Straight from a CSEP: The Bottom Line in Event Safety
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
By Veronica Seaman, CSEP, CMP
It’s the million-dollar question plaguing the events industry: How can we create events that attendees truly feel safe at in a world of unpredictable circumstances? From natural disasters to routine terrorist attacks, ensuring event safety has never been more essential. By following these six simple steps, event professionals can rest easy knowing they have the resources to eliminate foreseeable risks, while also preparing for the dreaded worst-case scenario.
- Handle All Events Equally
No matter the crowd size or location of the event, your safety strategy should remain the same. Mishaps can happen anywhere, anytime, and a concrete plan should reflect that. If every tiny scenario is treated like a serious case, it shows that safety is the No. 1 priority.
Bottom Line: By treating each and every event as if it has the potential to be dangerous, event planners will feel more prepared should any unanticipated risks arise.
- Get the Coverage
There are many options when it comes to purchasing event insurance. Whichever plan you choose will depend on the location, nature and size of the event. Having an insurance representative on-site is another applicable approach. At large-scale events like music festivals, it is smart to confirm ahead of time that an insurance agent is available for the duration of the event.
Bottom Line: It is impossible to predict what can happen at an event, so go ahead and get the insurance because it’s a much better option to be safe rather than sorry.
- Prepare for the Inevitable
From heart attacks to broken limbs, medical emergencies can and will arise at events. The trick is to take preventative measures and be prepared for these scenarios ahead of time. Providing complimentary water to attendees at outdoor summer events to prevent dehydration, for example, has become a standard precautionary practice.
Hiring medical personnel like EMTs is a necessity for events of all sizes. For music festivals, we often hire “rock docs” that are familiar with the most common types of medical emergencies found at concerts, like exhaustion, insect bites, allergic reactions, severe sunburns and more.
Bottom line: Having medical experts on hand can significantly reduce the severity of illness or injury suffered on-site.
- Protect Your Data
In a social media-driven era, especially during live events, safeguarding against digital dangers is a vital component to your safety plan. Whenever possible, having an intranet-dependent production, rather than relying on an internet connection, can greatly assist in your cybersecurity measures.
Bottom Line: We live in a digital age where staying connected matters, so taking cybersecurity precautions can prevent a disaster no one wants to encounter.
- Calm Before the Storm
As any event organizer can confirm, severe weather can have a disastrous effect on outdoor and indoor events. Event pros must make it a top priority to be aware of potential weather-related dangers during their event. “It’s really about making the call far enough ahead of time,” says LEO Events Technical Director Jim Dorroh. “We are tied directly into the National Weather System. And, we start monitoring the first minute of load-in. Should there be a lightning strike within seven miles of our site, everyone is called indoors.”
Bottom Line: Creating a severe weather grid plan with tasks for each event department based on the weather severity checkpoints and staying in communication is imperative in tracking incoming weather.
- Communicate Effectively
Well-defined communication is a fundamental component to any event. Establishing communication with the local police and fire department is important, especially when it comes to determining the protocol for an active shooter (or any other mass causality) scenario. Local agencies will often specify that they have a safety plan without revealing the details but ensuring that your staff has all the applicable points regarding the proper procedure. We frequently host and organize tabletop exercises as another tool to engage the necessary officials in advance. These drills provide a forum to have high-level discussions with stakeholders to better prepare and familiarize your staff with the chain of command.
Bottom Line: At the end of the day, event safety success boils down to effective communication.
See below for a 6 Steps to Safer Events infographic!
About Veronica Seaman, CSEP, CMP
With over a decade of experience in producing corporate events and meetings, Veronica Seaman is one of today’s leading experts in all things event management. As director of events for LEO Events, she works from pitch to production, managing event content, proposal development and business-to-consumer engagement activations. She has received national recognition by becoming a Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) by the International Live Events Association and a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) by the Events Industry Council. Since joining LEO in 2013, Veronica’s client list has expanded to Fortune 500 companies and she has produced international industry conferences such as the Global DMC Partners event in Peru.
LEO Events (http://www.leoevents.com), led by principals Cindy and Kevin Brewer and Kent Underwood, is a global events agency based in Memphis, Tennessee, with offices in Nashville and Chattanooga and with three focus areas: Meeting & Event Management; Creative Content & Brand Development; and Festivals/Public Events. For more information on LEO Events, please contact Communications Coordinator Anna Dyer at 901-766-1836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.