Events management process


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Events management process

  1. 1. PLANNING: Firstly, the event manager must put together the event objective. This is a short statement encapsulating the reason(s) for running the event, e.g. to raise money for charity, or to promote a company, etc. It is important to have an objective because it establishes the motivating factor that all individuals involved can use. It also ensures the team are focused and understand the aim of the event they will be responsible for producing. Goals and deadlines must also be established, because it gives the team a clear direction of what they are heading for and what they hope to achieve. Deadlines also helps control time management and the ability to not get too far behind schedule. Next, the main concepts must be decided- theWho? Where? What? How? For example, what type of event will it be?i.e. the genre of the event - who will perform and where will it take place. This is essential because organisers need to be aware of how many audience members they can allow per night/ per show. A date and time must be set. The time of day is important because the performers and audience may have to travel a great distance and rush hour traffic may affect the timing of the performances. The fact that most parents / adults work during the daytime during the week is a factor to consider because if the event is at midday, it may prove difficult selling tickets because people will be unable to attend. How long the event will last is important because if for example young children are performing, the parents will not approve if the event goes on late into the evening. The season also plays a part because it can be affected by the weather (i.e. winter in a cosy indoor venue) (summer afternoon –outdoors). The target audience will contribute to the consideration as to when to run the event. For example if the event was for teenagers, it would make sense to plan the event in the late afternoon / evening time after school / college hours when children choose to be sociable. Usually for a performing arts event, most of the people who attend are family and friends of the performers and the general public. Sometimes members of staff from the school or college attend therefore must be appropriate for the ages. The target audience allows organisers to plan the event so that the people who attend get the most out of it /enjoy it the most. Therefore they will make more profit because they sell tickets to those whom the event appeals to. The Events Management Process
  2. 2. The size of the audience is an important part of the planning process because if too many people arrive, the venue may not be able to accommodate them, which may turn into an unsafe environment. Likewise if the attendance is overestimated then organisers have wasted money on unnecessary facilities which may not be used. In order to estimate accurately, thorough research must be carried out such as the previous year’s attendance if the event has been put on before, similar events attendance (compare with an event on a similar scale) or fixed capacity, which means there are a specific number of seats in the venue. The size of the audience / size of the venue has an impact on the performer’s also because if drama / speech is involved microphones may be requires in order for all of the audience to hear the actors’ voices. Research prior to an event is also important because it needs to be clear at whom the event is aimed at, such as people of a certain age and what fits where -e.g.rock music gig in a stately home would not make sense. Having good contacts is useful for research also because they may be able to provide advice, in all aspects but especially with the law, what is allowed and what is forbidden. It is important to ask for advice from the relevant people, especially professionals because they know exactly what is right and what is wrong. Whilst researching, organisers must be in contact with the managers at the venue to ensure time limits are discussed (how many days the event can last) and other issues such as the audience capacity, rehearsals for the performers etc. Equipment: Electrical system can be used through the venue and additional power can be hired from elsewhere, he price would need to be determined however. However generators would be hired if for example the event was outside. The technician would be responsible for the safe keeping of the equipment during and after the event. For electrical installations it will take a qualified electrician to ensure it is set up correctly because it has to be weather proof if outdoors, childproof if children are present and tamper proof – meaning it is secure. It is important to have somebody qualified because the security and safety of the equipment is guaranteed. Health and Safety is a critical and important element in everything involving events management. If something is done incorrectly or not thoroughly enough, the organisers may find themselves facing hefty fines. Part of the objective must be to follow the law to ensure the safety of staff, the public and anybody else from coming to any harm. Safety must come first because it is the management’s role to prevent accidents from occurring and if something does goes wrong it is the management’s fault and they must deal with the consequences. Matters relating to safety occur on a daily basis but are more likely during a get in (setting up for an event) the get out and the building of the set because equipment is not usually in an organised, secure state. It is essential that workers are kept safe and therefore usually use protective equipment such as a hard hat or gloves. However it is not
  3. 3. just the workers that are affected, the audience members must feel content and safe at all times. It is important to avoid overcrowding to prevent people feeling distressed. Risk assessments are an important part of the H&S element and must be carried out thoroughly because it means an effect risk analysis has been done to ensure the public are safe at all times and any risks that have been spotted arte dealt with in the correct way. For example, if there is a trip hazard – the equipment (cables) can be gaffer taped or moved if possible. A risk assessment must be to because it allows organisers to plan for safety, design out risks, promote a safety culture and to implement control measures to remove or reduce hazards. Appropriate control measures must also be written down. This is the action a person takes to remove or reduce the risk and impact of a hazard. For example if the hazard was a piece of broken glass in a window, the control measure would be to repair it or to fix steel shutters over the window in order to prevent the public touching it and injuring themselves. Also fencing off the area around the broken window will stop people from getting near to the glass. –therefore the hazard has been removed. The venue plan must be designed first to ensure all areas of the site have been scrutinised. This is a significant factor because it too contributes to the safety of the public who attend the event.Depending on where the venue is, there may be some danger points to consider. Such as, steep slopes, slippery slopes, locked gates, uneven ground or narrow doorways. Where these risks are identified, action should be taken by the events management team to reduce / remove the risk. Staffing is a vital in order for the event to run smoothly. Staff are needed in all aspects of a production / event. For example collecting tickets on the door, escorting the audience to their seats, and serving refreshments etc. are all important roles. As each event is unique, some potential staffing options may apply. For example a qualified individual may be the best way to go about meeting the objectives and aim of the event. The organisers must determine the number of people to have working on a certain field (whether it be Front of House, or operating equipment.) Depending on the size of an event, some of the duties and responsibilities of certain staff may be separated and shared out between other team members / crew and may be combined within another job description for somebody else. E.g. The Deputy Manager may take on some of the responsibilities for the traffic management. This can happen as the DMmay have knowledge and experience of being part of a traffic management team, therefore can apply his/her skills to the position. Other job roles include a Local Authorities Liaison, Emergency services liaison, Health and Safety Executive Liaison, Runners and many more as described in the hierarchy. A job description can be issued to ensure all staff know what is expected of them in their role and what attributes they should have, such as maturity, experience (possibly), good health, strong willed and many more. It is paramount that the manager follows employment law and regulations when looking for people to employ. This is because there are many issues involved with having somebody working for someone else. Issues include payment, insurance and how many hours they are allowed to work for. When recruiting, managers will find volunteers as well as professionals if required. They may find crew at schools,
  4. 4. colleges, clubs, the Territorial Army, scouts and friends and family contacts. Volunteers are an advantage because they do not pay however their reliability may need to be considered carefully. MANAGING: Being a good manager means being able to lead people, deal with problems and be good at compromising and negotiating. The manager will never always get what they want straight away or easily, but they must find alternative ways and find ways to meet in the middle with others. Negotiations are important when it comes to discussing the venue and temporary changes the organiser wishes to make, such as perhaps putting up an extra fence. An extra fee will be added however it is the manager’s job to reach an agreement Briefing before the event allows the team members to feel organised and know what they are doing. If there is a large number of staff working on an event it might be worthwhile splitting them up into teams and having a team leader to give instructions to the members of their team. Teams can be split into categories, such as ‘arena staff’ or ‘road staff’ relating to traffic control. Debriefing is a session at the end of the day where all team members have the chance to reflect on the day’s work, for example they may wish to voice an opinion on how to improve something. Debriefs reinforce the team’s perception of the manager’s needs and respect ensure everything within the planning process is discussed and nothing is overlooked. Briefing and debriefing are great ways to promote good communication as it is a chance to discuss what is working and what is not relating to teamwork. ‘Who will be performing?’ is a big question in a performing arts event. This is because the venue can only accommodate a certainnumber of performers due to space. They will need changing rooms which requires more room and the more performers there are, the more space they will need. Advertising is a big step in promoting the event. It can be done in a variety of ways, such as flyers, posters, on the radio, in newspapers, on social media sites etc. It is beneficial because it attracts more members of the public who may be interested. The idea of the event is to sell out – reaching the maximum profit. Event attractions revolve around the question: ‘what is the audience going to do at the event?’ for example if it was a steam fair people would be attracted to the rides, or if it was a tennis event, tennis / sport fans would attend. other examples of what people are attracted to include eating, seeing, listening, photographs, competitions, learn or even to just be out as a family/couple. Usually at an event the idea of variety is included because people want to be interested by the event and have plenty to see.
  5. 5. Requirements can be made in a list including everything the venue does not already have (basically items / equipment that needs sourcing by the events management team.) for example: food, money, collecting bins, skips, uniform, hire van, transport, bank account etc. common sense is a big part of writing a requirements list because the simplest of answers can come from all types of questions. Sign postage is a legal requirement in a lot of cases. This is because they are there to protect the public. Signs of this kind include optimum height above ground or footpath, optimum height of poles and optimum distance from junctions. There are many other signs and regulations that must be followed by law. However there are other signs that do not abide by the law, such as Staff Only, Toilet Queue Here, Way Out, First Aid, No Parking etc. It is useful and helpful for the public if on the exit signs there is onward journey information, e.g. directions to the motorway. Permissions for certain ideas will be granted by the venue managers and other companies such as insurance and experts in the law of a specific field. The local authority is usually a good source of information and advice also. They are also responsible for approving and licencing certain events. Depending on the event, the numbers attending, the local authority (in consultation with the emergency services) will decide whether to licence the event or not. For example there must be an alcohol licence if alcohol is served. Another licence is music – if music is played there must be a PRS licence. However this can get complex and advice can be given in dealing with individual events by the local authority. On some occasions the venue of the event may be part of a neighbourhood; therefore the events management team will need to be respectful of the houses around them. They must discuss with them first their plans and ideas and negotiate with them about any fears or worries they may have. This is important because they may point out a legitimate problem that has previously been overlooked. This early stage intervention can help the matter be resolved quickly and easily. Another reason why it is important to consulate with neighbours is because if the event is a success and the venue have offered to make it an annual event, then the neighbours may lodge an objection which could jeopardise the chance of coming back the year after if they have been upset. Insurance must cover an event. This is incase anything bad happens to the equipment and also people, it can be repaired easily and money will not be an issue. Types of insurance include public liability (if someone suffers a serious injury) employee liability (if a member of staff is seriously injured) or rain/storm insurance. If it is likely to rain a great deal at the time of the event, then insurance must be in place to keep the venue safe as well as the equipment. Talking to the insurers prior to the event (when researching) will be beneficial because possibilities, costs and cover can be discussed.)
  6. 6. Restrictions/ requirements may be put into place by the insurers who may insist that all staff are above a certain age or that the manager must organise a safety inspection of all electrical and mechanical installations before the event opens. Radio communications would be effective because it would mean all staff members could communicate easily on the night. There are many reasons why radios are useful. A few are as follows: To notify relevant people if an emergency / first aid incident occurs, to ask a person in a different department with the knowledge to answer an important question, or to check that everything is under control in all aspects on the day/night of the shows. Security is a major point to consider, especially at large events. Police can assist with security and the best people for this role are the Special Constabulary because they are unpaid and have the same powers as police officers. They also have plenty of experience at dealing with the public. The fact that police may be on the scene will help to deter people, however there are problems that might need dealing with in order to help prevent them from happening. These are, theft of equipment, vehicles, stock, cash, property from cars and handbags, criminal damage and domestics/drunks. All of which are disruptive and may affect the reputation of the event so must be dealt with quickly and in every way possible, prevented. Maintenance– Toilets: if there are no toilets at the venue, temporary toilet units must be hired. Toilets are essential in an event because of the public’s expectations. Without clean, available toilets, most members of the public will stay away and the few who do come will not stay long. Depending on the size of the event affects the amount of toilets required and the target audience affects the decision as to hire baby changing units as well. For an additional price an operative will be responsible for the toilets. The matter of when they arrive and are collected must be set prior to the event to ensure everything is set up on time for the first show. In addition, waste disposal should be done at licensed sites, not in streams or ditches. This ties in with following and obeying the law. As for litter, designated bins will be located around the venue, or if no food in the auditorium then just in the refreshments room. However in the event of it being outdoors, plenty of bins should be located. Recycling bins can be kept separate in order to promote environmental friendliness. Finance/funding/budgets: there must be a budget set before the event to ensure people don’t go overboard or spend money they don’t have. Tickets and pricing come in as part of the income. The price of a ticket must be reasonable, and less for the elderly and children (concessions). Food and refreshments are also ways to provide income. Cash float(s) are a very useful way to keep the money safe and in one place. It must be kept away from the public when put away and in a secure place where only staff can go. Credit card facilities may need to be taken into consideration if the event is big and more expensive (e.g. merchandise) however credit card transactions should be avoided because they can be complicated. Somebody will have the responsibility / job role of being the cashier (the person in charge of the float, change, income each day/night and the security.)
  7. 7. However prices must be paid before the income comes in. prices for the hire of the venue, sets if needed, staff, refreshments, equipment, toilets, performer fees, licences, marketing/advertisement, signage, costumes, props, transport and security. Sponsorship deals are a good way to find the money for setting up an event. Sponsorship is when a company give the management money for them to promote their company in return. For example Andy Murray is sponsored by Adidas therefore wears Adidas clothing. Sponsorships are extremely difficult to get and technical if a person is lucky to get one. Contracts must be drawn in order to provide a full understanding agreement between the two parties Emergency procedures and major incidents / first aid / recording accidents:An emergency action plan is essential in an event of an accident / fire. Signage must be used and the public must be told what will happen in the event of an emergency. There must be designated fire exits, fire assembly points and suitable safety equipment (e.g. fire extinguisher / first aid box) there should be atleast 2 trained first aiders on the scene. However this may increase depending on the size of the event. Any incidents that may occur must be recored and written down. There is a sheet for this that must be filled out and kept safe. Also, any incidents regarding H&S must be written down because it could be a fault on the staff’s part. In the event of an emergency, it is very important that the staff know what to do because they are responsible for the welfare of the public and guiding them to safety. This process will be presented to them prior to the event by the manager. It is also vitally important that emergency service vehicles have access through every path and gate to reach any area of the venue. It would be beneficial if Special Police (voluntary) helped out at the event if it is large. They have full police powers and therefore would be useful to an event for safety reasons; the public are more likely to feel safe with officers on the scene. First aid is an important necessity to be aware of at an event. There must be a trained first aider on site, more than one depending on the size of the venue/event. First aid is usually located away from a busy scene in order to keep the casualty calm and distressed. At some events there is a first aid room, or a first aid tent is available for minor injuries. Radios would be very useful for the staff to communicate first aid issues because a lot of time would be saved. Facilities for the disabled: If a person with a disability arrives the management team must be prepared. This means all areas of the venue are accessible. Whether that be using a lift, or everything being on a ground floor / ramps instead of stairs and allowing them at the front of the queue to avoid injury. It is important to treat people fairly and promote diversity because it shows that the management are thoughtful and cater for every individual’s needs. Methods transport / traffic obstacles: Depending on where the performers / staff are coming from depends on what methods of transport are used. If for instance, a train is a
  8. 8. vital method, it must be concluded how far away the train station is from the venue. Similarly with buses and bus stops, is it far from the venue? In another situation if just a car vehicle is the most popular method, how far away is it for the majority of people? These leads on to where people will park when they arrive, will there be enough space to accommodate every car? Is it safe? How far away from the building / site is the car park? It must be well lit if it is at night also. All this must be clear to the audience / public because it ensures they understand what is going on at all times and in order to keep the event smooth they must have short, simple directions so they are neither distressed nor confused by what is happening around them. Adequate lighting is essential in a car park so that people can see what is going on, especially if there are children around. Security is also an important point and would need discussing in detail. Unfortunately sometimes there are inconvenient road closures or train cancellations. If they occur there must be a plan B made by the management team to find alternative ways of getting the performers and the audience to the event. If it is a foreseeable event (check with the local authority to see if a road closure will occur) then an alternative may be figured out prior to the day. Appropriate parking organisation is the responsibility of the traffic manager, whose job it is to ensure there is a smooth parking operation. Signs should be used to direct specific vehicles to specific parking places (e.g. ‘Coaches Next Right’ or ‘Disabled Parking (badge holders only) Turn Left etc.) If the event is a big one, many people may arrive by car, so finding it in a sea of others afterwards may be difficult. Therefore the organisation of the parking is important. For example, there could be coloured sections for a certain area in which cars are parked, e.g. ‘Red Car Park’ or ‘Blue Car Park’ etc. Exit routes must be clear and to prevent congestion, different routes should be available. This saves everybody heading in one small direction at once. The traffic manager needs to have an action plan if a car breaks down in an inconvenient space. He must have the help of a local garage or farmer or mechanic to be close to the scene as back up, if this emergency takes place. Similarly in the event of a car having to be towed out of the mud, if for example they are parked on a field –the land owner must be aware and it must be done effectively and properly. Again a local farmer or a land rover owner may be able to help – but they must be on side prior to the event as back up just in case. Whether there will be a small fee for car parking depends on the size of the event. Usually free parking attracts more people which is a thought to consider when planning. Hospitality: Food and refreshments are an important part of an event because it ensures the public are being well looked after and made to feel welcome. It promotes a sociable, relaxed atmosphere and allows the audience to have a good time. It is important to keep the food and drinks simple because the more complex it is, the more people request personal preferences and there is a budget to stick to. A survey of what the most popular choices are could be useful to get a good idea of what’s best. Prior to the event, the storage
  9. 9. of food and drinks must be organised, as will the issue of food waste disposal. Research would be needed to check how to dispose of it in the correct way. Food and drinks will then need to be sourced. Where will they come from and at what price? Usually supermarkets are the easiest and best places to go as it is a good value for money most of the time. Drinking water is a necessity and it must be signposted and easily available. This is because if in a sudden incident or emergency the casualty may need water, it must be on site and available quickly. It is vital that a record is kept of everything that happens at an event. Evidence must be written down and signed or recorded via video. If an accident occurs then a record must be kept of it because it is one of the regulations set by the law. Having a video diary would be a useful method of ensuring everything was done ‘by the book’ and no errors have been made. Formal presentation helps the event to look aesthetically pleasing and professional. The manager must have complete confidence in their plans, meaning they believe they will work and will make it work. They will have been through all the planning process and be ready to present a formal presentation to the local authority, emergency services and any other interested parties, to formally request licensing and written approval to organise and run the event. If the proposals are rejected, it is likely that there have been unfilled gaps in the planning process. In which case, if the event is still hoping to go ahead, the organisers must go over everything again and collect more research and advice. Setting up:During the stages of the process, the events manager will have visited the site many times to get a good idea of the size. They will also have negotiated with the owners about any issues that may have come up. A week before the event, the staff will prepare / mark out the site (what will happen where.) After this the signs will be made and put up, such as the emergency / safety signage, parking and directions. The power will be installed as will all other hired equipment. Days leading up to the opening of the event, the performers will have rehearsals. This is a rehearsal for the technical team also because they need to know what they are doing just as much as the people on stage. For opening day, everything must have been delivered and ready to go. There should be a checklist to ensure everything is how it should be. This ensures nothing is forgotten about and helps the management to control what is happening. When the event opens, the hard work continues; the event manager must ensure staff a vigilant and maintain safety standards. Post Event: Get out: when the public are off the premises, the get out can take place. This means the set, equipment – everything is stripped down and back to how it was before the event was set up. Depending on the size of the event, the time varies how long the get out will last. For example in a theatre it may take between 3-5 hours but in a stately home it could be done within half an hour – 1hour. A big clear up operation must take place in order to make sure
  10. 10. there is no mess left behind. If the land / venue is a mess when left it could damage the event management’s reputation. Cleaning up includes litter, paper, glass, food etc. Radios must be signed back in and given back, as does the equipment that has been hired. It must be pre-organised with the company from whom the event management have hired equipment from, when it will be collected. Final debriefs are the best way to feedback different opinions on how the event went (the positives and the negatives.) This should all be written down and saved for the next event so the team know how to improve. Lastly, if people deserve credit then they should get credit; especially those who have worked exceptionally hard order to make the event happen. In the final report, there must be a summary of useful information for another events management team to use. All the finalised information should go in, including an overall review, any problems that occurred, indicating where possible the actions / measures that were implemented and ways to avoid the problem next time. This is a good idea because it is a simple, quick reference when planning future events and allows the team to make an event as spectacular as it can be.