Dear Event Doctor: I had an opportunity to attend one of your recent presentations on “What To Do When Things Go Wrong.” Your observation that “panic paralyzes decision-making” stuck with me, but is it really that simple? How do you really avoid panicking when stuff actually does hit the fan? —Panic Attack
Dear Panic: You’re right. It sounds simple in theory but is difficult in practice. Panic is a natural, hard-wired, fight-or-flight response to stress. It is impossible to fully suppress stress during a crisis, but it is possible to slow the escalation of your stress level to avoid, or at least forestall, panic.
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The Event Doctor is sports-event veteran Frank Supovitz, president and chief experience officer of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment, an event management and consulting firm. From 1992 to 2014, Supovitz served as the senior event executive for the National Football League and National Hockey League. He is also the author of “The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook.” Questions for The Event Doctor can be emailed to Frank Supovitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.