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Developing a Risk Management Plan for Events: 5 Critical Question to Ask

In a perfect world, every single one of your events would run as smoothly as possible, without any deviations from your event plan. However, I am sure I do not have to tell you that this is rarely how things go – whether minor or major, it seems as if there is always something that goes unplanned. That's why developing a risk management plan for your event is crucial.

Your risk plan will help you overcome obstacles. Such as: the scheduled speaker is MIA; the power went out; or the caterer didn’t get the ‘vegetarian only’ memo. Let’s face it – sometimes, things just happen.

The important thing to remember is that, regardless of what happens, your response to the situation at hand is what matters. Of course, much of your response will depend on how well you have prepared in advance. Although you may not be able to prepare for a specific incident, a risk management plan can help you to be primed and ready for whatever comes your way while safeguarding the interests of your business.

Discover the Essential Steps to Create the Best Risk Management Plan for an Event

1. Where do I start when it comes to risk management event planning?

Your risk management plan begins with the identification of potential risks that may affect an event. For example, if it’s an outdoor celebration, the weather is always a primary risk to consider. Just as you would craft a ‘plan B’ in case of inclement weather, you will want to come up with solutions for other potential issues. What if a vendor doesn’t show up? What happens if someone gets hurt? Is there enough staff to handle the guest count? Mentally walk through the event from start to finish until you can identify any and all risks that may come up.

2. Who should I include in my risk management plan for my event?

Remember: Events are a team effort, so risk management should be a task for everyone involved in the final result. This includes, but is not limited to, the planner, the designer, the florist, the photographer, the lighting crew, and any onsite venue staff. Bringing in the whole team will ensure that your plan is fully fleshed out in every direction.

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3. How do I execute on my event's risk management plan?

Once you have a solid idea of potential risks, work with the event team to come up with reasonable, logical solutions for each one. This is where multiple perspectives come into play – everybody has a different specialty, so working together can truly make all the difference in a successful event.

4. What if something happens during my event anyway?

Being prepared doesn’t always prevent things from going wrong. In case something goes awry on the event day, get in touch with the team to address the situation immediately. If possible, avoid letting the client know there is an issue until you have a solution in place. Once the problem has been handled, be sure to have a debriefing meeting with the team to discuss what happened and how to avoid it in the future.

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5. How should I respond if there's a risk at my event?

If there was a problem at your event, whether small or large, it’s important to be transparent and open about what happened. If the fault is on you, take responsibility in a professional and respectful manner. Playing the blame game doesn’t do anyone any favors. If necessary, look for ways to make amends with the client, whether it means a partial refund or a simple apology.

Taking a risk isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact, risks can often reap rewards with more opportunities. However, if you do plan on taking a risk, just be sure that you are well prepared to handle the outcome, no matter what it is.

Now you're ready to create the best risk management plan for events!

Up next, learn more about event security, and find out how to hire event staff to help execute your risk plan. Or get started making accurate diagrams that keep event staff up to date on security, no matter where they are.

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What is event risk management?

Risk management is an active effort to reduce and eliminate risks associated with an event, and to take steps to prepare in case those risks occur. For events, risks can include equipment/tech failure, medical emergencies, security incidents, crowd management issues, and more.

What is a risk assessment for an event?

A risk assessment for an event is the act of identifying potential hazards and risks that could occur at some point during the event process. It is a dedicated effort focused on potential risks to enable planners to better prepare.

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