3 steps to conquer event risk management

Having a strong event risk management plan in place is critical for success. Natural disasters, political unrest, health scares, or an international pandemic can happen at any time, anywhere in the world. Event management teams must be prepared to pivot and act quickly with just 3 simple steps.

Photo by Sammie Chaffin on Unsplash


What do you need to do to address the current situation and possible event cancellation? What data and systems do you need to take immediate action? 

Organizations may spend days, or longer, assembling the information they need to determine the best course of action when a crisis hits. Information and circumstances change often. As an event manager, you must remain calm and quickly react to the potential human and financial impact of the crisis. Information gathering is key. It is important to monitor the news constantly, understand new guidelines and regulations, and more. As you adapt to the change, assess your risks, partnerships, and anticipated refunds and financial implications first before making a decision.


What lessons did you learn in the crisis and how do you move towards recovery? What are the areas that you adapted that may become an ongoing part of your events program in the future? 

Now that crisis mode is over, you can begin recovering and rebuilding by taking stock of lessons learned and plan for what recovery might look like. If you had to cancel an event, hopefully, you had a clause in your contract that allows you to use that space for a future event. It is important to identify risks ahead of time, read the fine print and make changes when needed.


Once you understand the lessons learned, how can you incorporate those learnings to accelerate your event for even greater success in the future? What does your event need to look like to drive future leads?

Now that you are through the crisis and have identified gaps in your processes, it’s time to think further into the future. A crisis can completely reshape the world in which we operate – as we have seen over the last couple years – and new regulations may become standard operating procedure. Societal reactions may become human norms. To accelerate your event for the future, you may need to change the way you used to operate in the past. You may also need to change the on-site logistics and event set up.

Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

Event management requires preparation, flexibility, and agility. For situations you never expected, you have to adapt at the drop of a hat and make decisions about your meetings and events that have a real business impact, even if that means thinking about event cancellation. Once the crisis clears, it’s time to evolve your meetings and events program and move forward by putting new processes and systems in place to respond better next time. Finally, you need to accelerate your meetings and events program by looking at how you host meetings and events and making smarter, more data-driven choices that rely on automation and insights.

How does your team adapt to uncertain circumstances? Comment your strategies below! Check out the current trends in event risk management or safety risks for additional tips on risk event management.

Thanks for reading!

7 thoughts on “3 steps to conquer event risk management

  1. Hi Shannon! I loved your post and your style of writing! I wish I had come across your insights a couple years ago when I was in event management/programming myself. Events are tricky and while turnout is usually on everyone’s’ minds, managing risk ultimately becomes most crucial to an event. Great insights!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great advice! As someone who plans events for students, I can relate to this post. One of the things I always like to do after an event is an after-action report. This will allow the planning time to go over everything that is good bad or ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

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