Proper event management planning is vital for any successful event. The EMP is the document that establishes how all the distinct moving parts and disparate elements of your event will work and result in your event being safe and enjoyable.
If we’re planning it and managing it we follow the same process every time. The group were a little surprised but, as the discussion progressed, they saw the logic and reasoning behind it.
The Event Management Plan can perform a number of important functions, including:
- Helps secure permission for the event to proceed
- Provides a road map for the event to all stakeholders
- Ensures we consider all relevant angles during planning
- Ensures we don’t overlook anything
- Provides support during the event
- Acts as a key decision-support tool during the event
- Provides a solid outline for staff briefing
Plenty of people running events don’t accept the importance of having a proper EMP. We know of events with thousands of people attending that have gone ahead without any EMP-type document. We know of people running events for which they’re found EMPs or licence applications online and ‘amended’ them for their own event. We even know of people who have tried passing off our EMPs as their own. These are people that should know better.
Then there are people we can’t really expect to know any better. Amateurs, voluntary committees etc.
We recently read about the organisers of the proposed Billericay festival in the UK being refused a licence to date as a result of their EMP being ‘too generic’ and ‘not site-specific’. Pretty much all the key stakeholders have raised concerns – police, councillors, Environmental Health Officers and more. The organisers have lodged a revised 200-page EMP and have another audience to get licensed next month.
They’re looking to have 20,000 people per day at their event, yet people who know about these things believe their first attempt at an EMP was too generic and not particular enough to their actual event.
For me, even if they ultimately put together an EMP that gets the event licensed, that their first effort was viewed this way by the statutory agencies is extremely worrying. It speaks to their mindset and the value they place on proper planning for the safety of 20,000 people each day.
THE BOTTOM LINE
EMPs are important.
If you’re running events and you don’t get that, then stop running events.
If you’re running events and couldn’t be bothered doing a proper event-specific EMP, then stop running events.
If you’re running events and think it’s appropriate to copy someone else’s EMP for your event, then stop running events.