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April 25, 2017
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Americas: Do You Have an Emergency Plan?


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mike tyson

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” This quote comes from boxer Mike Tyson who probably meant it literally, but it applies just as well to situations outside the boxing ring where your plan can be derailed by any number of surprises, leaving you struggling to come up with a new one. You may think you have the perfect event response plan in place for your meetings, but until you test it you won’t find the holes.

At a tabletop crisis simulation run by Bob Mellinger, president of business continuity consultancy Attainium at the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders 2017, the first fictional challenge participants faced was the loss of their team leader who is out sick and unable to answer questions. The whole team then has had to switch roles and hope that they have the right skills and information. The simulated emergency response goes downhill from there. Attainium’s simulations can vary from violent incidents to a mass illness that may or may not require quarantine, but the tabletop exercise asks participants at each stage to answer standard questions. The answers can help you define the missing pieces of your emergency policy and possibly change how you plan events going forward.

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