Monday, 18 June 2012

Meeting time or jail time, it's up to you

One of the most vital requirements of a successful event is communication so that everyone knows what his or her role is, how it must be performed and why it is needed. Effective communication is created through meetings. Ideally, the organiser should have at least one risk management meeting with all parties involved. 

Meeting suggestions
·        Staff – can you and your staff answer all the questions on the recommended checklists? Does the staff understand ‘duty of care’, do they all know the chain of command in emergencies?

·        Venue – they know their own venue and its constraints – it is in their best interest to be up front about possible hazards, otherwise they could be charged with negligence. Ask them about past problems or snags

·        Suppliers – it is vital that you take and assess the advice of people who go to events all the time. That means your suppliers. They are the people who deliver the chairs, prepare the food, build the stage and other contractors. They have seen lots disasters and unless they are asked, they will often keep their own counsel

·        EMS, fire & police – identify trigger points ie rival teams, access for emergency vehicles, traffic problems,  local fire regulations

·        The client- The five event questions - who, what, when, why, and where now become essential. The preliminary client meeting should have provided the answers to all these questions to develop the how of the event. Look back at them and make sure no parameters have changed

·        Others - raise risk issues at event committee and volunteer meetings. Asking for their opinion also creates a feeling of the importance of risk. Legally, you and the event committee have a duty of care to all the people associated with the event

Speaking of legality, what are the current national, provincial and local laws governing this kind of event. Have there been any unfavourable court decisions recently that could affect the outcomes of your event? Are there firm contracts in place? Are all other applicable laws being observed ie relating to scaffolding, stage erection, marquee placement and layout?

Meet with your insurance broker – discuss insured and non-insured issues and what is necessary and what is affordable

Always remember that loss does not only include loss of life or injury but also loss of property and reputation and reputation is the hardest to regain.

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