The large fire at the Sky City International Convention Center provided an interesting business continuity case study. The roof caught fire during construction and the billowing smoke meant many nearby businesses had to close.
In this video I discuss their:
- Crisis Management Plan
- Phased Evacuation
- Hazard Identification
- Crisis Communications
- Affected parties
It’s interesting how one event can affect so many people and how all the different elements of a plan come together.
The CEO of SkyCity- Graeme Stephens had said that there is no witch-hunt on the worker who had by pure accident left the blowtorch on. When he remembered that he had not turned it off and came back, the entire place was gutted.
He had further said he is concerned about the welfare of this worker. This disaster was well handled and co-ordination with various parties and stakeholders involved was excellent.
Unfortunately, the ramifications for local businesses and the economy are ongoing. SkyCity has advised the fire-damaged New Zealand International Convention Centre will not be ready for conventions booked in 2021. If this results in conventions being moved to other countries in the region, it will be a blow to the local economy.
This announcement by SkyCity rules out any possibility of repairs being in place in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) that year. Hosting APEC is a once in every 20 years investment and opportunity. The conference can draw up to 20,000 people to New Zealand across the year.
However, it seems there is a backup plan in place with the Prime Minister confirming “APEC in 2021 will still be held in Auckland… there is no question there,” the only question was in which facility it would be held.
This example shows the importance of sympathetic and comprehensive communication following an incident. The person fronting the incident to the media must understand what the public are interested in and address their concerns.
This case study also illustrates the immediate and ongoing impact of events to nearby businesses. The majority of the businesses which had to close due to smoke, or who received smoke damage had no connection to SkyCity or any control over the situation. These same businesses will suffer further if visitor numbers are reduced due to the relocation of planned conventions.
Not every incident that affects your business will be within your control, which is why it is essential to have robust insurance, infrastructure and plans in place.
If you want to increase your Organizational Resilience, start with preparing a Business Continuity Plan and check out BCP Builder’s Business Continuity Planning Templates.