Event Safety Corner…. W hen planning an event, there is so much to do. You must plan for the event itself, but in the course of the event there will undoubtedly be things that wreak havoc with the most carefully laid-out plans. Typically, there are things that most meeting planners and event coordinators are used to dealing with such as travel problems, cancellations, complications brought on by severe weather, and of course, last-minute schedule changes! But what about planning for the safety of the event, the attendees and your own personal safety? That is what this new Event Safety Corner is all about. Each article will discuss and bring awareness to various ways you can improve your personal safety before, during and after events. In the past you may not have given much thought to staying safe throughout the event or when traveling to and from. However, every day we are reminded in the news about threats to our safety and well-being that are surprising and shocking. Not only do they take us off-guard, they seem to be occurring with increasing frequency. Many people choose to ignore potential threats. They think a problem won’t happen to them – that it will happen to “someone else” and so they don’t think about it. Others simply fail to prepare because they don’t believe that they have the power to do anything about it. I am here to inform and educate you on what potential problems you may encounter during your “event window.” This is the time between when you leave home to go to the event until you return home from it. Every aspect of the “event window” will be discussed in detail in this and future articles. 10 Plan Meet Repeat Magazine Jan/Feb 2019 It is imperative that you acknowledge that your safety and well-being could be affected in an instant from any number of threats – digital or physical. So who am I to share this information with you? I’m glad you asked! My name is Pete Canavan, and I am a Personal Safety Expert. My unique blend of personal and professional expertise comes from my ability to keep people safe and secure in both the online world and the physical world. I have worked as an IT consultant for over 25 years, keeping my clients’ computers, networks, data and accounts secure from all manner of digital threats. As a martial arts Master, for over 20 years I have trained hundreds of men, women and children to become proficient in self-defense through my classes, workshops and seminars. In addition, I have kept college students safe as a university public safety officer and have also worked as an event security professional protecting entertainers, vendors and attendees. Safety begins with you. If you are not paying attention, are uninformed or careless, problems can and will occur – I guarantee it. Often these problems can be avoided with advance preparation and awareness. This enables you to identify potential threats and take precautions and actions that minimize your risks. It doesn’t need to be difficult! In fact, once you start, this will become habitual so that you find yourself being able to quickly size up a situation in order to maximize your personal safety. Let me use a real-world example to illustrate a series of threats that almost everyone faces on a daily basis.