A High-Level Look at Event Safety Planning

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A High-Level Look at Event Safety Planning

By Jessie States | Jul 26, 2019

Your event safety and security plan is your guide to operations and establishes tactics and procedures for all of your event stakeholders, from supervisors and event/venue staff to volunteers and public safety partners. It’s based on your risk assessment and should include an Emergency Action Plan (EAP).

Your plan’s role is to address reasonably foreseeable risks and threats and to protect the safety, security and health of your attendees and your staff, contractors and volunteers. It will assist staff in effective implementation should an incident occur during your event. It’s essential and reduces legal liabilities.

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Your plan should incorporate the following components based on your risk assessment, as applicable to your event type and size.

  • An overview of the risk assessment

  • Situational/operational awareness

  • Command and control

    • Venue/event operations

    • Public safety operations

  • Event management

    • Disruptions (delay/suspension/change)

    • Evacuation/shelter-in place

    • Cancelation

  • Staging, rigging

  • Audiovisual

  • Insurance coverage

  • Weather planning

  • Event staffing and assignments

  • Load in, load out

  • Intelligence

    • Collection/sharing

    • Fusion/analysis

  • Safety and security

  • Fire, EMS and public health

    • Medical support

    • Bomb threats/IEDs

    • Hazardous materials

  • Access Control

    • Ticketing/credentialing

    • Pedestrian/vehicular

    • Prohibited items

    • Deliveries/waste removal

  • Robbery/theft/cyber protection

  • Investigations

  • Transportation and parking

  • Traffic management

  • Lodging

  • Behavioral issues

  • Public information plan

  • Signage

  • Pre-event agreements

  • Drones/unmanned aerial systems

In Conclusion

The complexity of your plan will depend upon the size of the event, your attendees and your risk assessment, and the amount of time required for planning will vary depending upon size, type, location, complexity, duration and risk.

Ensure that your event policies are consistent with your venue’s rules and policies as well as local laws and ordinances.

You should consult with legal counsel as well as your host venue, and while smaller companies may not have access to in-house legal teams, it will still be helpful for you to form a cross-departmental group of advisors.

Related Articles:
Who's On Your Risk Assessment Team
3 Steps to Assessing Risks for Your Meeting and Events


Jessie States
Jessie States

Jessie States, CMP, CMM, is the Director of the MPI Academy for Meeting Professionals International, where she leads and advances MPI’s professional development strategy, developing and managing MPI’s portfolio of educational products delivered through all channels, including live and digital events, educational experiences, professional certificate programs and through educational partnerships.