Event Planners – Do You Have a Plan B?
Not so long ago, with disruption being caused by the volcanic ash eruptions in Iceland, enquiries came in from people asking for insurance cover to pick up the costs. This is not a new or unusual request especially at a time of crisis.
For those businesses that bought insurance coverage in advance of the disruption there may well be some assistance in this area. Policies will need to be carefully reviewed to find out if there is cover or not and to what degree it may be there.
Unfortunately volcanic ash disruptions are not the only challenge that will be faced by event planners when delivering events. In the past year we have seen; businesses going into liquidation, swine flu outbreaks, snow disruption, unexpected strike action and recently the tragic death of the Polish President.
What happens at a time of crisis is that other issues likely to put an event at risk tend to be forgotten. But it is so important that event planners do not just look and focus on the crisis in isolation but rather that they consider the wider picture.
Don’t Rely On Insurance Alone
Our advice is for event planners to review event/business critical issues and establish what can be done to prevent or minimise you or your business being affected from a range of risks.
We recommend that you consider how insurance could help but don’t depend on it as the only answer. Insurance companies work on the same basis as any other profit producing entity so it is rare that they will underwrite cover for what is a known problem (pre-existing condition).
What You Need to Consider
In your (Risk Management) Plan B we recommend that you consider the basics:
How are your attendees/delegates/exhibitors/suppliers/speakers likely to be affected if there is a crisis? How will you make sure they remain safe and as importantly how are they going to be able to travel to your event? What are the travel options?
If your kit was lost/damaged on the way to the event is there a local supplier that could help you at short notice? If you are hiring equipment make sure you understand where the insurance responsibilities begin and end.
What are your costs? When do you have to pay contractors/speakers? If the event doesn’t run are you still going need to pay suppliers? Have you considered event cancellation insurance as protection? What is your cash flow looking like? Is there a danger of going out of business if you get the money side wrong?
I think it is important to keep these 3 key points in front at all times: One crisis/risk situation is not the only risk that is likely to affect your event. Insurance should only ever be part of your overall Risk Management planning Disruptive crises are always present – so consider always the bigger picture
For those planners that have invested time in event/business continuity thinking their success is likely to continue in the face of adversity. They have already undertaken risk analysis planning and mitigation measures and can really benefit as they are more able to weather the inevitable changes that come along.