When Your Event Gets Evacuated

Do you know what to do when an emergency happens during one of your events? Earlier this week, we were in the midst of an event when the dreaded sound no event planner ever wants to hear starting ringing – the fire alarm. Immediately after, a voice over the PA system announced that everyone in the building should evacuate immediately. My first thought was “Crap!” and my second thought was “Ok, time to get everyone out safely”.

In a situation like this that is beyond anyone’s control, an event planner needs to remember to stay calm and ensure the safety of everyone involved – from VIPs to guests to all suppliers. Additionally, and this is where multi-tasking comes in handy, an event planner need to assuage all client fears about the possible impact something like this could have on their hard planned and hard paid event. It’s not something an event planner ever likes to think about but having a solid emergency plan in place is so important. And it’s not enough to come up with a general plan and then forget about it, it is good practice to re-visit the plan specific to every event so that you’re well prepared in case anything ever happens.

Luckily for us, the evacuation was brief and guests returned to the reception with a great story to tell but it may not happen like that everytime. So as the Boy Scouts like to say… always be prepared!

What about you? Have you had an emergency happen during an event? How did you deal with it?

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