Disaster Can Strike Anywhere, Any Time. Is Your Event Ready?

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Seriously? An earthquake in Virginia and a hurricane in New York? What is next? A tsunami in Arizona? Even Richard Branson’s mansion on Necker Island, which he uses as a retreat for his high level mastermind groups, as well as for his celebrity friends, burned to the ground last week.

It just goes to show you that disaster can strike anywhere, any time.

Does your event have an emergency planThankfully you can prepare for a hurricane, as you can see that coming for days.  After having lived through a few in South Florida, including Hurricane Andrew, I can attest to that.

In the summer of 2004, our house was literally boarded up for more than 6 weeks, since hurricane after hurricane threatened our area.

The other forces of nature strike suddenly, without warning.

Even if you are in the middle of your event…

Are you ready to deal with an emergency during your event?

  • What if you are in the middle of a seminar when an earthquake hits?
  • What do you do if one of your attendees has a sudden heart attack?
  • What are the procedures if you are under a tornado warning?
  • How can you protect your event and attendees from catastrophe?

As a seminar leader, you are in charge of your attendees and you need to be prepared for those situations.   Here are some tips that will help you face any situation.

1. Ask your venue for their emergency plan.

Each hotel and conference center should be willing to share their plans.  If they don’t have a plan or are not willing to show you their plan that is a major red flag and it’s time to investigate other venues.  You also want to know if your venue has an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) onsite and exactly where they are.

2. Get emergency contact information from your attendees.

These days, people use their cell phone as their primary contact information. Even the address associated with the credit card for the seminar ticket they bought online may or may not be their home address.  The last event I attended had quite a few people whose town on their name badge wasn’t even in the state they lived in.

So who do you call if your attendee is unconscious? Do you really know how to get in touch with your attendees’ home front?

3. Create your own emergency preparedness plan

As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.” Just having a plan will ease your mind.  Who do you delegate certain tasks to?  Do you have a volunteer or a staff member who can stay with an attendee if they have to go to the hospital?  Where is the best place in the facility to herd your audience in case of a tornado? And be sure to have a first aid kit in your seminar room for those minor emergencies.

Following these tips will help keep you and your attendees safe if disaster strikes. Having an event is stressful enough without throwing in a crisis.  When you prepare your plan, you can just go to it when you need to.

Of course you can always assign this very important task to your event planner.  She can create the plan and walk you through it before the event, so that you are on the same page and you feel comfortable if an emergency situation comes up.

A little preparation can go a long way…



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Daphne Bousquet, CMP

Daphne Bousquet, CMP

For more strategies to make your workshops and seminars more profitable, you’ll want to pick up a copy of the free report "Three Simple Secrets To Making 10K In A Day With Small Workshops." Daphne Bousquet uses her 20+ years of event industry experience to create profitable event strategies and marketing for coaches, entrepreneurs, speakers and self employed professionals that want to grow their businesses with workshops and seminars. She is the creator of the Butts In Seats Virtual Boot Camp, a unique digital course that teaches you how to fill your events with your ideal audience.
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP
Daphne Bousquet, CMP


  1. Chris says:

    I love this post Daphne. Not only is it timely with the passing (yay!) of Irene, but it’s a great addition to every checklist when planning and delivering an event.

    I truly appreciate the reminder to get emergency numbers! This may be less problematic if it’s a local workshop, but I’ve attended multi-day events and have never been asked for an emergency contact or number. And if it were explained…I wouldn’t hesitate!

    Always great teaching…thank you!

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      This is not a big issue locally, as they probably have a car in the parking lot and someone they know with them. But I remember being across the country for a seminar not knowing anyone. If anything had happened, they would have had a hard time finding someone to call.

      Hope you stayed mostly dry, Chris!

  2. I didn’t know you went through the Andrew hurricane, so glad you and your family didn’t get hurt. I know some of us ‘west coasters’ were tweeting out some silly jokes about the east coast earthquake, and I went through a pretty awful one in 2003, but can’t imagine a hurricane with that kind of wind.

    It really goes to show you how we need to be prepared. You brought up some really good points Daphne so next time I’m planning an event, it will certainly be something to plan for.
    Lynn Brown recently posted..Emotional Triggers That Drive Your Readers Wild

    • Daphne Bousquet, CMP says:

      I have decided that I will take hurricanes over tornadoes any day. I don’t like the unexpected aspect of tornadoes, since they can pop up out of nowhere. I was driving the other day, taking my son shopping, when the tornado sirens went off. Just about had a heart attack…


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