Types of Risks on Cultural Events
The potential types of risks that can occur when organizing a cultural festival are incredibly vast. The organizer must take each possible risk into consideration and plan to counteract the potential dangers if they were to occur. The types of risks discussed in this paper are not limited to exclusivity. There are for more risks that could occur, but the likelihood is minimal. Each of the types of risks discussed below will provide detailed information about the circumstance that could lead to the issues at the cultural festival.
Physical harm to others – when organizing a cultural event, the planner needs to consider what potential there is for damage to be imposed upon others. It is a very broad consideration; however, it includes all events, structures, food, and locations in which the festival will be held. Is there a possibility that an employee or a visitor could be harmed? What can be done to minimize these risks? There are many questions that the organizer needs to consider when determining the potential of physical harm to others.
Damage to the event site, infrastructure or equipment – when organizing a cultural festival it is important to analyze the event sites, equipment, and or infrastructures involved. The event site needs to be free of any issues that could cause harm. It can include but is not limited to holes in the ground, laying water, manholes that are not adequately covered, and so on. The equipment needs to be up to regulation and placed in locations that cannot pose a threat to the attendees or even to the staff. Infrastructures need to be inspected and up to code to ensure that they can accommodate the number of individuals who will be attending the festival.
Risks to the organization committee and the potential for future events – if the organizer of the cultural festival and the committee involved in the events does not take into consideration all of the possible risks, they could damage the potential for future event endeavours. If risk takes place during an event planned, it could destroy the potential for future events to take place with that organizer and or committee.
Existing risks on the site – there are many risks that need to be considered on the site where the event it taking place. The location, traffic, ease of access, and external threats are all factors that the organizer has to take into consideration. Is the site close to a highway or heavy traffic area? Are other events taking place on the site that could pose a threat to the attendees? The location planning is necessary to prevent existing risks on the site and the potential for harm to the attendees.
Risks associated with the event – the risks related to the event can involve the culture in which the festival is representing. Take for example having a Muslim festival. The views associated with the culture are highly negative because of the extremist associated with the culture. It could lead to risks of retaliation and hate crimes during the festival. Discussing potential risks of the event with other event coordinators will aid in preventing these risks from occurring.
Risks with entrance or exit – the cultural festival needs to provide a safe environment for entering and exiting the event. It mandates traffic control with either public safety officials or employees whose are solely responsible for traffic control. It limits the potential for unnecessary harm to the attendees by ensuring the entrance and exit is free of risk. There is also the consideration of location planning to reduce risks associated with entrance or exiting the festival.
Risks with rides – many cultural festivals provides rides, games, slides and even bounce castles. It requires the planners to consider the risks of having these accommodations. The rides need to be up to code and have a trained employee operating them at all times. They will be trained with ride and event safety and will be able to prevent the potential for risks. It is also important for the coordinator to consider all necessary liability insurances are in place.
Risk with food or beverage – cultural festivals traditionally revolve around the food and beverage of the culture it is representing. Each vendor must comply with the food and beverage legislation and ensure their facility is up to code. There will also be a strict enforcement of alcohol regulation. The staff will monitor alcohol consumption and remove anyone who is drunk and disorderly.
Risk with guest count – when planning a cultural festival it's hard to know how well the event will go. If the event has more guest than initially planned, it could cause a risk due to having too many people. The event needs to have a maximum capacity, and once that number has been reached no more individuals can enter can others leave. It will reduce the risks with having too many guests.
Risk of emergency services – the event organizer needs to make arrangements prior to the launch of the festival with the local emergency services. They also have to have a path for easy access to the central parts of the festival location. Often organizers do not consider the potential need for emergency services. Notifying the local services in advance will allow them to be prepared in the event an emergency warrants their need.
Risks of infrastructures – the infrastructures need to be secure and free from any potential dangers. It is not limited to the infrastructures used at the festival, but the ones surrounding the area as well. All local codes and regulations need to be complied with to ensure there are no unnecessary risks with the infrastructures.
Risk of vehicles – most attendees will arrive at the festival in their vehicles. It requires the organizers to have a dedicated spot for vehicle traffic and parking. To reduce the risk, employees need to be present at all times to direct traffic and pedestrians. Overlooking the risks associated with vehicle traffic could set the festival organizer up for unnecessary accidents.
Risk of a body of waters – if the organizer finds that there are risks associated with the location of the festival, including the body of waters, they need to ensure safety is considered. Being near a body of water could result in drowning. Therefore, an employee must monitor bodies of water that are around the event to ensure that no one enters the water. Signs and warnings will also be posted, and the body of water will be roped off.
Risk of weather – there is the potential for bad weather occurring during the cultural festival. The organizer needs to be aware of any in climate weather warning during the open times of their events. Tornadoes, hail, and high winds are just a few weather conditions that could pose risks to the event structures and the guest alike. If the risk of weather is an issue, the event planner needs to close the festival to prevent unnecessary harm to the attendees.
Risk of monitoring the event – the cultural festival needs the appropriate amount of staffing to monitor the event and prevent the potential of risks occurring. Monitoring the event is not just having the manpower to meet the needs of the attendees. There needs to be some security implemented to address any situation that could occur while the event is taking place. In order to reduce risk, the undercover member should be present at the festival at all times.