Better safe than sorry! In any event, be it a training seminar, a convention, or even a wedding or a concert, the concept of safety should not be taken lightly. Don’t let carelessness ruin your day or your event.
Once you arrive at the building or any venue, one of the first things you should do is note where the fire exits are located. This involves more than just looking for signs – count the number of doors between you and the fire exits, or pace the distance. If a fire occurs, you may have to direct people, and all of you may end up traveling the distance in the dark, crouching.
Of course, never use elevators in case of fire. Many elevators are activated by heat-sensitive detectors and unfortunately, in case of a fire, the elevator is drawn straight to the floor with the fire.
While you’re looking for fire exit, note other possible problem areas. Are there any protruding electrical outlets on the floor? Is the floor slippery? Do you see any torn carpet edges you or someone could tip over? How about electrical cords stretching across traffic areas?
If a lectern will be used, check if it is sturdy or flimsy. Are there any long-hanging fixtures that can cause anyone to his or her head on? Does the microphone, projector, or other electrical equipment have correctly installed three-prong plugs?
Try to imagine how various objects and conditions in the venue could cause injury. You may not be able to do much about some of them, but do tape down any carpet edges or wires you might trip over. Make sure the that the electrical devices that will be used are properly grounded (this is where it pays to arrive hours earlier before the event).
Once you feel comfortable with the room, go ahead and arrange your agenda, notes, visual aids, etc. If you must mount something on a wall, or otherwise need to reach above your head, bring along a folding stepstool. Never stand on a chair with wheels to hang or mount something. Making precautionary measures are a lot more cheaper than a visit to the emergency room after all!