Examples of a Risk Management Plan for Outdoor Events
Develop a risk management plan to consider potential problems that could affect the safety of your event participants, from the visitors to the presenters and entertainers. Review the event from different perspectives to determine what steps you should take to prevent accidents, injuries or other crises from occurring. Once you’ve identified the potential risks, figure out how to manage the occurrences and include those steps in the plan.
It’s important that you have the right people in place to avert a crisis. For example, when erecting carnival rides, setting up a stage or creating any other mechanical or structural site outdoors, your risk management plan should be able to identify the qualifications required of the mechanics and building supervisors. Security staff and supervisors should have the proper training. If the event includes any physical activity, the plan should include inclusion of appropriate healthcare staff to deal with any medical emergencies or needs.
The grounds on which you hold the event are just as important to the risk management itinerary as the people who run the program. For example, if there are hidden holes or dips in the ground where event-goers could fall in or twist an ankle, they need to be addressed. A walk-around of the event grounds is an astute use of planning time so areas of concern can be fixed, removed or avoided. Look for electrical cords that could trip event attendees and uneven performance stages. Check the parking situation to prevent overcrowding or overlap between pedestrians and vehicles.
Part of the risk assessment includes knowing how many people you expect to attend the event. Whether you sell tickets or gauge potential attendance on past events, you need to be able to move the crowds efficiently and effectively into the event and then out once it’s over. For example, the plan should include accessibility for handicapped attendees and emergency exits in case of a fire or other threat. Exits and entrances should be able to accommodate strollers, wheelchairs and walkers. Specify how many people will control the entrance, especially if you have to take tickets. Imagine what could wrong at theses points and identify solutions, possibly by opening additional points of entry or staggering attendance times.
Other examples of issues that need to be included in the risk assessment plan and accompanying management tasks include how you will communicate to the crowd in the event of a fire or looming weather event. Determine how you will publicize found or lost children or personal belongings. Staff members must be able to communicate effectively and be stationed in such a way that all aspects of the event are being watched by someone with access to the communication devices. Contact with local emergency service companies can help you with other situations you may not have considered and give them a heads-up about your event so they can be prepared.