Spark PR & Activate, of PHD Group, has announced the first ever crisis simulation event, launching in Auckland early next year. CrisisX: The Readiness Conference is designed to challenge current business and organisational crisis preparedness. The event brings together speakers who have been through major crisis, while testing business leaders with a live and realistic crisis simulation.

From a data security breach to natural disaster and everything in between, a crisis can devastate culture internally and destroy credibility externally. Despite the risks, research shows 46%¹ of companies don’t currently have a crisis plan in place, and fewer than half of those that do aren’t confident it will be effective¹.

CrisisX: The Readiness Conference brings international key note speaker and author, Melissa Agnes to New Zealand for the first time. Agnes will speak to her proprietary framework – the Crisis Ready Model – which has featured in undergraduate, graduate and MBA course curriculum around the world.  Agnes wrote the book on crisis management – Crisis Ready – a best-seller on the subject.

Further keynote speakers include former Mayor of Christchurch, Sir Bob Parker and former Air NZ CEO, Rob Fyfe, both with unique crisis experience in high-pressure situations.

Additional speakers include panels in the areas of data security, brand, events, media and sport.

CrisisX event director and Spark PR & Activate Managing Director, Dallas Gurney says attendees will take away three outputs from the event – inspiration from amazing speakers on crisis readiness, tools to help mechanise their crisis response and an opportunity to practise like never before through an extensive and realistic simulation.  “We want to push business leads out of their comfort zones and give them the tools they need to deal with a crisis when it happens,” says Gurney.

“We are planning this event to be as close to the real thing as possible because when it comes to crisis, talking heads is one thing, but the only way to really train for a crisis is to go through one,” he says.

Tickets are very limited. To buy tickets, head to, and for more information contact or call Spark PR & Activate on (09) 638 1200.

¹ 2011 Crisis Preparedness Study Burson Marsteller