Once your events or venues are allowed to re-open, it will be event control rooms and their responses to incidents that come under greatest scrutiny. Regulators and auditors will be more stringent in making sure that venue owners and event managers follow adequate preventative and restorative measures to ensure public wellbeing.
Many of the same principles that apply to planning for and managing risks and issues also apply to logging and responding to incidents. Following these steps will ensure that your operations stand up to the most thorough audit.
1. Prepare thoroughly
Be prepared for things to go wrong - they always do! The majority of incidents that happen at events or venues follow usual patterns - you generally know what to expect. Preparing for things to go wrong means acknowledging these patterns and using them to create incident categories. Grouping incidents into categories allows for better (and easier) analysis after the fact, letting you learn lessons and improve processes between events.
Incident management is also more efficient when information flows unhindered between all affected parties - it is essential that you involve anyone that might improve your response to incidents. This means listing your teams and agencies in full so that they can be notified or called on when needed, and ensuring that lines of communication with all individuals are clearly defined and open.
Prepare thoroughly: Map out incident categories for better understanding of how to improve processes, and make communication effective by fully involving agencies, teams and individuals.
2. Respond consistently
Have a plan for how to respond when things do go wrong. As an event or venue manager, you need to know that the response to an incident will be consistent, whoever gets to the scene first. For this to happen, you need an exhaustive playbook of contingency plans and checklists which align with the incident categories you have mapped out.
For example, you may have a category of incidents which relate to 'social distancing'. Your team need to know what steps they are expected to carry out and what information they are supposed to gather, every time they respond to that type of incident. Knowing that incidents cannot be closed until this response has been carried out and recorded to the required standard lets you later provide proof and audit logs on demand.
Respond consistently: Build out exhaustive contingency plans and response checklists, and align responses with incident categories and make them readily available to team members.
3. Ensure accountability
Stay accountable by logging decisions, discussion and actions. When a member of the public questions how you dealt with an incident affecting them, or a regulatory body audits a condition under which your event is allowed to go ahead, knowing that you have the answers easily available is a weight off your mind. Thorough preparation and a framework for responding consistently will help make sure that you are accountable, but this would be futile without proper logging.
Whoever is logging your incidents and responses to them needs to be properly trained to ensure everything is noted down, however mundane it might seem. Splitting out a general log from an incident list will allow a loggist to record everything they think might be relevant later (on a log list), while not adding extra noise to high priority items in the incident list. Beyond this, there needs to be a way of recording every update that is received from your team on the ground, every contingency action that has been carried out, and every decision made, ideally with these logs time and date stamped.
Ensure accountability: Keep separate lists of general log items and incidents to allow for everything that happens to be recorded, and use event logging software that allows for complete recording and easy recalling of logs after the event.
Thorough preparation, consistent incident response and post-event accountability are going to drive your event or venue's success in the new world - make sure your event operations or venue management stand up to any test.
View our full guide to re-opening your venue, event or attraction during COVID-19 here.
Or, learn more about our incident management and event control software here.