What's Floating Around

20 August 2018


Welcome to another week and after the success of the AIEA Carnival last week – if you have not yet checked out the photos do take a look online #AIEACarnival18 – it’s time to look at one of the more important elements that featured last week as part of the event – a training session for members.

All good event agencies already have plans in place for worst case scenarios, but Response Action Plans should feature for every event irrespective of the size or structure of the event in question, and these plans enable all of us to respond effectively to health and safety incidents and other emergencies that might occur at an event. Whilst being busy is no excuse for not having a plan, the comprehensiveness of it should be in proportion to the level of risk presented by event activities and the potential extent and severity of  any the incidents.Thankfully most events go on without incident but if you have a good basic plan in place, its quick and effective to adapt it for you next event, and it can be a life saver, literally – so what to include?

Well consider the key risks initially such as sudden bad weather, a fire or structural failures and then factor in contingencies to deal with incidents and situations as varied as a headline speakers cancelling last minute, or train strikes depleting your audience levels or even a sickness bug affecting your event staff.

You will also need to consider your response to more serious emergencies, including major incidents that will require help from the emergency services and implementation of their regional emergency plans (which may not be specific to the event). None of us want to, or are likely to have to deal with a terrorist attack, but never say never, and its important that everyone knows the rules should the worst happen. The National Counter-terrorism Security Office have produced specific advice to help mitigate such threats with their ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ campaign.

Most of us are running events in fixed venues with their own established procedures so there is no need to engage with their emergency services, but having a consistent and strong plan that is clear to all staff and members of your team can make all of the difference should you have to deal with an issue, however large or small.

Event emergency plans should include some basic requirements, that include getting people away from immediate danger, assisting the emergency services, treating casualties if possible and dealing with anyone who may have been displaced. It’s also important to protect property and belongings in the event of an incident.

Perhaps one of the most important elements though is clear roles and responsibilities for each event so that should anything happen, everyone has a clear understanding of what to do in the face of an emergency. It’s also vitally important to have a communications plan in place so that any incidents can be communicated well to delegates, the emergency services and any relevant stakeholders. The last thing any of us need is to be scrabbling around looking for telephone numbers for delegates last minute.

Additionally, communicating after an incident is important especially if there has been any serious issues as a result of the event. It might seem like additional work #eventprofs but a little investment in time now, could make all the difference.

Have a great way and stay safe!