Is Your Event Prepared for a Medical Emergency?
Emergency Medical Preparedness for Meeting and Event Planners
Be Prepared For Anything and Everything
It’s the second day of a conference, and everything is going smoothly. Attendees are mingling over a spread of treats, discussing the most recent speaker’s revelations and nodding their heads in agreement.
And then someone collapses; another attendee yells out to call 911.
Is your event team ready to handle the situation?
We don’t like to think about it, but when we get so many people together a medical emergency becomes much more likely. From relatively minor conditions to life-threatening episodes, it is up to the event team to show compassion and swift thinking to not only aid the ailing attendee, but also uphold the company’s ethical standards.
To help you envision what goes into emergency medical preparedness for meeting and event planners, we have put together some of our best tips for preventing and handling these stressful scenarios.
Prevention When Possible
As is the event planner’s motto, focusing on preventing medical emergencies can go a long way. Luckily, the most common medical issues attendees are likely to have can be prevented with some thoughtful attention to comfort measures:
- Provide lots of hydration when the weather is hot.
- Be mindful of covered areas when planning outdoor events to avoid the elements like wind and sun.
- Take your demographic’s physical abilities in mind when you are planning event activities, and always offer lower-impact options.
- Ensure all food is safely handled and catering personnel are certified appropriately. This is especially important on buffet tables where hot or cold food can enter the temperature danger zone allowing harmful bacteria to grow.
- Label all food clearly and provide ingredient lists to avoid attendees with food allergies from accidentally coming into contact with an allergen.
- Perform a walk through of the event venue and make note of any hazards that should be fixed before the event. This is especially important when planning to use unusual spaces.
Local Emergency Contact Information
One of the key components of your emergency preparedness kit will be the local contact information. Always include the contact information and nearest locations of hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care centers. Also note any event owners, venue owners, or security personnel who should be notified if an emergency should take place.
Set-up a tab on your mobile event app with the following information for conference attendees:
- Nearest 24-hour pharmacy and hospital
- Urgent care center closest to venue
- Venue’s emergency protocol
- Event planner contact information in case of emergency while on site
- Organization’s on-site security contact
- Event command center and venue command center
While some attendees might be used to reaching out for accomodations, others might not know how to go about it without a clear invitation. Give attendees a chance to let you know about any conditions that may affect their health during the event. A health summary isn’t necessary, but simply asking if they require reasonable accomodations can go a long way in giving you a heads up that peanuts should be off the menu (or at least very clearly labeled).
All attendees should have an emergency contact number on file as well, and this information should be stored securely. Prior to the event assign one person the duty of looking up emergency contact information if needed so no one is scrambling.
Capture the following information during the registration process for your event:
- Emergency Contact Information
- Emergency contact name and relationship
- Phone: cell and home/office
- Medical conditions that organizers should be aware of
- Food Allergies
If your event is in a traditional space, like a hotel or conference center, determine their protocol for emergency scenarios, including calling 911. Collect numbers for the venue security and the manager as well.
Locate all medical equipment, such as automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Also, identify emergency exits, fire alarms, and extinguishers. Ask about the venue’s alarm protocol and review the plan as part of your pre-conference meeting. Make sure your attendees are aware of this process and how to exit the building in case of an emergency.
Specific Response Plans and Roles
Different medical emergencies require specific responses, so train the event team in handling each scenario appropriately. Note who on the event team is trained in medical emergencies, such as performing CPR or administering an EpiPen.
Each member of the event team should understand their role during a medical emergency, whether it is to manage the unaffected attendees, call 911, begin an incident report, or reach out to the affected attendees’ emergency contact. This will streamline the communication chain, getting medical attention to the scene as quickly as possible without disrupting the entire event.
Plan For Your Own Emergency
As much as it can feel like no one else can do our job, sometimes it is a necessity. In the case that a medical emergency requires you to leave the event in someone else’s hands, set them up for success. Keep an organized event binder with enough detail that someone could step in for you until you can return.
With some careful, thoughtful planning you can be ready to take on any medical emergency that might occur at your event. From asthma attacks to allergies, your attendees are counting on your expertise to get them the help they need.
Omnience has decades of experience creating medical emergency plans, and can help you determine the gaps you need to fill. Contact us today for a consultation to ensure you are prepared for anything and everything that can come your way!