5 Risk Management Tips from Stranger Things

Stranger Things, meetings
Here are a few lessons from Stranger Things that will help in your risk management.

The Netflix original, Stranger Things, centers around a 12-year-old boy, Will, who goes missing.

The search for answers in a small Indiana town uncovers secret government experiments, a parallel world with horrifying forces at work and a hero in the form of a girl with supernatural powers.

In the quest to find Will and outmaneuver the bad guys, the cast (including Winona Ryder as mom Joyce) put many measures in place to protect themselves. Here are a few lessons taken from them that will help in your risk management.

Communication is everything

When Joyce realizes her son is still alive in another dimension, but she can’t speak to him, she finds a way of communicating with him via Christmas lights. In the end, this leads to his safety. It’s essential to build a strong communication plan for your meetings, with alternate forms of communication and a chain of command.

Operate as a team

At one point, there’s an argument among the group of friends searching for Will and they split up to search separately. As the situation gets more perilous, they soon realize they are stronger together. Develop a crisis plan for your team, with responsibilities for each member, in case of an emergency.

Have a Plan B and C

From a bear trap to a sensory deprivation tank, this group had various plans in place. You should, too, and communicate them to the staff.

Rely on the local authorities

In the end, it was a smart, determined, take-no-enemies local police chief who saved the day. When bringing groups abroad, research local authorities and embassies beforehand so you know who to get in touch with if there’s an issue.

Remember: Whatever can happen, will

The characters in Stranger Things kept expecting the worst, and many planners say they do, too. What if the power goes out, or the cellular service goes down? Considering the worst prepares you for whatever comes your way.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.