Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Contingency Plans

The Iceland volcano is affecting us at BrightBlue Marketing personally: Our President and Founder is in Scotland with her fiance, trying to get back here in time for her wedding. They're making the most of their time there, however, and thanks to the internet, it's business as usual. Candace has a series of backup plans for all contingencies.

It reminds me of a seminar we attended in 1998 in Dallas, specific to meeting planners. When you're a meeting and event planner, every seminar, sales meeting, technology expo or site visit is YOUR responsibility. You need contingency plans for failing electricity, health emergencies, acts of nature, failed equipment, food allergies, domestic violence that spills into your meeting...the list goes on and on. We went through the steps one would need to take if we were having a meeting at a hotel and there was a tornado. Or an attendee was having a heart attack.

Being at the ready and having thinking through issues before they arise is crucial for ALL aspects of your business. I was responsible for the Executive Business Center (EBC) at a company in Dallas with a notoriously buggy sound and projector system. On days that we had guests, I'd have all of the presentations printed out in case the Barco projector went south. I had IT and graphic artists on standby to come fix the machines INSTANTLY should we have issues with the PowerPoint slides or the projector gear got persnickety. Meanwhile, I'd need to be at the ready to let the caterers into the back door to set up in the EBC kitchen. I'd have called the day before to follow-up on the date and time, have one of my colleagues at the ready to take over running the catering if I was wrassling with the equipment in the other room and have a local back-up caterer on speed dial in case of all-out food failure.

Never once in all those years did the EBC have a less than stellar showing for our clients and VIPs. It wasn't luck or skill as much as just plain FORETHOUGHT and TEAMWORK. Let BrightBlue know if YOU need help with your contingency plans!

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