In the wake of recent violent attacks, the responsibility of event planners to keep people safer became even more urgent. “Most planners don’t like to think about the unthinkable,” says Fran Rickenbach, executive vice president of the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI), who spearheaded the Emergency Preparedness Certificate Program that launched its first two-day training course in April. But the numbers show that more people are now taking the time to consider worst-case scenarios and plan for them. More than 90 people have gone through the three programs she has produced, and another one is planned for November 14 and 15 in Las Vegas. Meeting Escrow is a proud supporter of the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) and encourages planners to enrol in any upcoming programs available near them. Read the tips provided by Fran Rickenbach:
Compile complete contact information (mobile phone number, email and Twitter address) for everyone who touches a program—attendees, suppliers, partners and the DMC (local DMCs can be an invaluable resource in case of emergency, because they know what resources are available and where).
Make sure people know how to contact you after hours (which is often when medical emergencies occur). Appoint someone to monitor the conference’s mobile app and twitter feed, as they can be a way people reach out.
Take time to understand the venue, what it offers and what you need to fill in. This include fire plans, alarm sounds and meanings, and staff trained in first aid.
Follow script established during role-playing of scenarios with staff before the event. This will help everyone play their part and remain calm.
The advice in the case of an active shooter used to be to shelter in place; but now authorities recommend getting to a place of safety and helping others do the same—all before calling 911.
Wait for authorities to declare an area safe before returning or allowing others to do so.
After an event, when everyone has gathered, take roll call.
Identify a reliable source of news (sheriff updates or agency websites, for instance)
Keep everyone informed either through the contact info secured beforehand and/or through a simple web platform that directs people quickly to what they need to know.