This week we remember the 3,000-plus lives lost in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania 12 years ago.
It brought to mind the fact that, as event organizers, we build temporary cities where large numbers of people gather together under (at least) one roof—and that their safety should remain paramount in our minds. Unfortunately, most of the time we become complacent.
We glance at the disaster preparedness book the venue has prepared. We may or may not brief all of those working the show (temps included) on what to do in case of an emergency—besides calling their superiors on the phone to report trouble.
Since our industry is on the uptick once again and we’re seeing more attendees and exhibitors, it’s important to pay attention to the big picture. Is your venue a designated evacuation center?
What are the ramifications of that if your show is in progress? Do you have a clear communication plan in place to be able to not only notify your exhibitors and attendees—but their families as well should wireless telecommunication capabilities be knocked out? Disasters happen—whether man-made or natural. Be prepared.
Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.