What to Do When Online Outages Hit Your Events

When service disruptions pose a barrier for online events, event professionals will need to ensure that they have adequate contingency plans in place.

These technical difficulties can happen to the best of planners – so how should you prepare for it?

In this piece, we’ll look at what industry practitioners should do to lessen the likelihood of technical difficulties sabotaging their events, as well as how to handle outages and crucial infrastructure failures like servers.

Preparing for the worst

  1. Making a contingency plan and practice it

Preparing those strategies should start early in the process and involve everyone in the company. Companies need to have a plan around how departments like Support, Legal, Marketing, Sales, and others are kept in the loop – to have an idea of what to share, set up a place where colleagues can easily get information, and determine who will get updates and how often. 

It’s also critical that whatever strategy is in place has been properly tested so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a disruption, how to keep attendees engaged, and how to get things back on track as soon as possible.

2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Instead of relying on cloud-based or on-premises solutions, consider employing hybrid cloud services. Hybrid on-premises services have that cloud-like experience while still maintaining control of your apps on-premises. It’s a far more adaptable strategy, and you can respond to outages much faster.

3. Know what technology you’re using and what questions you should ask.

The tech infrastructure on which your team relies must be well-understood by key members of your team. Knowing what questions to ask third-party service providers can assist ensure event resiliency and reduce the likelihood of disruptions.

4. Communicate with stakeholders

Normal means of communication may be down during service disruptions, therefore good contingency plans accommodate for that. As a result, it’s critical that everyone involved understands how to contact stakeholders through different communication means. This entails maintaining a master list of all stakeholders who should be contacted in the case of a service outage or technical problem.

A strong communications plan should focus on what guests will be told and how they will be kept updated as the scenario unfolds. When an outage is resolved, keeping customers and attendees informed across platforms and through techniques like employing a regularly updated Status Page will reduce aggravation and boost satisfaction.

​​Finally, good contingency planning will include updates once outages have been fixed, so that concerns like refunds, compensation, and scheduling may be addressed.

Conclusion

While it is easy for us to take for granted our company’s systems, at a time when the events industry is more reliant on internet resources than ever before, event planners need to  manage risks by learning about the infrastructure that supports their events and putting in place sound, well-practiced contingency plans to limit unfavorable outcomes; even when they occur.

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