Conferences come in many shapes and sizes, and can be very stressful to organize. While small and large, local and farther-reaching conferences have different needs, there are some organizing guidelines that work for most. When planning a conference, you will need to identify the location, space, timing, content and form. This is no joke because your conference might yield the wrong results if not organized properly. The conference needs to inform its intended audience of its existence, and convince that audience – or enough of them – to attend. But whether you are organizing an event for 50, hundreds or thousands of people, you will need to consider the security essentials for conference attendees. The safety and security of your participants is one of the most important things to plan about especially if the location of the conference is far from the city or is in another country that not all participants have been to. “Always be prepared” should be the motto of every event organizer as you might not be sure of what could happen during the conference especially to the participants.
Event planners plan every detail of the conference and this means that having plans A, B, C, etc. to account for the unpredictability that inevitably will occur despite the best laid plans. You can anticipate the common mishaps like having a late speaker, having technical issues or serving the food late and you can easily find solutions to these events. However, you should also assist the attendees in being better prepared in case the unpredictable becomes a reality.
The hotel or other conference site will usually employ on-site security and people with emergency medical training. The conference staff should have a first-aid kit with essentials: band-aids, aspirin, aspirin substitute, antacids, etc. At the start of every conference, remind you speakers and participants where they can ask for help if they encounter any emergencies. You could also do some plug-ins about the safety and security reminders during break times when everyone is having their snacks. It is also necessary to have an EMT, nurse, or other medical professional or paraprofessional available in the venue during cases of emergency.
Aside from securing the venue, you will need to keep your attendees informed and prepared with emergency contact information. During the registration time, encourage all attendees to submit an emergency contact name and phone number to be printed on the back of their badge so the contact information is easily found. Also make sure to get the important details like mobile number so that the attendees can be reached or receive text status updates in case of emergency.
During the registration process, pay special attention to attendees that need extra assistance like if they are hearing impaired, visually impaired or other disabilities. Although the participants would expect nothing bad to happen, the security essentials for conference attendees should not be taken for granted. Ensuring professional and prepared response in a worst case scenario is one quality that makes a good event. So be prepared to deal with anything and expect the unexpected.