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Contingency Planning for Your Event.

Andy Robertson

There are so many elements that make up any event it makes sense to have a contingency plan for any unforeseen problems. Aside from the current issues being caused by the Covid-19 pandemic you should always have a disaster recovery plan in place and ensure that everyone involved is aware of its contents.  

No matter how big or small your event is most of the elements that make up your plans and schedules are the same albeit on a different scale perhaps. Fail to plan and you're planning to fail. 

Probably the number one
issue that concerns event organisers is the management of staff. Recruiting paid and volunteer staff should start early in the planning process, however as this is often done months in advance of your event peoples plans change and they won't necessarily inform you. Overcome this by keeping regular contact with staff and ask them to reconfirm attendance. Have in place a reserve list that you can call on at short notice. Ensure that you recruit staff with appropriate levels of experience and for large events you can create teams with the most experienced staff acting as team leaders making sure that new inexperienced staff always have access to someone who can answer their questions.       

If you have multiple artists booked have a fall-back plan in place with potential replacement artists. Some artists may accept a provisional booking but not many will accept anything other than a paid confirmation. The later you leave it to book an artist the more expensive it will be.        

If your event is popular
hopefully your vendor space has sold out quickly but always keep a reserve list so that any last-minute cancellations can be filled. If the vendor pitch becomes available very close to the event date you will probably have to offer this at a discounted price, you may be able to recover this discounting by collecting a cancellation fee from the vendor that pulled out.  

Technical back up.
There is nothing worse than a technical failure of sound and light equipment especially just before or during your event. Check that the electricity supply is reliable, if this goes down what are the arrangements for back-up generators and have they been tested as operational? Have technical staff on standby to fix any equipment problems from simple things like fuses and light bulbs to more complex issues that might affect mixing desks and cabling for example.

On site issues.
With your
Health and Safety plans in place your event should be ready for any issues common at events. Are the right staff in place to deal with serious issues involving fires and crowd control? The stories of tragedy abound for fatalities and injuries at events because of fires and crowd crushing or even terrorist attacks. Follow your Health and Safety plans to reduce the risks. 

Create your Disaster Recovery and contingency plans and document them making sure that appropriate staff are informed and aware of their responsibilities along with response protocols 

To help in planning your event you can use an event software solution like FestivalPro. This software provides full functionality to record and document every aspect of your event and assist in the planning processes you will need to go through. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and are performance artists themselves. Using FestivalPro will save you time and effort in planning and managing your event.  

Andy Robertson
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