What You Don’t See at Events Can Save Your Life

Event planning isn’t all about the glitz and creative, although that is what everyone sees and experiences. It’s about the safety of every person attending. All you have to do is look at recent world events at the Bataclan in Paris or the Bastille Day festival in Nice to know that safety is no laughing matter.

But I am just planning a simple corporate event at a hotel.

Even the most mundane events can be fatal if safety is overlooked. As the event planner, it is critical that you know where the police are, how to get ahold of them as well as fire and paramedics. You must remember you are dealing with human beings whose health you know nothing about. Their intentions may seem all well and good, but will you bet your career on it?

Case in Point – A Recent Balihoo Event

I am not trying to be all “Debbie Downer” when it comes to planning, but you need to take event planning seriously. We had a recent event in Denver, Colorado that we have done for several years and have always required armed police and paramedics to be on-scene. The reason? We are dealing with the public and asked two questions: “How long will it take police to get to our event in the case of an emergency?” and “How long for paramedics to respond to an emergency?” Then we did something most event planners don’t. We took a stopwatch and sat there in mock emergencies…seconds seemed like minutes, minutes seemed like hours. Would we want our loved ones to wait? Absolutely not. Therefore, we had emergency personnel on-site. Not simply on display, but ready.

And then it happened. An attendee fell ill and could not get up. The call went out on the staff radio, and before our staff could physically get to the scene, the paramedics were already there. The person in question was fine and transported to the hospital at the request of the family for safety reasons, but imagine how many things COULD have gone wrong if they had to wait?

Are you willing to take that risk? At a minimum, my suggestion is that you consult the hotel or venue where you are hosting your event and come up with a plan. Not all events require on-site police and paramedics. However, all events require a plan. What’s yours?