Conducting a risk audit is an essential component of developing an event management plan. A risk audit involves identifying and assessing all risks so that a plan can be put in place to deal with any occurrence of any undesirable event which causes harm to people or detriment to the organisation.
A risk audit involves:
Broadly speaking, there are two situations to consider. The first situation is that you are familiar with the venue as you have used it before. In this circumstance, it is still necessary to manage risks but the time spent checking the venue will focus more on ensuring the venue is well prepared according to risk management plans you already have. It will also be necessary to identify any changes in the venue since you last used it.
In the second situation, you are unfamiliar with the event and you may never have used it before. In this circumstance it will be necessary to conduct a walk through of the venue to identify possible hazards and risks. It helps greatly to have a prepared checklist. For example, your checklist might remind you to check for:
It is the very nature of sport events that surprising things happen, especially in the heat of the moment. There is no foolproof method for identifying risks but watching similar events is very useful. In particular, your observation might provide knowledge of the behaviour of spectators and players. Crowd control is an essential element of sport event management. Spectators and players may be unruly and even violent and the event officials needs to be able to react swiftly.
Event managers must ensure that event management procedures cover a full range of emergencies including major injury or illness of players or spectators, fire, bomb threat, crowd disturbances and climatic conditions such as lightning, torrential rain, flooding, etc.
Event manage procedures should also assist event personnel to effectively do their job. Although the most important procedures will be about safety, there should be other procedures that lessen risks to the event profitability and the organisation's reputation. These procedures might include:
The provision of training to event staff (and volunteers) is a critical element in risk management. It is a dangerous situation to presume that procedures have been read and that people will know what to do in an emergency. Ultimately the buck stops with the Event Manager and therefore it is a reasonable use of the Event Manager's time to have meetings with Event Staff, either individually or in groups, to determine their knowledge of procedure.
See more about risks associated with running an event.