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Risk management

3 Reasons You’re Stuck with Risk Management Responsibilities

An excerpt from a new guide to creating an event risk management plan

The following is from The Robson Risk Management Model, a recently published ebook written by Dr. Linda Robson, an associate professor at Endicott College, Beverly, Mass. 

There are three reasons that we perform risk management: legally, financially, and ethically we have an obligation to do so.

Legally, event professionals have been hired to create a safe and secure environment for an event; it’s part of the job description. For clarification, a “safe” environment is one that is free from danger in the moment; while a “secure” environment means having procedures and plans in place to attempt to keep the environment safe.

Financially, it is significantly cheaper to perform risk management prior to the event (proactively), versus having to react to a risk that has manifested.

Finally, ethically, risk management is the right thing to do. People at an event should be confident that we are doing everything we can reasonably do to protect them and ensure they have a positive experience.

In order to guide the Robson Risk Management Model, I created overall goals related to risk management:
• Protect assets
• Minimize legal and financial liabilities
• Control potential loss
• Manage growth
• Operate responsibly

Notice there is no mention of creating a risk-free environment; it’s not possible. The idea is to have a plan, and a frame of mind, to address and react to risks. A strong risk-management plan does not include “all” risks, instead it is flexible. If we can create a risk-management frame of mind, we can adapt the existing plan to deal with those risks we did not anticipate.


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