Today, I thought I would look at the event Planning industry, and a couple of items they need to be thinking of, especially in light of the risk management area of their event planning.
Some of these processes are what the Emergency Services, Security Service providers, Event Health/ First Aid Service providers consider prior to the event, and within their own agency responses to the event. Often these agencies will meet prior to the event and discuss the role each other have, and how they will respond to an event should an incident occur, or even what plans they have in place.
Initially some of the things we need to consider when planning to hold an event,
- Type of event
- Sourcing a committee/ group of Volunteers.
- How many stall holders/ including food trucks etc,
- How many people are going to be attending- this is always an estimation
- What other services do I need- Event Health/ First Aid, Ambulance, Security, Police,
- Do you need council permits,
- Do you need safework/Worksafe to be site- a lot of shows are having this for the rides.
- Will media be likely to attend, or how can they help you promote your event
- Do you need an extra day or two to set up and pull down the site
- Are you selling alcohol, therefore need a liquor license, then do you need fencing or other ways of segregating the alcohol consumption area and the event
- Is it going to be a night time event and therefore needs lighting
- Portable or mobile ATM facilities required.
- Insurances Required
The above, gives you a good indication of what needs to be considered prior to the event, other items which need to be considered, once you have decided to hold the event, including times, location, knowing what else would be attending,
- Access & Egress- these need to be kept clear, are they in a suitable place for Emergency Services to attend if required, e.g. an Ambulance- if a First Aid post is on site, is there an easy access point for the ambulance to attend, and therefore is there sufficient room for the Ambulance to turn around and exit the event. Walkways need to be well designed and marked,e.g. walking only areas, and vehicle access only areas.
- Traffic Flow- Vehicles and Pedestrians should be separated. Safe passage for Emergency Services to attend Do we need traffic control, and good signage in place
- Toilets, hand washing facilities, clean water available
- Good signage throughout the venue
- Fire prevention- who is supplying the fire extinguishers for the venue, especially food trucks etc, do you need a brief induction for Volunteers.
- Emergency Response plans, how will you evacuate everyone safely should something occur, fire, bomb threat, terrorist incident, Induct staff in requirements
- Staff, Volunteers, and contractors appropriate licensed, qualified, trained for their specific roles and responsibilities.
- Business Continuity Plans in place, and how will they be implemented, can the event go on without power, can the event go on in the rain, what do we do if the ATM goes down, what do we do if the Security company don’t supply agreed Crowd Controllers, what happens if the Event Health Services Team don’t turn up, if a Volunteer calls in sick.
- Safety Vests or other identifying uniforms for Volunteers
In General anything we need to consider is often based on a Risk Assessment of the event and the possibilities of what could go wrong, please don’t just focus on previous events you have run, as each event is different based on location, type of event, crowd expectation, type of activities occurring on the day.
Safework SA, have a good checklist of their site, and some of the local councils have good templates on site which can help event organizers plan for a safe, successful event, some of the other items which can be considered, although some are discussed above,
- General Security and crowd control
- Traffic Control in and around the venue including good signage
- Communication between parties- e.g. handheld radios, phones etc
- Good detailed site maps of where everything is
- The vendor, stall holders general information folders/ briefs
- Noise levels- are they going to disrupt residents in the area
- Alcohol and food requirements
- Animal Displays.
Often when planning for an event, we need to understand there are agencies to assist the event organizers, and having meetings between agencies prior to the event often can use the experiences of all services who can think of items or risks in which the Event Organizers may have forgotten or not known about, when we need assistance we can often discuss with the following,
- State Police Service
- Security Service Provider- they often attend a variety of events
- Event Health Service Provider- they can understand risks at events
- Environment Protection Authority
- Office of Liquor Gambling commissioner
- Local Council
- Fire Authority
- Safework/Worksafe depending on your location
- Others who have run events previously
- Local Business Groups- depending on the event
- Or there are Risk Consultants out there who have experience in event planning and can assist you, although this will depend on budget constraints.
There sounds like there is a lot to consider when planning any sort of event, and although there is, it is not a reason to stop you from planning one, however, to understand where to find the help to help you plan a safe event where you can minimize the risks to anyone attending the event.