As a meeting planner, you’re probably aware of all the things that could go right—and wrong—with any event. But do you have an actionable risk management plan in place that could alleviate some of the stress? You might be wondering what we mean. Risk management is when you reduce the possibility of a crisis at an event or at least have a backup plan. Crises could include anything from food safety or equipment failure to a full-blown weather emergency.

Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to limit some event uncertainties. Here are 5 ways of removing risks in meeting planning:

  1. Choose the venue carefully

You need to consider a few important factors when picking out the event location. For example, the medical infrastructure nearby, local environment, crime, possible controversy, and even venue ownership. You should also think about transportation and how easily guests can be accommodated. Check Google to see if hotel taxes will increase in the area as well. Taking a look at the building itself and noticing little detail problems could also be an indicator of potential breakdowns that could spell disaster. Pay attention to details!

  1. Develop a crisis-management plan

Even though you can’t plan for everything, it’s still nice to have a strategy that assesses possible risks and their probability of happening along with the consequences. The plan should include emergency response procedures, maps, and vital information about the venue, key staff contact lists, and any other useful documents like facility emergency procedure information. Having all this information in hand will ensure your preparedness for anything.

  1. Have a backup plan

Redundancy is A-ok when organizing a meeting. For instance, if your event is outdoors, make sure you have an alternative plan for bad weather. Or if your keynote speaker gets sick, have someone on standby who can easily step in. You should even consider backing up your event planning information digitally, just in case. Also, forming contingency plans right from the start and at every follow-up meeting can help explore all possibilities and solutions.

  1. Focus on high-risk factors

Having a backup plan for everything might not be feasible, so you should try and identify at least two items that could cause a big impact if they go wrong. For example, spoiled food at your event could definitely influence your meeting more so than the cleanliness of the bathrooms. People are more likely to remember getting sick and will associate your client with that memory for a very long time. Another high risk might be that the client’s requested deejay is known for his unreliability compared to the one you’ve hired over and over again. Sometimes it’s better to stick with the old reliable.

  1. Don’t trust the expert

In this case, the expert is you! Have a healthy degree of skepticism at every point in your planning process. Keep asking questions and delve deeper so your team can always stay on guard. You might explore risk areas that you never thought of before. Don’t ever assume things will go smoothly. However, assessing all risks and potential flaws along with their solutions will help.

Every event has different variables and different circumstances. While it’s great to have templated checklists upon checklists, you need to stay adaptable. Come to each new event with fresh eyes and a drive to seek out all potential issues that might be unique to the situation. Developing a risk-management strategy can remove any uncertainties while decreasing the chances of an unorganized disaster. As a meeting planner, it’s your job to make sure every detail, large and small, is met with a keen, professional eye.