Risk Assessment in Event Planning

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In modern economies, many different types of events are organised and event planning has turned into a profit-driven industry. Over the last 20 years, the events industry has continued to expand. Thanks to structural changes in such economies, there have been increases in leisure time and disposable income, leading to a proliferation of events. The event Industry has had a great positive impact on society, the economy and the environment. In order to achieve their goals, a wide range of organisations, whether governmental, commercial or charitable have used events for strategic reasons.

Moreover, companies have become increasingly aware of the role of promoting their brand and increasing their market share. According to Richard Foulkes, former president of the UK International Special Events Society (ISES): Businesses recognise a need for deeper engagement with customers and staff so they’re investing more in events. Other forms of marketing provide broad brushstrokes, whereas events target specific groups and enable focused customer conversion. The UK events sector currently contributes around ?36. billion a year to the economy and, according to lobbying body Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), is forecast to grow to ?48. 4 billion by 2020. However, realising an event in practice is not as simple as it seems; mainly because many factors influence the success of an event. Risks assessment must be considered in event planning, more particularly risk management processes, in order to carry out event management better. Two case studies are examined in this paper. In order to emphasise the importance of event management and more specifically risks assessment, this essay first focuses on the ‘Love Luton Festival’.

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This is followed by an analysis of ‘Gloucestershire’s cheese rolling event cancelled after threats of violence’. 1. First Case study: “Love Luton Festival “ We have seen that the event industry is growing because governments, the corporate sector, and community organisations need events to achieve their goals. But, events are particularly susceptible to risk, and managers have to be aware about that, because sometimes, mishaps happen. You can lose a lot of money, and a relevant example of this is the ‘Love Luton Festival’ (which celebrated the arrival of the Olympic Torch in July 2012) : they lost ?394,000.

They had to sell 20 000 tickets in order to break even, but only 5000 tickets were sold for the two main concerts, that is to say a quarter. Among this amount, 2,500 tickets for the two concerts Olly Murs and The Wanted had been bought. It was ?30 for each before the price had halved. Ticket prices were reduced from ?30 and ?32. 50 to ?15 in June to combat low sales. Moreover, the financial is the result of the low tickets sales but also of sponsorship, high production costs, and poor weather.

The last-minute announcement that Lewis Hamilton should have carried the Olympic Torch through Luton town centre is another significant factor: it created additional costs due to extra security. According to a council spokesperson, when tickets were not all sold out, they talked to local people who told them that ticket prices were too high, particularly for families, and those with very young children. They did a market research though; experts undertook that, and they said that the original prices would have attracted levels of interest that would have make the event financially viable.

Reasons for taking account of risks assessment Therefore, they have to prove management competency long before the event starts. If they had taken into account more risks assessment process, they would not have lost a significant amount of money. Special security and safety precautions are essential. Risks management does not follow such a simple step-by-step process. The event team has to be aware of risks at all times. In Berlonghi’s theory, he is making reference to six risks. One of them considers ‘Marketing and public relation’, marketers are optimistic about the consequence of their actions and tend to ignore potential risks.

That what happened in this case, with the wrong analyse of their market research and particularly in their targets, they tended to overestimate average household budgets by practising high ticket’s pricing. Furthermore, there had been an unforeseen event with Lewis Hamilton, which could be anticipating in a management process. 2. Second case study: “Gloucestershire’s cheese rolling event cancelled after threats of violence” This journal article, which comes from “ The event industry news”, was published on March 25th, 2011. This article deals with risks that almost have been fatal for event organisers.

In order to analyse more precisely the topic, we can start with the following idea that points out that both the number and the size of events and festivals increase, so does the public awareness of any mishaps or disasters. The popular event, which dates back hundreds of years, was already called off in 2010 after safety concerns. Indeed, the number of spectators it attracted was higher than was expected. The Cheese Rolling used to be only for the people of the nearby village of Brockworth, but has grown into an international event with competitors from around the globe.

In 2009, it was absolutely chaotic, the traffic jams were horrendous and that is why the local authorities declared that the event had to change. In 2011, organisers wanted to suggest entry fee and to extend the two-day event, tickets costing ?20 in order to manage the crowd. Since they announced an entrance fee, they have been bombarded with many criticisms, much of it at a personal level, including accusations of profiteering and some of the committee have even received threats. Most of organisers said the public backlash had made it unworkable, and they had been spat at and threatened with violence.

People were caught in a spiral, that have caused disaster, received verbal abuse in shops and at school gates and it has been told that bricks were launched through windows and houses were burned down. Reasons for taking account of risks assessment To illustrate the problem, let’s return to the theory raised in the first case. Indeed, Berlonghi’s Theory about event risks, deals with six main areas of risks, and here we have three fields of them, ‘Administration’, ‘Crowd management’, and ‘safety’.

Firstly ‘administration’, because they should have found arbitration agreement earlier, with local authorities. Besides, the risk issues are subjective and vary depending on the stakeholder group and their relationship to the event. It is important to understand the various strategic options to deal with risk issues in large-scale events. Therefore, when they had done their strategic planning, they should have ensured contract with them. Secondly, ‘crowd management’ because there was a risk management of crowd flow.

They should have taken special security and safety precautions to deal with many potential hazards. They could have analysed better the context with stakeholders. The context of risk is combined with the expectations of the stakeholders. To conclude, we saw through the 2 cases studies that events vary in size, nature and type, but all events require assessment, control and monitoring of risks. Risk assessment is the process of estimating the potential effects or harm of a hazard to determine its risk rating. 2 main concepts must be anticipated throughout event planning: ‘the likelihood’ and ‘the impact’.

It is possible to ‘measure’ likelihood with features such as: unlikely, may happen, likely, almost certain and rare. In the same way, impact can be measured in terms of severe, high, moderate, or low. In order to prioritize levels of risks, it has to find the rate for both concepts. Organization into a hierarchy is the next step, called “risk control”, and there are different methods of handling such risks. Risks assessment must be highlighted at all times, above all in strategic planning. Recommendations In short, risks assessment reasoning in event planning is not current yet.

In addition, and as it can see above, there are still events without this manner of proceeding. Even, risk management is not only to minimise losses but also to maximise opportunities. If the second case study was taken into account, the new international standard on risk: ‘ISO 31000’, they could carry out their risks. This standard is a guarantee on how to manage risks assessment into event planning. In view of ‘Gloucestershire’s cheese rolling event’ has grown into an international event, they could have got a better impact with their image and notoriety.

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Risk Assessment in Event Planning. (2017, Jan 27). Retrieved from


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