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Event management refers to the application of managerial science of project management to the creation as well as development of events. According to Raj (2008, p. 43), there are different types of events such as organizational events, personal events, cultural events and leisure events. These events take three different forms which are: defined and structured form, defined and unstructured form and undefined and unstructured form. Proper planning of 'defined and structured 'and 'defined and unstructured' form events provide greatest potential for improved outcomes. 'Undefined and unstructured' events are difficult to manage and may require consultations between different parties such as government agencies, local councils, and community and business groups (Tonge, 2000).
Robinson (2010) states that event organizers ought to be aware that a great deal of planning and organization is required for a successful event management. A lot of emphasis should be put on compliance with a wide range of legislations depending on the type of event. In fact, event managers are at all times responsible for all aspects of an event. They should seek advice from relevant authorities or agencies; perform risk assessment and identify measures to maintain the duty of care for all attendees. In some cases, neither emergency services nor liaison may be required. For others, substantial resources may be necessary to fulfill traffic regulations, fire safety, medical cover and maintenance of public orders.
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Successful event management requires a consideration of various aspects (Shone, 2001). For instance, development of a financial plan, sponsorship plan, marketing plan, and research study and event evaluation may be significant. Success of events is often essentially assessed against social, health, economic and safety measures. In fact, patrons' behavior in and around an events licensed area is usually the responsibility of the licensee.
Event managers should produce clear, complete, well documented and widely distributed plans. They are responsible for the safe organization and implementation of events. Clear and accurate information about the event should be provided i.e. the nature of the venue.Accurate and up-to-date contact details for the events manager should be availed including sufficient event description details.
Support from police may also be important to conduct a successful event. The police may require a copy of the event management plan particularly event venue details, contact details for the event manager, name and contact number of the contracted security firm, emergency service provisions just to mention a few. This information may help police to advice event mangers and organize support for the event.
There is increasing awareness of the legal responsibility of events managers. Regulatory frameworks require event managers to seek a comprehensive insurance coverage and necessary legal advice relating to public liability, indemnity etc. Insurance cover for asset protection is also essential to cover any damage to property.
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Public events should satisfy safety requirements set by government departments and local councils. The event organizers should consult local councils in advance to obtain relevant licenses and permits. The council may require event management plan. The events manager should also liaise with stakeholders in determining required permits. The police, emergency services, council and security personnel are part of the stake holders. However, it is important to consider other people who may be affected by the event, either positively or negatively and be requested to give their input.
A series of planning meeting with stakeholders is helpful in the planning process. This enables enough time for any planning changes. The manager must have authority to make critical decisions affecting the event subject to be validated by the stakeholders. Prior to the event, a pre-event briefing should be contacted. This seeks to clarify issues of communication, security, timetabling and event emergency procedures put in place. (Tonge, 2006).
It is also important to conduct a formal debriefing with the key stakeholders soon after the event. Necessary information should be documented to enable an evaluation of what worked and what did not work. Finally, a record with various stakeholders should be maintained. This can be helpful in planning futture events.
The success and safety of an event is greatly determined by the selected venue (Shone, 2001). Factors to be considered in selecting the appropriate venue include access to the site by attendees, services and utilities available, movement of site within the site, hazards in and around the area, traffic flows and parking etcetera. The identified site should be accessible by emergency service vehicles. At the venue, clear and appropriate signs should be used to direct patrons to different venues. These include parking, first aid services, entrance conditions and toilet facilities. The signs should be placed at strategic locations for patrons to see them. This helps to minimize any congestions and conflicts at the entry points.
In cases where alcohol may be sold at the event, occasional licenses or Permissions may normally be required. Therefore, advice may be sought from the local Magistrates Court to which liquor licensing applications are addressed. This is highly recommended to safeguard infringing the law and facing severe legal implications. (Ramsborg, 2008).
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Events which involve public entertainment through performance of plays, dancing, and discos require a public entertainment licence. Complying with the law by all stakeholders is paramount. A licence may be required under the Local Government Misc Provisions Act 1982 for premises which are used entirely for private dancing, music or other similar entertainment for profit-making.
Event organizers are also encouraged to consider possible environmental health implications (Berridge, 2006). For instance, noise which is associated with certain events can cause significant problems. It is therefore noteworthy for event managers to contact their local council's environmental health departments if noise is likely to be an issue. In addition, catering and public health matters must be put into consideration.
In conclusion, the success of any event largely depends on the planning and management process. It is crucial that all stakeholders play their role appropriately and according to set regulations. This fosters harmony in the society and consolidates both individual as well as national prosperity.
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