How to create an event contingency plan in 2022


Being prepared for a sudden change in circumstances seems to be commonplace for corporate event planners in 2022. The event industry has experienced a lot of unpredictability from national lockdowns to safety restrictions. Naturally, uncertainty causes a lot of stress, especially when so much time and resource has gone into planning a successful event.

Creating a solid event contingency plan in 2022 will help you stay flexible, agile and make sure your attendees feel safe and confident. While you can’t prepare for every situation, assessing the risks that could occur will help you put actions in place to overcome them.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare an event contingency plan in 2022:

1. Assess the risks

It’s wise to start off by thinking about the things that could put your event at risk. In our current circumstances, it’s likely that this could include:

  • Attendee dropouts caused by safety concerns – attendees may feel uncomfortable attending an event with lots of people and may drop out suddenly beforehand.
  • Vendors and venue cancellations – your chosen vendors, suppliers and venues may withdraw from your event event if government guidance instructs them to do so.
  • Venue restrictions – your venue may restrict the number of people allowed to attend the event, and add more safety measures to protect attendees.
  • Changes to travel guidance – your attendees may find themselves unable to  travel to the venue if guidance changes, particularly if travelling from another country.
  • Event cancellation – the worst outcome could be that your event has to be cancelled altogether. In this case, you can make the decision to reschedule the event or cancel altogether.

2. Put measures in place

Once you’ve identified the risks to your event, you should think about the solutions you can put in place to overcome them. Start by listing the risks that you’ve identified and prioritise them by the impact they have on your event, for example, low, medium or high impact.

You should then describe any current measures you have in place and the alternative arrangements that will make sure you can mitigate the risks. You may want to assign who is responsible for each mitigation tactic and if it has been actioned yet.

3. Plan for virtual

Virtual events are something we all have experience with over the last 2 years. While in-person events are more ideal and engaging for attendees, planning a virtual backup will mean your event can still go ahead and your delegates have a great time. Planning a virtual event on top of your in-person event may seem difficult; you can consider working with a third-party provider to take care of it for you.

You can give attendees the option to attend the in-person event if they feel safe and comfortable doing so. Alternatively, they can tune into the virtual event and still have a great experience.

4. Communicate with vendors

Having open lines of communication is crucial to your event contingency plan. If new rules or changes are introduced that may impact your event, you should speak with your vendors, suppliers and venue to discuss their latest policies. You should understand their terms and conditions, cancellation and refund policies, and any opportunities for flexibility on dates, times and numbers.

Making sure your venue has technology in place to support a virtual event is important. This will ensure that your virtual attendees can experience the event with minimal technical disruption. You should also keep in contact with your attendees to communicate any changes to their travel arrangements and logistics, for example, parking or public transport.

5. Reassure your attendees

Share your safety procedures with attendees and instruct them to check the guidance so they’re familiar before attending the event and entering the venue. Some venues ask attendees to prove they have a negative lateral flow test before entering the event space, so it’s crucial to check this with your provider. You may also want to provide hand sanitiser and masks on entry should anyone have forgotten to bring their own. Providing clear signage throughout the event space will instruct attendees to move in and around the venue safely.

If your event suddenly becomes virtual, prepare communications to send to attendees to inform them of how to log into the event online and how to use the virtual platform for a great experience. Alternatively, if your event is cancelled or rescheduled, you should prepare details of your terms and conditions and refund policies.

We’re here to help you prepare

In 2022, creating an event contingency plan is part and parcel of event planning and management. Here at E10, we work with you to ensure your event runs smoothly and your attendees have everything they need for a safe and comfortable experience. Our event safety and refund procedures make sure you understand the available options should your event be subject to change or cancellation.

Click here to enquire about hosting your event at E10.