Conducting an Event
When you plan, promote and prepare for an event, you are able to control how resources are allocated, and the time you are spending doing the tasks you take on. Once you commence delivering an event, your control over what happens is lessened, and if something unforeseen happens, you don’t have the luxury of time to deal with it.
As discussed in the last chapter the more complex an event is, the more safeguards or contingency plans you need to have in place. Events that depend heavily on complex equipment for example can encounter serious problems if equipment fails and cannot be quickly replaced or repaired. Your contingency plans should cover all probabilities and responses, so on the day there is a clear understanding of the steps that need to be taken to control the problem or situation.
Some Things to Consider before Setting-Up Day
Visit the site or venue a week before the event and again the day prior – check that all is in place and that the venue owners have held up their end of the contract.
Make sure you have a site plan showing (as appropriate to the event):
- Entrances, emergency entrances and exits,
- Parking facilities
- Pedestrian routes
- Location of fire extinguishers and fire fighting equipment
- Toilets and washroom, changing room facilities
- Positioning of vendors (if applicable)
- Seating arrangements
- Stage location and other entertainment sites
- Mains power
- Restricted areas
- Seating arrangements,
- Bus stops, taxi drop off points,
- Rubbish bins, sharps containers, waste water management facilities, drainage pits,
- LPG gas and other fuels
- Security locations
- First aid posts
- Drinking water
- Information centre including facilities for lost children or property etc.
Other consideration close to the day of the event:
- As the event manager you must be contactable before and during the event, it is your responsibility to: ensure the smooth running of the event on the day, to direct resources (human, financial and other), to maintain professional presentation, to trouble shoot and to liaise with others.
- Contact the caterers the week and again the day before and also the morning of the event to ensure all is running to schedule.
- Did you formulate a cleaning schedule for public toilets?
- Is waste management organised?
- Did you organise for drinking water to be readily available?
- Have you organised a welcoming procedure for VIPs and or attendees?
- Contact entertainers/celebrities a week, and again a day, before the event to confirm the booking.
- Contact photographers, media etc., as appropriate to the event.
- Have you contacted emergency services i.e. the police, local ambulance, fire and State Emergency Services?
- Have you instigated a cash access and handling system (e.g. access to credit cards, ATM facilities) and a safe and secure way to handle cash e.g. registers, regular banking system for longer events, security firms (armed guards) to pick up money for larger events etc.
- Contact equipment hire companies to ensure delivery is still scheduled on time.
- Do you have a site co-ordinator to direct vendors, deliveries, caterers etc. to the correct locations?
- Have you given a site plan and checklist to all staff responsible for the setting up procedures?
- Have you devised a checklist for equipment hired/ordered for the day?
- Do you have your contingency plans at the ready in case of: failure of celebrities, entertainers or caterers or equipment to turn up on schedule?
- Have you discussed guidelines with all people participating in the event – i.e. dress codes, times, schedules etc.
- Do you have facilities in place to ensure the safe handling and serving of food both before and during the event?
- Have you all the right permits in place to cover alcohol and food consumption?
- Have you a security procedure in place to deal with inebriated, drug affected or violent people?
- Are all public safety contingency plans in place? Does the plan include gate searches of bags for alcohol and drugs? Is there adequate security to accomplish this?
- Formulate a check list that you can use on the day – the variables on the checklist will obviously differ according to the event, but here are some examples:
On the Day:
- Are caterers on site? Is there adequate shelter available for workers, volunteers and attendees?
- Check lighting and power is functional.
- Is a secure money management system in place?
- Is appropriate signage in place? For example to parking locations, toilets, ATMs, first aid stations etc. as well as signs that clearly indicate the rules e.g. No Smoking, Alcohol Not Permitted, Parking Restricted etc.
- Are temporary structures safely erected?
- Are all vendors present and vendors positioned to plan?
- Do you have a seating plan – name tags etc.? Do you have ushers to arrange orderly seating and to direct VIPs
- Is the stage area set up to specifications – including lighting and technology?
- Are toilet and waste facilities in place and to the plan – do they include facilities for disabled access and parents (e.g. changing facilities for babies)?
- Are ticketing facilities in place? Are credit card and other cash accessing facilities (ATMs) available?
- Are staff and volunteers on site as per the work schedules? Is everyone that should be onsite actually onsite?
- Is the traffic management system in place?
- Are the first aid stations in place and manned (for larger events)?
- Has all the equipment hired or otherwise sourced been delivered and set up? Is it all in the right places?
- Are entertainers and celebrities turning up and on time?
- Is everyone taking part in the event dressed and groomed appropriately as per the dress code?
- Are the security team members easily identifiable? They should be wearing clothes that clearly indicate to the public that they are part of the security team.
- Are traffic directors/volunteers dressed in yellow jackets so they are easily recognised?
- Is the person/people responsible for the ‘meet and greet’ of celebrities, officials and VIPs there? Are they appropriately dressed and groomed?
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