Event Experience

Gird Up Your Event To Tackle The Climate Change Challenge!

Eventually Learning Team

“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” - Terri Swearingen

Global warming and climate change at large is one of the challenges of the world. It is arguably THE most pressing global issue we face as a race which has far-reaching effects. For all we know, climate change has already begun and is impacting our lives with each passing day.

While its effects are observed across many industries, the events industry is no exception. Event professionals in the business of planning events need to be aware of the realities of climate change and how weather change, floods or natural disasters can detrimentally affect their events. Here, specific plans should be in place in the form of disaster planning to tackle the obstacles of extreme weather.

According to a report released by the United Nations, Greenhouse gas concentrations are at their highest levels in 2 million years. This has led to the earth being about 1.1°C warmer than it was in the 1800s.

Quite often, people relate climate change plainly with warmer temperatures. But warmer temperatures are the start of the real change that is to come. The earth, by nature, is an inter-connected system. If there’s a change in one aspect or element, that will inevitably lead to changes in other areas.

Take events in the US, for example. The flooding in Montana completely decimated infrastructure and devastated the communities surrounding Yellowstone National Park, eventually resulting in a complete closure.

Elsewhere, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Centre’s  2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast, there is a 65% chance of an above-normal season.

So How Do You Go About Tackling Climate Change?

There are certain pre-requisites and best practices which event organizers need to consider to solve the issue of climate change. Let’s look at some of them.

Write It Out!

Ensure the crisis management plan is written out with key inputs from all relevant stakeholders before being drafted as a contract. Event planners, in this context, ideally need time to execute a plan B which involves finding alternatives for almost all processes like venues, communication and travel. This is time-consuming and that’s precisely why it needs to be incorporated in the contract. 

Another key option that organizers should consider with ‘attendee security’ in mind is Insurance. A sizeable amount of event attendees travel to attend events and travel insurance enables attendees to cancel their trip prior to departure if and when extreme weather changes are predicted to occur.

Fire Drills Will Never Not Be Helpful

Fire drills are old school, absolutely indispensable and highly effective. Although it will be difficult to rehearse fire drills, it’s imperative to have a strategy in place that addresses this issue when things go south!

All on-site event teams need to be made aware of the functioning and operation of alarm systems that are present at the event venue. Ensure that these alarms can be heard across the length and breadth of the entire event venue. Testing them forms a crucial part of pre-event venue inspection.

Lay A Strong Emphasis On Communication

In times of crisis, effective communication spearheads all possible solutions. When disaster strikes, find out if there’s an alarm or a public address system, for that matter, that will direct people to safety.

Appoint one or even a couple of spokespersons to take care of communication. Another effective option in this regard would be to bring event speakers into the loop. Have these speakers brief the attendees on what they need to do and the protocols they need to follow in case of an emergency. Such a practice should ideally be part of the standard operating procedure.

Speakers can bridge that all-important gap when it comes to providing information in such scenarios as the event organizing team cannot be present everywhere.

Draw An Evacuation Plan For Mayday! 

An event venue is quite often a large and structured space. Event organizers provide directional signs to navigate one’s way through the venue, but where do you go in the event of an emergency?

Find out where all the event venue exits are, not just those getting people out of large spaces but also those dealing with small spaces or rooms, for that matter. If there is a shelter, find out the route to it and how it can be easily accessible when needed.

During the pre-event site inspection, ensure you walk the evacuation route and look at what could be altered and where. Once everyone’s safely out of the venue, look for where they can assemble till more help arrives.

Final Words

Climate Change is an actuality that all of us have to deal with at some point. Preparing for when the time comes is vital. Given the nature and operations of an event, it is in line to be one of the easiest targets. For event planners, it is not an option but a prerequisite to devise an effective strategy to counter natural obstacles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are 5 Effects Of Climate Change?

Some effects of climate change are as follows:
  • Hotter temperatures
  • Severe storms
  • Increased droughts
  • A warming and rising ocean
  • Loss of species
  • Lack of food
  • Health risks
  • Poverty and displacement

What Are Some Ways To Fight Climate Change?

Some effective ways to tackle climate change are:
  • Study and learn more about carbon emissions
  • Commute by carpooling or public transit
  • Switch to “green power”!

How Does Climate Affect Human Life?

Climate change affects the determinants of health – safe drinking water, sufficient food, clean air and secure shelter. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to be the cause of roughly 250,000 deaths per year resulting from diseases like diarrhoea, malnutrition, malaria, and heat stress.

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