Via Event Industry News : Britain as a nation loves a good event. From Wimbledon to the Chelsea Flower Show, veteran car rallies to the London Marathon, country fairs to boat shows, Glastonbury to royal occasions, Christmas markets to wedding fayres – it’s a sense of enormous pride combined with a flair for putting on a good show that makes these occasions so exciting.
Often, people travel by car, rail or bus to far-flung venues all over the UK in all sorts of weathers with nothing more than a backpack stuffed with sandwiches, water, a raincoat, sun cream and a brolly. Queue the night before? No problem. Stand patiently in the pouring rain? We’ve come prepared. Nothing gets in the way of these intrepid ‘eventers’.
Of course, the responsibility lies with the event organisers to plan and prioritise the safety and well-being of all those attending. Crowd management, licences, security, parking, road closures and so on, are vitally important, and as such, they need to be structured properly.
If you’re thinking of organising an event, here’s a checklist by Nathan Richardson, working with Maltaward Barriers that may come in handy.
1. Organisational chart
Who is doing the work?
The first thing to do is to draw up an Organisational Chart (OC) with the names of all the people who are involved in the management of the event. This should include a list of all staff and volunteers together with their individual responsibilities.
The OC should also include the names and full contact details of all those involved in the event, from the head of the organising committee, to managers, contractors, staff, volunteers, venues and agents
2. Audience profile
Who are the visitors?
The profile of your audience should include the following information:
- How many visitors you are expecting?
- The demographic mix of people – young and old, will there be children?
- Requirements for accessibility
- Emergency procedures (including specific provisions for the elderly and disabled)
3. Crowd management plan
Your Crowd Management Plan (CMP) should set out exactly how you propose to manage the attendees, prevent any disturbances, avoid over-crowding in particular areas, and how you intend to manage any other incidents that may occur during the event.
The CMP is a key element of an event management strategy and should include the following:
- Total number and location of all exits and entrances
- Number of stewards, security personnel or marshals
- Positioning of stewards, security personnel or marshals and their schedules
- Dispersal policy
- Emergency evacuation plan
The CMP should also incorporate details of the number and type of stewards and security personnel, their work protocols, the chains of command, methods of communication, contingency plans and emergency response.
4. Stewards and security personnel
Stewards and security personnel responsible for crowd management should be easily identifiable from either their uniforms or their tabards.
In terms of legislation, certain security activities can only be undertaken by licensed security personnel. This applies to entrance supervisors, security personnel tasked with searching visitors and car and entrance guards.
Following a risk assessment, the ratio of stewards and security personnel to visitors should be identified. Every event differs, but as a guide organisers should work on the basis of one steward for every 50 members of the public for an indoor standing event, and one steward for every 150 members of the public where seating is provided at an indoor event.
Depending on the size of the event space, the ratio of stewards and security personnel for outdoor events will be higher, and where events are attended by children, additional requirements may be necessary. Your security contractor will advise on how many security personnel (entrance supervisors, guards, etc) you will require.
5. Communication system
A radio communication system is vital between organisers, managers, security personnel and stewards. The radio network must be approved and licensed by the Department of Trade and Industry – the radio supply company can assist organisers with these details.
Organisers will also need to provide operational instructions for all staff using radios during the event including call signs, emergency procedures, radio silence and so on.
6. The employment of contractors
The following information needs to be recorded for all individuals or companies that are employed, or contracted, to help with the event:
- A list of all the goods and services they are supplying
- Full contact details
- Start date and time, arrival time, completion time, receipt of goods
- Any appropriate certificates
- Completion sheets and delivery notes should be retained in the organiser’s records.
7. Appropriate licences
Licences must be applied for. These may include:
- Temporary Events Notices or Premises Licences, where the sale of alcohol is taking place. (Applications should be made to Environmental Health)
- Where entertainment such as music is provided, a Phonographic Performance Ltd licence application for public performance of recorded music is required. This applies to anyone playing recorded music in public, or anyone who supplies equipment or records produced under ‘PPL’s licence for public performance.
Organisers should also consult with the Environmental Health team if their event involves catering, entertainment, waste disposal, sanitary provision, animal performances, parking, or stages and temporary structures.
Organisers should check with the police whether there are any by-laws (road closures, parking, etc) that could affect their event.
Adam Parry is the Editor at Event Industry News.