Contingency planning… When to implement Plan B

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Contingency planning

Event planning never goes exactly as it should. Even if people tell you the event was delivered precisely to plan, the chances are that something would have gone amiss. However, experienced event managers will ensure that no matter what, the event will be perceived to run seamlessly and appear to be delivered ‘to plan’. And that’s down to effective contingency planning.

At Venues and Events International, contingency planning is in our DNA. But no matter how much contingency planning you do, Covid-19 certainly had other ideas for our events. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve had to:

  • Carry out enhanced risk assessments
  • Implement new safety procedures
  • Enforce social distancing measures
  • Delay/postpone events due to lockdown restrictions

The most important aspect of our events is the safety and wellbeing of delegates in attendance. If this means postponing the event or transforming a live event into hybrid or virtual, we will always ensure there is a contingency plan in place.

But when do you step in to implement Plan B as part of your contingency planning?

…. Or even Plan C to ensure you deliver a safe event for delegates?

On a recent event, we had to go as far as Plan C as goal posts from restriction measures at the time were continuing to change. However, the client was keen to deliver the event in some format – and we were there to ensure this happened. Here’s how…

Plan A – Roadshow format at client offices (10 locations with multiple sessions) – based on full capacity, no social distancing, run as a normal event.

The Government made an announcement week prior to the intended event date, limiting numbers at events.

Plan B – Continuing with the roadshow format but reduced to half capacity and social distancing measures implemented. The plan was to then live stream from one event for those who couldn’t attend.  

At this point there was still concern with Plan B and how this might be perceived with media. So, Plan C was implemented…

Plan C – All roadshows cancelled, and the event was transformed into one live stream event. We hired a venue and organised the AV and the production and presenters streamed live from the venue. We increased the number of cameras/crew and technical equipment from Plan B for a more professional live stream event. Plan C was implemented within a week’s turnaround.

Why else would you need a contingency plan?

This is just one example on how we work with clients on contingency planning. And it’s not always Covid related that you need to implement alternative measures. Other impacts to event planning include weather, last-minute speaker cancellation, WiFi failure, technology malfunction, medical, the list is virtually endless. It’s how you go about resolving the issue and the key is to have the right team in place and consider a contingency budget that you can call upon is emergencies. 

Check out some of our latest case studies to see how we’ve been delivering events throughout the pandemic.