when something goes wrong.
Here are 5 common crisis statements and the technological solutions that can help any meeting planner be better prepared.
I don't have a clue as to what to do if disaster hits my meeting.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an iPad app that contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations and information on how to stay safe. And to top it all off, this app is free.
Meeting planners should download the app for themselves and their crisis team. An emergency kit should be assembled before the meeting and be readily accessible by your team at the conference.
If disaster strikes, my attendees do not know who to call.
At check-in, provide your meeting participants with a listing of individuals and phone numbers of who they should call in case of an emergency. Be sure to include the local police, fire and rescue agencies as well as the cell numbers and hotel extensions of the crisis team.
I need to locate all my attendees.
If your meeting is large and has a trade show component, it may be difficult to locate all your attendees to give them step-by-step instructions about what to do next. Depending on the time of day, attendees could be at the conference, hotel or out on the town.
Rent iPads and tell attendees, if there is a crisis, they need to tell you where they are and what they need. This can be accomplished through the meeting's Twitter hashtag or by sending you an email. However, if technology is down, tell attendees to call one of the the crisis team members.
Everyone has been instructed to stay at the venue.
When you have been told to stay at the venue, it is important that you know in advance if they have the proper supplies for your group. Here are the questions to ask:
– How much bottled water will you have on hand during our conference?
– What non-perishable food will you have available and in what quantities?
– What shelter provisions do you have in the case of a disaster?
If a venue doesn't have an adequate supply of the items listed above or a disaster plan, ensure that they will at the time of your meeting or move to another location.
Everyone has been told to evacuate the facility.
When you are in a strange city, where will you and your attendees go? The American Red Cross has an app called Shelter View which runs on an iPad or iPhone and includes shelter locations, capacity, current number of shelter residents, and the date and time of the last update for each activated shelter. This app is also free.
Are you event planning in California? AV Event Solutions is your interactive technology tool rental provider and their inventory includes iPads and Wi-Fi network arrays. Call them today at 888.249.4903 to get your planning process started!