Keep Your Cool: Fire Safety at Conferences

Fire presents a risk anywhere it occurs – from wildfires in dry forests to accidents and mishaps at an academic conference. If you’re a conference organizer, you should not underestimate this threat.

Structural fires can be devastating and dangerous when gathering for a conference. Local safety codes will guide public protection measures and requirements, but the prevention does not end there. As a host for a conference, you have the responsibility to practice smart fire safety to protect your attendees. 

Fire prevention involves many factors. Some of the essential tips are as follows. 

Assess the Risks 

There is a plethora of handbooks and publications centered on educating people about fire safety and applicable codes. When selecting a conference venue, you should be familiar with these codes and recommendations. Keep in mind these codes might vary based on state or local ordinances. If you travel for conferences and use a rotation of locations, you should know the codes in each location. 

Some local governments allow you to request fire marshal safety inspections. If this is an option, take advantage of it. A marshal can inspect your site and provide a risk assessment and recommendations. 

If the inspection is not an option, use the resources available to assess your property and institute necessary changes. You can also request assessments from experts in the area, such as professionals who specialize in Florida home restoration from fire damage, to ask them about risk analysis. 

Invest in the Equipment 

One of the best protection measures is merely having the right equipment on hand. For most conference locations, this equipment is an automatic sprinkler system for primary fire protection. 

This system – and all other fire safety equipment – should be subject to regular testing and replacement. You certainly do not want to find out your sprinkler system is not working when a fire starts! A faulty system can destroy the site.

Other standard equipment includes smoke detectors and extinguishers. Ideally, both will be on every floor, and each volunteer or conference staff member will be well aware of the extinguishers’ location. When coordinating with a conference venue, ask about these protective measures and the equipment’s last test date.


While property is salvageable and replaceable, lives are not. One of the most critical steps of fire safety is to prepare volunteers and staff members. Fire safety tips include: 

  • Fire Plan: All volunteers/staff should know what to do in case of a fire. While a drill for all conference attendees might not be possible, you could incorporate training into the volunteer orientation. Use this time to highlight the best exit routes and basic safety procedures. 
  • Safety Officer: A great option is to designate someone to serve as the fire prevention officer. This person will help identify escape routes and safe meeting points while keeping this information updated. They can ensure new staff and volunteers are aware of this information during onboarding.
  • Appliance Safety: Appliance malfunctions or misuse can quickly start a fire. Make sure you leave space for appliances to heat up and give time to cool down. All appliances should be away from combustible materials and unplugged at the end of the day. 
  • Wire Replacement: Power cords should undergo inspection for broken connectors, fraying, or cracked insulation. Fault wires require immediate replacement, and employees should be aware of maximum wattage so they do not overload the power strips – which can lead to a fire. 
  • Evacuation Plan: Post evacuation plans around the conference venue; these escape routes should not include elevators. If you have attendees with disabilities, this evacuation plan should account for that and the additional assistance that would be necessary. 
  • First Aid: If there are fire injuries, staff and volunteers should be able to locate first aid kits, and these kits should be in central locations. The venue might even provide these kits.
  • Equipment Education: Part of your fire safety education should include demonstrating how fire extinguishers work. It does not help to have extinguishers if no one knows how to use them!


Even the most prepared conference host and venue can fall victim to a fire. As a host, it is your job to institute safety measures for the good of your conference attendees and volunteers. Time is of the essence when a fire is happening, so volunteers/staff need to be able to respond correctly, safely, and quickly. Consider consulting an expert for risk analysis and assessment for the best outcome and peace of mind.


Five Benefits of Creating a Virtual Learning Environment

Which one do you prefer? A virtual classroom or a traditional classroom? If you have many life commitments, a virtual learning experience is the best choice to further your studies. If you are yet to make this decision, too, here are five benefits you can expect from virtual learning.

  1. Convenient

A classroom setup operates within limitations of its location and time. That is, if you are not in class at a particular time and place, you cannot take part in the lesson. Yet, a virtual learning environment breaks such barriers. Learning can happen anywhere. Then, with various digital tools, you can record and replay the lesson at any time you want. For example, a virtual classroom at Roehampton University is possible on a desktop, laptop, or smartphone as long as one has access to the internet. Hence, this convenience means that a virtual classroom will have more participants, from all walks of life.

  1. Flexible Schedules

A virtual learning environment is flexible. You can take the lesson during a tea break or lunch break. Better still, participate in an education conference in your working hours. That way, your colleagues can take part in the class. This flexibility works best for students who also juggle work, family, and studies. In contrast, you can only attend a classroom set up at the stated lesson time.  

  1. Better Knowledge Retention

Most virtual lessons are in the form of short study packs with measurable goals. Plus, they are quite interactive. Meaning, you can switch back and forth to an area you have any learning difficulties. That is, you can bookmark the lessons you need to focus on some more. Then, the software uses your experience to sets up more practice exercises. In turn, it assists you to grasp the concepts faster. In the end, you understand and keep knowledge in a virtual learning setup better than in a classroom setup.

  1. Instant Feedback

Have you submitted your test online? You get your final score instantly. Plus, the evaluation comes with links to further resources. The same applies once you complete a topic. You can grade the issue depending on how well you understood it. That way, the learning platform will set for your reminders and goals on what you need to emphasize on. In a physical classroom, one tutor may struggle to give feedback to more student queries. For he has a packed course to deliver in a limited time to deliver his lesson.

  1. Better Engagement and Participation

Physical lessons allow for interactions through class groups and presentations. But a virtual learning platform raises the stakes even further. You get to chat with colleagues as you work on your assignment or project. Then, liaise with your supervisor to get clarification on any instructions that seem unclear. You get to do this at any time and place that is convenient for you. In the end, you will share, connect, and learn from your classmates in ways that are not possible in a physical class setup.


A switch from a physical classroom to a virtual learning environment can seem daunting at first. For you have to be tech-savvy to keep up with the digital tools. Yet, once you master the ropes, nothing can stop you from excelling in your studies. Try virtual learning today.

How to Get the Most out of Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and workshops are a great way to develop new ideas. Whether in a business or academic setting, they bring people together in order to find the best solutions.

Organizing these events can be quite the task. However, as long as you follow a few simple steps then you will be sure to get the most out of your conferences and workshops. Below we outline how to go about the planning and organizing of these events.

Overall Theme

All great conferences and workshops start and end with a great theme. It is important to know what message you want speakers to deliver and what information you want attendees to take away. Another way to think about a theme is what the goal of the event is. Once you have an idea on the overall purpose of the whole thing, then you can go about planning the details.

Consider the wording for the theme of your conference. If it is an academic workshop, then it might be appropriate to use a longer title with technical terms. If it a business conference for social media companies, then it probably makes more sense to use simple language that is more catchy.


You will find once you start diving into the details that there are a lot of them. Here are some of the most important things to check off your list.

  • Location. What venue will it be held at? Is it available for your planned dates? Do you need catering?
  • Transportation. How will the attendees get to the conference? Do you need to arrange travel?
  • Attendees. Who will be invited? What date do they need to register by?
  • Speakers. Who will the speakers be? What topics will they present?
  • Workshops. How will the workshops be organized? What are the size of the rooms?
  • Equipment. What equipment will be needed for registration, workshops, etc.?
  • Food and Entertainment. When will there be breaks? Will meals be provided? Will there be social events, awards, etc.?
  • Social Media. How will the event be covered? Will there be hired photographers and/or press coverage?


Running conferences and workshops can get expensive, fast. Make sure that once you have all the logistics organized that you start to budget everything. If there isn’t enough money in your budget then you may have to make adjustments.

You can also try and find sponsors or apply for grants. If you are running an academic workshop there are often lots of public and private grants to apply for.

Business conferences can also often find sponsors. For example, if you’re running a conference in the video game industry, try to get a video game company or an energy drink company to help sponsor the event.

The best way to get money is to go to the people or companies that will benefit from you having a successful conference or workshop

Get Outside Help

There will always be some roadblocks along the planning process. Sometimes it can be hard to develop new ideas with the same people you work with everyday. If this is the case, it can be a good idea to hire someone to come in and help shake things up.

Companies like Icreon can help develop new ideas to make sure your conferences and workshops keep up with the latest developments in your field.


Good conferences and workshops can help develop change in business and improve companies. Attendees, whether they are students or professionals, can learn a lot from them. It is important for event organizers to plan an overall theme, figure out the logistics, and make sure they can afford the whole thing. When troubles arise, it can be useful to get outside help to ensure you get the most out of your conference or workshop.