Today, there is no particular season to organise an event. Although the summer and winter months would be the more popular choices, where we see sprawling areas brimming with stalls and visitors, there are a select few events which manage to allure crowds in the monsoons as well.
If you are planning to organise an event – be it the 1st edition or the 10th – ensuring that your attendees enjoy the event safely is of paramount importance. Quite unfortunately, there have been mishaps at events in the past, making it essential to put the public’s minds at ease and let them indulge in the event itself.
Here are a few vital considerations to make while you plan your next event.
1. Zero down on the right venue
Well, probably, nothing is more important than this. Selecting the right venue plays quite the pivotal role in ensuring your attendees’ safety. Create a profile of your event and take into consideration the audience size, the different age groups, among other factors, and decide the venue. A few major factors to consider are: first, the capacity – for health and security reasons, doubly, may be triply, ensure that the finalised venue can accommodate the estimated audience size. Overcrowding can be dangerous and lead to an extremely volatile environment. Avoid that at all costs! Second is location and its accessibility: people should be able to get to the venue easily. Also, keep in mind the type of audience before deciding the venue and also the permissions and legalities involved.
2. Crowd control
This is like a catch 22 situation – extremely critical and most times quite daunting. Managing a crowd, especially at extremely large events, can send the organiser’s pulse rate racing. Wherever possible, look to employ the services of trained security guards. There is a high possibility that large venues will have their own security teams or a contract with a security firm. Using the in-house team is any day more advantageous, as they already know the venue inside out. A robust two-way communication between the organising team and the security personnel is key to maintaining the crowd. Also, a good protocol is to inform the attendees and the security teams what the attendees can and cannot carry to the event – just makes life easier.
3. Have an emergency plan in place
A risk-based emergency plan has to be in place well in advance of the event date. More importantly, this plan has to be proportionate to the size and nature of the event. For example, a book reading event does not require ambulances on standby but a marathon certainly does. Certain types of events are more prone to a certain type of threat or hazard. Ensure you have considered all potential risks and created appropriate responses for each. Also, in today’s technology-driven world, organisers need to be super vigilant about cyber security attacks, social media monitoring and secure digital payments. The worse thing is to lose your attendees’ trust due to negligence of factors that can be most easily controlled.
Although every hazard and mishap cannot be planned for, meticulous planning can help mitigate risks and ensure attendees’ safety. When the event is underway, the security team has to extremely vigilant of any potential risks developing. Also, once the event has concluded without any major security issues, it is crucial for the organisers to review what could be done better and analyse any near-misses that can be kept at bay in the next edition.
Well, those were some pointers to secure your event; get to planning your next one and let your attendees have a blast! (pun unintended)