Event control is the hub of smooth event-day operations and it is absolutely central to the running of the day, with constant communication and information flow in and out. But perhaps where it's most important - and most tested - is when the unexpected happens. Major incidents can have safety, financial, reputational or legal ramifications so you need to deal with them well. Here we open the door and let you look into the resolution of an incident in event control.
An incident has arisen. What's the process?
Incidents are by their very nature a surprise and your reaction to it will have to be spontaneous! But there is a lot that you can do to prepare beforehand, and there are practices to stick to immediately afterwards.
Ideally, everything you need to resolve an incident should be in place long before the incident occurs. That includes contingency plans specific to types of incident (fire, lost child: the classics!), clear responsibilities of who is in charge of what when resolving an incident in event control, and clear lines of communication for your team or volunteers on the ground.
Then, when an incident occurs, three things need to happen: the incident needs to be reported, recorded, and resolved. The former probably won't happen in event control, and the latter might not either - but the recording is essential for event control, and any input that supports the resolution of the incident too. The three steps will preferably take place in that order, but as things happen quickly on the ground, it might be resolved first!
Reporting: as mentioned, there need to be clear, pre-established lines of communication, and rules about what is escalated to event control and when. Your on-the-ground staff are the eyes and ears of event control - they'll possess vital information and they need to know how to deal with it depending on its severity and relevance.
Recording: confirm and record everything that is known. In fact, make clear in advance what type of information needs to be known, as event control don't need to know every detail. But cause, location, severity, time, any relevant images, responsible person, agency or department, and any communication that has already taken place - that's the kind of info that's needed. Logging is essential, in case required for legal or other investigation after the event. If it's not written down, it doesn't exist.
Resolving: this, hopefully, is where your pre-event planning pays off. The relevant individual(s) should consult relevant material such as contingency plans and liaise with relevant parties so that the right people know the right thing to do. Analyse any implications and deal with the incident sensibly, to ensure that you're not making any financial, legal or reputational mistakes - and send out any required comms as appropriate.
We previously wrote an article outlining the very basic good practices that you must follow in your incident management:
- Prepare thoroughly. Map out incident categories and fully involve agencies, teams and individuals.
- Respond consistently. Build out exhaustive contingency plans and response checklists and make them readily available to team members.
- Ensure accountability. Keep separate lists of general log items and incidents to allow for everything that happens to be recorded.
You can never prepare for an exact instance of an incident, but you can get good processes in place, sort out responsibilities and be confident that when an incident does pop up, you - or any member of your team, or volunteer - are well-briefed to deal with it. Then you're ready to resolve incidents in event control.
Why not learn more about WeTrack's incident management and event control module?