Working with the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events has published a guide to help event organizers—particularly not-for-profit associations—handle today’s H1N1 flu pandemic should it affect their shows.

IAEE’s Model Pandemic Crisis Management/Communications Plan describes the various phases of a pandemic and offers specific strategies that show organizers can use to prepare for each phase. It provides suggestions on how to monitor pandemic activity and recommends what to do before, during, and after an outbreak. The guide also recommends the proper ways to communicate with members, exhibitors, the media, and other stakeholders in a crisis. The 10-page document can be downloaded in PDF format.

In addition, IAEE’s Exhibition Safety and Security Web page is filled with news updates, pandemic resources and links, and examples of policies used by event organizers. The downloadable resources include business continuity planning guidelines.

“By being prepared and having a crisis plan in place, event organizers will have one less concern when the doors open at their event," stated Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP, chief operating officer and crisis prevention committee liaison at IAEE, in a press release.