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Risk: Manage and Mitigate

Posted on August 08, 2007

By Gloria Nelson, CSEP

Event design and execution has many components, and the more sophisticated the more risk there is of something potentially going "bump" in the morning, noon or night.  So we need to look at each event through a litmus test of where we have potential risk.

Do you wish to eliminate it?  Shift it?  Manage it?  Or...assume it? Dependent upon the degree of risk, an action plan of each event component of risk can then be evaluated in how you will handle it.

Here's some food for thought in just a couple of the do's that will not only help you to be assured your resources are adequately covered, but also how you can have ink set to paper to "shift" the risk (holding breath now), SHOULD an episode occur:

1.)  Certificates of Insurance:  By having a certificate of insurance of all outsourced suppliers in your event file, this will not only allow you to be assured of adequate coverage, but also to be notified in the event the policy lapses prior to your event.  Note, having a copy of the declarations page or a photocopied Certificate of Insurance doesn't provide this protection.  You must have the agent of record place your name in the block of advisement so you will be notified in the event of termination or lapse in coverage.

2.)  Installations: I remember talking to my insurance agent many moons ago and feeling very proud when he asked, "Who gives the final sign-off and approval on the inspection of the items you subcontract that comprise the underpinnings of your events"?  Well, I believe each one of us would have done the same as I proudly announced, "Well...I do"!  That was a wake-up call that I will not ever forget.  When he advised that in having the final sign-off that our company was assuming all the risk....I sat up and listened.  He shared a simple means of "shifting risk" by merely taking the quotes or contracts from each event program and writing in the following text followed by a signature line that is then penned by the lead person on each segment of event installation.   It merely says:  Installed & Inspected By: ___________________________________

These are just two very simple things that can be done as a starting point in looking at and evaluating risk.  Always check with your own insurance agent as not only does coverage vary state-by-state, but it may also change if the state you're executing an event is different than the one where your insurance policy is written.

For a comprehensive look at understanding managing risk, look to the new text soon to be on the bookstands authored by Julia Rutherford Silvers, CSEP, titled, "Risk Management for Meeting and Event Planners".  It's available online at Julia's site by visiting www.juliasilvers.com or through www.amazon.com for pre-orders .  This is a "must have" on any event professionals resource book shelf.

So instead of shifting in your seat over the safety of your attendees, perform your due diligence and when and if possible....shift the risk and mitigate the potential losses to your company or organization!


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