In a post on Exhibitor Magazine, exhibit-management consultant Candy Adams lists some of the unexpected events that she experienced in her exhibiting career, including a tornado wiping out an entire exhibition and fire destroying an exhibitor’s crates. She asks her readers: “Have you ever stopped to consider what might happen to your career if the unthinkable occurred?”.

Of course, it is hardly possible to prepare for every eventuality at your next 2016 trade show but there are some key, preparatory ways to avoid hiccups and accidents ruining your event.

Use fireproof materials

Safety legislation has existed since 2006 and fire risk assessment is a legal requirement for venues; organisers need to consider how each show can increase the fire hazard of the location.

Especially for certain industries – the food and car industries being obvious ones – it is hard to avoid these fire hazards entirely. One measure you can take is to choose as many fireproof materials as possible.

Poster printing company Ro-Am Posters used B1 fire-rated posters and banners, a rating they advise users to be aware of when banner and poster printing, as they don’t catch fire easily and are often self-extinguishing.

The Association of Event Organisers has a full list of elements that could increase the fire risk of a trade show. They include the presence of naked flame on stands, compressed or flammable gases, pyrotechnics and lasers, presence of motor vehicles, as well as hot works during stand construction.

Related: Unique Trade Show Booth Ideas For Large & Small Businesses

Have a backup exhibition stand strategy

Have a backup display is a good idea but not always practically possible. There are a number of reasons why you could be left empty stand-ed, such as it being damaged during transportation or while it gets built, or some parts could be missing.

Candy Adams suggests to always have a CD or USB stick with your graphics backed up, in case you need something last minute to be printed.

Another method to prevent trade show tragedies might be to get a modular exhibition stand with parts that can be swapped around. Exhibition stands experts Skyline Whitespace advise choosing modular exhibition stands as they are flexible builds and are built for reuse – reducing the chances of damage.

Take measures against show floor theft

With thousands of people moving around a show floor, it is easy for stealing to go unnoticed. Trade show thieves have been known to lift from storage facilities, in-booth meeting rooms, display cases. With more and more technological aids being used in exhibition stands, from computers to iPads, thefts at exhibitions are becoming more and more frequent.

You can fight back by making your valuables harder to steal, for example choosing anti-theft iPad stands and by designing specific safe spaces for things that don’t need to be on display.

Getting prepared in advance for your trade shows, using fire safe materials and secure displays, having backup graphics and reliable exhibition stands, and you’ll easily avoid the most common mishaps in at  your 2016 events.