Asserting that safety must become the number one priority of every live event producer, Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President & Program Director of Take1 Insurance, today said that there are five vital steps that should be followed when planning any live event.
“The biggest mistake an event producer can make is to not ask enough questions,” Carroll said today. “These questions are easy to overlook, but the answers are critically important for developing a thorough safety plan.”
According to Carroll, the first step to take to ensure a safer live event is verifying that all vendors have insurance policies with contractual capabilities to make anyone an AI to their policy. Each vendor should be able to produce proof of insurance, and asking a few simple questions about their coverage can highlight potential coverage gaps or inadequacies.
Second, for outdoor events Carroll advises that producers fully understand the terrain. Producers should use on-site weather monitoring tools to stay ahead of any potential storms. Powerful apps for smartphones and tablets show wind speed, direction, and approaching rain, but for larger more sophisticated shows and venues, actual on-site weather monitoring personnel may be best.
Third, identifying stakeholders behind the vendors is also important when ensuring event safety. “Who has the authority to stop the show should equipment fail or inclement weather becomes a safety issue? Find this person and meet with them to determine a decision timeline,” he added.
Fourth, customer-facing vendors such as concessions, security and parking companies typically have the most exposure to incidents because they touch virtually every spectator and show personnel. Vendors should always be chosen based on which company has a safe and successful track record, not whichever company offers the cheapest bid. “Choosing the right vendor can be the difference between smooth sailing and a huge headache,” Carroll added.
Finally, Carroll urges event producers to develop their own plan for emergency situations. “Ask yourself ‘what if’ questions and figure out the best way to address the potential issues,” he said. “What if the wind suddenly picks up above 30 miles per hour? What if there is an active shooter on the scene? What if the rigging vendor can’t supply evidence of insurance? What if a food vendor has a fire? Answering these questions can help identify and ultimately eliminate potential disasters before they begin.”