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High interest in business continuity through floods.

Business Continuity Expo And Conference : 20 February, 2008  (Technical Article)
Flooding in the UK during 2007 leads to surge in interest in meeting the challenge of ensuring continuity of communications during such events.
In a recent workshop to review last year's flooding held by the British Continuity Institute (BCI), one of the most over-riding messages that came from those attending was "Communications were our BIGGEST challenge." However, one of the simplest lessons learned from the UK floods was "the importance of having a Business Continuity Management plan in place, as those that had one, continued to operate despite the crisis", concluded the workshop. The UK will continue to suffer from floods and many other disasters, which is why numbers are expected to be higher than ever, at this year's Business Continuity Expo 2008 - the only event dedicated to managing operational risk, resilience and recovery from 2-3rd April at ExCeL London.

Lyndon Bird FBCI, Technical Services Director at the BCI said "4,500 commercial insurance claims with an average value of £90,000 helps quantify the scale of disruption caused by the floods in the UK in 2007, but this statistic fails to fully convey the real impacts on businesses and individuals. Business continuity management is about dealing with the business consequences of disruptions and these are measured in months not days. Issues such as denial of access through road closures; facilities unusable through lack of water supplies, premises pollution and contamination; key staff not available as a result of domestic crises; and the difficulties of relocating staff in a wide area incident are symptoms of the problem. Sadly, without good planning and preparation, business failure is often the result."

Kathy Settle - Head of Regional Resilience at Government Office for the North West said: "When looking at how well businesses recover from an emergency, having a robust business continuity plan in place, with regular training and exercising has been shown to be critical in ensuring business survival. In fact, according to the Chartered Management Institute survey in March 2007- 94% of those who invoked their plans agreed they had the least disruption from a crisis. At this event I will be explaining the multi agency structures that are put in place when a large scale incident occurs such as the recent floods. I will also explain the guidance that has been developed nationally to support organizations recovering from an emergency."

Businesses from every sector wanting to learn the lessons from those who have survived a disaster and want to know how to put the plans in place to make sure their businesses succeed in the face of adversity, can join one of the many free seminars and workshops at Business Continuity Expo 2008. With an exclusive format combining a comprehensive exhibition, a highly popular free-to-attend seminar series and for those looking at business continuity planning in more depth, there is an inspiring and motivating conference which runs alongside the Expo.

The event features over 60 free seminars from leading suppliers discussing a wide variety of business continuity and risk issues, from strategies to tools, techniques and policies necessary to manage and measure your organisations' business continuity practice. The free to attend seminars at Business Continuity Expo will discover the latest tools, standards, processes and management of business continuity. The seminars will look at the paradigm shift in business continuity that is seeing it move from negative compliance-lead 'push' to the positive 'pull' of genuine solid-state business benefits. These free to attend seminars are aimed at all employees from the IT department to business managers, and are given by some of the world leading experts in business continuity planning.

The seminars at Business Continuity Expo will help professionals make the business case that that will deliver the investment of interest and money that business continuity really deserves.

The seminars are split into four theatres that will explore issues across the entire business continuity lifecycle, from corporate governance, risk, compliance, resilience and brand management to practical solutions for contingency planning, incident management and recovery.

The Management theatre focuses on how people, process and technology can be effectively managed to assure the continuity of core business activities in the face of an incident. Robert Hall, Managing Consultant at Marsh will be speaking about 'Taking a wider View - The Future of BCM & RISK' - tying together the increasingly synergistic activities of these two previously disparate disciplines; and demonstrates the procedural advantages of employing Risk Management tools within your business continuity practice. Featured sessions also examine communication and collaboration, and sector specific presentations for the financial and SME markets.

The Solutions theatre explores the tools, technologies and products that can help your organisation protect its vital assets. Glenn Bowker, Sales Manager, Belfor, will be touching on a subject that was on everyone's lips in 2007 'Surviving the 2007 Floods - Practical lessons for the BC Community.' Other sessions look at communication and network continuity tools, Virtualisation and availability technologies and risk specific examinations of widespread threats such as pandemic flu.

The Strategy theatre gives a high level perspective on how to enable the integration, support and understanding of business continuity throughout your organisation. Steven Garrod, Director, Garrison Continuity will be discussing 'Ten Things you wish you had done a year ago'. Other leading experts will look at systemic and enterprise level considerations for ensuring that your organisation not only has a common understanding of the rationale for business continuity, but has the tools to insure the investment and corporate buy-in.

In the Standards theatre the focus will be on the demonstration of competency, benchmarking, auditing and exercising - alongside a string focus on BS25999, one of the highlights will be a talk from Keith Strickland, Course Director, Emergency Planning College, covering the topic of 'Command Team Performance - achieving a national standard'.

For free entry and further information about Business Continuity - The Risk Management Expo and the co-located paid-for Business Continuity Conference, visit the website
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