Event planning

A safe, successful event requires a great deal of planning

Event organisers have a general duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their visitors and employees as well as volunteers and spectators. Effective planning is essential to delivering a safe event. It is important for event organisers to prepare an Event Management Plan (EMP) and/ or an Event Safety Plan (ESP), to carry out a Risk Assessment and to implement control measures identified by the Risk Assessment.

To support the review of events, documentation (such as EMPs/ ESPs and Risk Assessments) should be submitted to the relevant District or Borough Safety Advisory Group (SAG) as early as possible to allow sufficient time to review documentation and provide comment. A SAG is a collection of organisations that have a function or interest in public safety (e.g., Police) that come together to assess plans for events where there might be issues for public safety. SAG’s are considered good practice and event organisers are therefore encouraged to approach their local SAG for advice.

There are key elements that EMPs/ ESPs and Risk Assessments should consider; these include but are not limited to the following:

  • Contingencies and emergency planning including extreme weather (rain, wind, heat, cold – see below for further information), terrorism and loss of staff
  • Medical
  • Communication
  • Transport management
  • Fire safety
  • Crowd management
  • Food, drink and water provision
  • Safeguarding
  • Infectious diseases – see below for further information

Extreme Weather

It is important to prepare for all weather eventualities including heat, cold, snow, rain and wind. The Purple Guide contains helpful information on what to include in EMPs/ ESPs and Risk Assessments. For specific information on heat and cold for event organisers please refer to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Adverse Weather and Health Plan and it's supporting guidance specifically the Hot Weather and Health: Events and Mass Gatherings guidance. Further information on how to cope in hot weather and sunscreen and sun safety is available form the NHS.

Public Health Advice (including Infectious Diseases)

Public Health advice to manage outbreaks at events.

Drug and Alcohol Advice

A briefing paper from the Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council joint Public Health team on ‘Preventing Harm from Drugs at Festivals.

Visit your local District or Borough Councils website for more information on planning an event. You can also get guidance from the Health and Safety Executive on planning a safe event and planning for incidents and emergencies. Further information on event planning is also available on the Events Industry Forum and Purple Guide websites.