Crisis Management Planning

Crisis Management Planning

When planning an event, it is important to have plans for crisis management. The more pre-planning you do, the easier it will be when something unexpected comes along.

What can go wrong?

When it comes to events, anything can go wrong. Disasters can be large or small. They can involve something as simple as illness affecting your participants, a snowstorm, flood or something as large as a hurricane striking during your event.

There is no single answer for any event’s needs and your responsibilities when it comes to emergency or crisis management. However, armed with the appropriate knowledge, preparation and the right people involved in the planning, you will have a much better chance of a successful event no matter what kind of disaster strikes.

So, what’s your plan?

We all want our events to be successful and ensure everyone is safe, but many aren’t sure what to do. Although you can’t plan for everything, you can create a simple preparedness plan that includes some key elements:

  • A single contact for the emergency plan – Although everyone should have an idea of the emergency plan, having one single lead for emergency purposes is good so that you do not have many people trying to lead; which can cause chaos.

  • Clear communication – An emergency plan should be clearly communicated to everyone, whether it is an event or a business meeting. Each should have a set of employees and management that are vividly aware of the emergency plan.

  • An emergency plan – Every event needs an actual plan set up to make sure no matter what the event is, there is a plan to avoid too much disruption during a crisis.

Your plan should include at a minimum:

  • Emergency response procedures for immediate response (such as evacuating the meeting space and venue) and extended response (such as sheltering in place, setting up a command center or evacuating meeting participants from the city or country).

  • Maps and information about the meeting venue, with emergency exits and who to call within your facility should an emergency arise.

  • Contact lists for key staff – of the planner’s organization, facility, destination, and vendors, as well as emergency service providers.

  • Other forms and documents such as the facility’s emergency plan information and any other useful information.
emergency planning template download Download IEEE’s Event Emergency Action Planning Template


The world we live in today is unpredictable. We have a duty of care as organizers to do all that is reasonable and prudent in order to protect the safety of our participants and preserve our organization’s financial and brand integrity.