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Pre-planning

Public Events - Guidance for organizers - Pre-planning

Detailed pre-planning is essential to ensure that your event is safe and successful. The following needs to be considered at this very early stage:

Where. Make sure the venue you have chosen is adequate for the proposed event. Do not forget to consider the impact on the local community, how easy it will be for people to get to the venue and any car parking requirements. Consider the suitability of the venue and any existing hazards, which may be on the site such as water hazards, overhead power lines etc. Consider whether or not emergency routes will be adequate.

When. Consider the time of year, including the consequences of extreme weather conditions at an outside event. The day of the week and time will also need consideration regarding the nature of the event, noise and ease of travel etc. You will also need to arrange lighting for an evening function. The event should not clash with any other major events in the area.

Who. Identify the aims of the event. Are particular groups or types of people to be targeted, such as young children, teenagers, the elderly or disabled?

If so, specific facilities may be required to accommodate them or additional stewards to ensure adequate safety standards are maintained. Set a realistic maximum number who can attend. If it is appropriate, print numbered tickets to be sold or distributed through named contacts.

What. Decide on the type of activities to be held. Will there be any specific hazards such as animals or water sports? If possible also try to establish the size of the proposed event and whether or not an entrance fee will be charged. Be prepared for gatecrashers.

Specialist equipment. Will the activities require the use of any specialist equipment such as bungee jumps etc? If so, does this equipment pose any specific hazards? Will a specific activity need barriers etc? Some equipment may require certificates of erection by a competent person.

Codes of practices. For larger events you will need to comply with guidance particularly the Code of Practice for Outdoor Events published by the National Outdoor Events Association Tel: 0208 669 8121, which gives advice on structures, marquees, tents and electrical matters. The HSE The Event Safety Guide is also a very useful reference document.

Welfare arrangements. Estimate the number of attendees to the event and consider its duration. Toilet requirements should be based on these estimations. Advice is given in the Code of Practice for Outdoor Events referred to above. Permanent toilets will need to be checked for adequacy and maintained during the event. The provision of drinking water will be necessary. Depending upon the scale of the event, refreshments and other facilities may be required. Provision also needs to be made for lost and found children, missing persons, baby changing and lost property.

First Aid and Medical Provision. As the Event Organiser you will need to carry out a medical risk assessment, taking into consideration such things as the activities, the numbers, types and age groups attending, access and egress, the site and structures, Health, Safety and Welfare issues. Provision of adequate numbers and types of resource (e.g. First Aiders, Ambulances, and Paramedics etc.) should be based upon published guidance, especially the Event Safety Guide ("Purple" Guide) and the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds ("Green" Guide).

Many organisations provide medical services but you must ensure that the organisation you choose is competent, well trained and able to meet the demands of the Event. Medical provision for the event should not rely upon the normal provision made by the statutory NHS Ambulance Service for use by the General Public (i.e. "999" system).

Permissions and consents. Make sure you know what consents and licences you need including alcohol, public entertainment and road closures. Get all the application forms together and work out a timetable and find out who they need to go to. (See Appendix 6 - Licensing requirements and Appendix 9 - Road closures for further guidance.)

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