Creating an event contingency plan

While no one likes to be negative about things, having a think about what could go wrong at your event and having a plan in place is important. Having a plan for when things go wrong ensures that all members of your team know how to respond and rectify the situation, helping the event to continue running smoothly. 

Contingency planning is an important skill and one that you will get better at as you get more experience in hosting events. Experience also plays an important role as it makes you fully aware of all of the things that could potentially go wrong. To help with your contingency plan, we’ve compiled a list of all the possible things that could go wrong at your event, as well as some ideas as to how you can effectively rectify the situation.

Things that could go wrong

1. Your speakers or entertainers don’t turn up

People get ill, they get stuck in traffic and they have unforeseen family emergencies, therefore, there is always the possibility that your entertainers don’t turn up to your event. It could be a good idea to have a backup option in case this does happen.

2. The weather prevents the use of outside space

We all know just how unpredictable the UK weather can be, so if you are hosting an outdoor event, there is always the risk of bad weather preventing the event from taking place. If this does happen, will you be able to move your event inside? Or can you provide cover in the form of a gazebo or similar at short notice? It’s good to have a plan in place if you are hosting an outdoor event.

3. Too many people turn up to your event

While having too many people at your event is a good thing since it shows the popularity of it, it can actually lead to disappointment and a damaged reputation, as well as potentially presenting legal problems if you are working within fire regulations. If too many people turn up and you need to start turning people away, how will you manage their disappointment? Or is there any way you can expand your capacity?

4. Not enough people turn up to your event

The opposite of above, what happens if your event isn’t as popular as predicted and not enough people turn up? Will you be able to move to a smaller space? What other ways can you create a great atmosphere?

5. The internet goes down

WiFi connection can be temperamental, and if most of your event depends on a strong internet connection, what will you do if the internet goes down? Will you still be able to access presentations and take payments, or do you need to find another way?

6. Heating or air conditioning breaks

Keeping your event attendees happy is key to the overall success of your event. So, if your heating or air conditioning breaks, how are you going to control the temperature of your venue to keep attendees happy? Do you have access to alternative fans or heaters?

7. There’s an error with the catering

Mistakes happen, and if your caterers fail to prepare vegan or gluten-free meals, some of your attendees are going to go hungry. If this did happen, how are you going to rectify the situation and prepare a meal quickly to meet the dietary requirements of your attendees?

8. Large queues of people waiting to register

What happens if everybody arrives at the venue at once, resulting in large queues of people out in the rain? What can you do to register people quickly to avoid any complaints? Having extra staff on hand can go a long way to helping prevent this issue. 

9. Team members call in sick

What happens if a few of your staff have come down with a contagious bug preventing them from being able to work on the day of your event. Do you have any backup staff who will be able to cover at short notice? Another thing to bear in mind is what happens if you, the event organiser, is too ill to help organise the day? Can the event still go on without you?

10. There’s a medical emergency

Finally, you need to have provisions in place for if any of your staff or attendees trips over, has an accident at your event or requires urgent medical attention.

While it may seem like there is a lot that could go wrong, most events run smoothly with little to no problems at all! It is, however, important to be prepared with a contingency plan in case there are any issues.

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