A crisis is an inevitable reality in the events industry, and of course, the virtual landscape is no different. Even though crises are common, careful planning can prevent a minor issue from turning into a PR nightmare. During these uncertain times, knowing what to do in a crisis has never been so relevant.
First, ensure that you limit privacy issues by using secure video conferencing software. Read up on what features Remo designed that increase the level of safety for your online event. So, you might be thinking – how do you prepare for a virtual crisis? You can’t have physical backups on-site. Look no further. We have outlined a step by step guide on creating a crisis communication plan that will help your event stay above water.
Step 1 – Brainstorm Potential Crises
Being proactive rather than reactive is the secret to effective crisis planning. Think of every possible outcome that could happen during your event and write a solution to each issue. Technological issues are inevitable with virtual events, whether it be a minor issue such as a muted microphone or a total disaster like a power cut. Try and think of problems that may arise at your event specifically. Have backup speakers at the ready to offer a talk, create some animated clips that can be played instead of a live discussion. Document these issues on a list with solutions to match, and voila – you have the skeleton of your crisis event plan.
Step 2 – Assign a Team
Teamwork is dream work and even more so in crisis response. Now, this is when the answers to the who, what, when, where and how come in. Create a team of agile and adaptable delegates that will make up the crisis response team. Assign roles based on capabilities and personality traits and make sure that each duty is covered. Team Coordinator, Media Spokesperson, Social Media Responder, and Internal Liaison Officer are crucial roles that must be included to prevent your crisis from turning into a catastrophe. Decide on the communication platform of choice – create a crisis group on Slack to keep in touch.
Step 3 – Educate your Employees
What’s next? You must educate your entire workforce on the ins and outs of the crisis plan. What good is it if only your PR team is in the loop? Think of crisis training akin with a fire safety drill – it is a must, or your company could end up in ashes. Scenario training is crucial to the success of your event. Conduct regular scenario training sessions for staff and get feedback on what worked and what did not.
Step 4 – Crisis has hit – now what?
In the eye of the storm, revert to your scenario training and crisis solutions. Clear communication is crucial and even more so during times of crisis. As soon as your guests know something is wrong, they will look at your social media. Overcommunicate with your guests on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – use your social media platform of choice to your advantage. Tweets and Instagram stories are quick, effective methods of communication. In their information pack, send your guests some networking icebreakers to engage in while the speaker fixes their internet issues.
Step 5 – Live and Learn
With each crisis comes valuable lessons learned. When your event is up and running, take some time for the crisis response team to meet and document what happened, the triggers, actions undertaken, and the outcomes. After the event finishes and everything has calmed down, the crisis response team should meet again to discuss the crisis in detail. Note any valuable lessons and adjustments for future crisis planning.
What now? Your event went as well as could be expected, and crises were tackled in a timely fashion through effective planning. Now you can relax until next time. The nature of the events industry is uncertain and full of crises, and that’s the fun of it. Be one step ahead of your competitors with a reliable virtual conferencing software. Check out a free trial of Remo for your next event and let us worry about the software, while you focus on the event itself.