COVID Lockdown Risk

Post Lockdown Risk Management in Crowded Places – 10 Things to Think About Now…

In terms of ‘The New Normal’ the impact of COVID-19 on crowded places and events is complex and at times daunting. As governments begin to lift lockdowns and travel restrictions the economy, including the events industry, will start to fire up its engines and head into a new world.

We take a look at the 10 things event organisers need to be considering now in preparations.

1 – What does the Government say?

Dependent on the country and local jurisdiction, it is important to identify what events are allowed. It may be necessary to seek clarity from authorities.

2 – What does the law say?

Remember, we are in a new world, but it is governed by the same laws. How do we ensure compliance with existing legislation, guidance and good practice?

3 – The ‘look and feel’

It is highly likely that events will be held in countries where people are still losing their lives due to COVID-19. What should the event feel like? It may be necessary to consider what is likely to be palatable?

4 – Changes to medical plans, capability and delivery of service

Events need to maintain standards in relation to the more familiar medical risks but what do the additional demands of COVID-19 require? It is essential to ensure medical provision is sufficient to minimise the impact on community health care provision.

5 – Food and beverage

Our crowds may feel more comfortable with bringing their own food and drink to events. Can this be accommodated; will it pose additional risks elsewhere? Consideration also needs to be given to the provision of food and drink at the event, bearing in mind contractual obligations and food hygiene requirements.

6 –  Event Space Layout

Events may be required to accommodate social distancing and crowds will expect it. How will this work? How will events manage the potential anxiety in the crowd if requirements are perceived to be insufficient?

7 – Hygiene

Public Health messaging has placed a high degree of emphasis on hand washing, the use of hand gel and cleaning of surfaces. How will events provide for this good practice to be continued?

8 – The New Risk Picture

How do we effectively counterbalance the risk of COVID-19 against other, more familiar risks such as terrorism, crowd dynamics, weather impact and criminality? A rational and defensible, risk based approach is essential.

9 – Crisis and Contingency

The crisis team need to be well versed in the potential for rapid and decisive response to emerging challenges. More than ever, there is a need to ensure the crisis team is well connected, agile and has plans in place for any reasonably foreseeable incidents.

10 – Operational Readiness

Ensuring teams are trained in decision making and incident management. Also ensuring that contractors and vendors are competent and have robust risk management plans in place.

Though by no means exhaustive, this checklist provides just some of the considerations event organisers and managers will need to grasp and own in future weeks and months.

There are some hugely emotive issues posed by COVID-19 but now is the time, more than ever, to re-visit the core principles of risk management:

  • Identify the risk,
  • Contextualise the risk
  • Mitigate the risk
  • Manage the risk
Powermill is a consultancy that provides corporate event solutions globally to a select group of clients. Our mission is to be the risk management and knowledge partner of choice for the corporate events sector.
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