Event Safety: 6 steps to organise a safer event
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Event Safety: 6 steps to organise a safer event

learn how to organise a safe event or festival
3.5 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
120 students enrolled
Created by Jarno Stegeman
Last updated 1/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • have a better understanding of health & safety aspects at events and festivals
  • create a risk assessment for an event or festivals
  • increase audience's welfare at events or festivals
View Curriculum
  • students should understand that this is a short course that covers the basic health and safety principles of event planning. Students should always check the law, regulations, and licence requirements with their local authorities.
  • download The Event Safety Guide (which is included in the course material). This is an excellent guideline about health & safety aspects at events.

Working as a project manager for the International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies I have seen some 'interesting' approaches to health & safety regulations at events and festivals. From incomplete front of stage barriers to overflowing toilets and anything in between. I have worked at an event where an incompetent event management plan lead to audience members being hospitalised. As an event planner you need to avoid these kind of mistakes. After all, you are talking about the health, safety and well-being of your audience.

What is this workshop all about?

  • Over 30 lectures and several hours of content
  • Interviews with industry expert Joseph Pred (Burning Man, Insomniac, Glastonbury festival)
  • How you should approach health & safety aspects for your event
  • You will learn how to create a risk assessment and make them work 
  • Throughout the workshop there are exercises to make it practical
  • Opportunity to chat 1-to-1 with your event tutor

The course Event Safety is for you if you are an (aspiring) event planner, an event manager, or an event organiser.

Your Event Safety workshop

At the end of this course you will have a better understanding of the following subjects:

  • Planning your event
  • Event site survey
  • Event site design
  • Creating risk assessments for your event
  • Medical support and first aid at events
  • The importance of signage
  • The well-being of your audience
  • Setting out communication channels
  • Your responsibility as an event planner

Throughout the workshop you will find exercises to make it practical. And of course you can contact me, your event tutor, if you have any questions. There are 33 bite sized lectures in this course. I have included documents such as the Event Safety Guide and the Guide To Safety At Sports Grounds.

What other students say

"Under Jarno’s guidance, I left university with both the highest grade obtainable and a vast amount of industry experience on my resume. Jarno is an inspirational tutor who anyone willing to learn the industry, will thrive under!" Stew Denny, Music Festival organiser

"Being taught by Jarno has been nothing but a privilege! He has profound and versatile industry knowledge and has been an inspiring tutor." Sarah Tschentscher, Festival & Events Officer

How much is this workshop?

Only $30! Yes, you might have to read that twice.... ONLY $30. Because I think a safe event is beneficial for everyone. This is a short course that will teach your the very basics of event safety. 


1. Can I contact you if I have a question about the course content?

A. Absolutely! That's what a tutor is for. You can contact me via Jarno@eventtutor.com. My aim is to respond to your email as quick as possible.

2. Is this event safety workshop only useful if I want to plan a festival?

A. It is useful if you want to plan any type of event. The workshop covers a wide variety of subjects and will benefit any event planner. Truth be told though that if you are a wedding planner than this course might not be right for you. 

3. I've seen other online courses that are more expensive. Why is this course so cheap?

A. I want to make sure the course is accessible to those who dream about organising their first event. I want to teach them what event planning entails. I do not want my students to be out of pocket. 

Other workshops

I have created more workshops:

  • Event Marketing
  • Event Planning
  • Sustainable Event Management
  • Gay Wedding Planning

What are you waiting for?

Sign up today and you will learn how to plan, organise, and produce a safe event. Remember, it's only $30. 

Welcome to The Event Tutor.

Who is the target audience?
  • event and festival producers
  • aspiring event organizers
Compare to Other Event Planning Courses
Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
Introduction to Event Safety
3 Lectures 10:28

Welcome to the course Event Safety. My name is Jarno Stegeman and from 2006-2013 I was project manager at the International Center for Crowd Management & Security Studies. My career has always been a combination of event planning and education. From organizing a 30,000 capacity music festival in the Netherlands to the more intimate business-to-business events, there has always been involvement of health & safety elements.

In this short course I want to give you an overview of health & safety aspects you need to consider when you organize an event or festival.

In this course I will ask you to think about your own risk assessment. What should you think of? How will you go about assessing the hazards and the risks?

As an event producer you are responsible for the well-being of your audience. In the course we will look at how you can increase welfare for your audience when they are at your event.

Preview 02:09

As an event producer, an event manager or an event organizer you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your audience. The aim of health and safety regulations is to prevent accidents or injuries in workplaces or public environments.

In other words, you need to think about aspects that might cause harm to your visitors and how you will prevent harm from happening (or at least minimize the impact). This means you need to identify hazards and risks.

Hazard: anything that has the potential to cause harm to people

Risk: the likelyhood that the harm from a hazard is realized

I have attached The Event Safety Guide. This is the British Guide from 1999 and there have been updates on laws and regulations. There is also an American version of The Event Safety Guide.

What is health & safety at events?

You are responsible for the well-being of guests at your event. I'm not just talking about having enough security at your event. Think of food poisoning, visitors being drunk, one of your guest being hit by an on-site vehicle, fire breaking out inside a venue, drug use, etc.

As the "responsible person" (or the occupier of the premises) you have a duty of care for:

  • employees, staff, volunteers
  • your audience
  • your contractors

Negligence is punishable by law so make sure you do everything possible to comply with regulations.

This workshop points you in the right direction but make sure you always check with your licence provider about their health & safety regulations. Regulations, laws, and rules are different per country and sometimes even per region so please make sure you double check with your authorities.

Preview 02:30
Planning your event
3 Lectures 11:07

You need to know what you want to organize. Sounds simple right? Well this is were a lot of event organizers make mistakes. Some roughly know what kind of event they want to organize but the details are missing:

  • where to organize your event
  • who can you expect at your event
  • how many visitors will come to your event
  • how many security is needed
  • how many toilets do you need for 10,000 visitors
  • how many first aiders or doctors do you need on site
  • how to communicate to your audience
  • transportation plan and signage plans
  • logistics of building up and breaking down an event

And the list goes on. It is called event PLANNING for a reason...

You need to be prepared for the worst and come up with solutions to potential problems (or preferably try to avoid them). This session is all about you getting ready to start thinking about your event plan.

The importance of an event plan

You need to know who you audience is before you pick your venue (or premises). Describe your audience:

  • age
  • gender
  • disposable income
  • geographic

All of the above items will have an impact on several health and safety aspects of your event. An audience of young adults might consume more alcohol/drugs at your event then a more mature audience. Young children might not understand the safety procedures (signage, communication) and an audience of senior citizens might need more time to evacuate a building. If your event attendees need to travel from far you need to provide them with parking spaces or public transport providers need to be notified.

So who is your audience? And how will your audience impacts your health and safety measures at your event?

Knowing your audience

Choosing an event site requires you to think carefully about what it is you want to achieve with your event. A premises (a greenfield site, a building, or a place you organize your event) needs to work for your event. It needs to work from a marketing and commercial point of view but is also needs to work from a safety point of view.

  • ingress and egress
  • logistics
  • audience movements
  • size and capacity
Understanding your event site

From a safety point of view, why is it important to know who will attend your event?

Knowing your audience
1 question
Site survey and site design
6 Lectures 11:45

A site survey is an assessment of all the aspects of an event that are likely to impact on the crowd safety management plan.

  • Why is it important?
  • Who should carry it out?
  • When should it be carried out?
  • Make sure to speak to your safety coordinator and your location manager when conducting a site survey.

Attached you will find The Safety at Sports Grounds Guide. This guide explains how to calculate the capacity of your event.

Preview 02:57

A site survey happens at the early stages of your production. Make sure you visit your location several times. In this session we will discuss the different items you need to consider when conduction a site survey. Make sure you keep the following in mind when doing a site survey:

  • Site design
  • Capacity
  • Staffing levels
  • Safety of everyone on site
What to look for when conducting a site survey

Go to your living room and do a site survey. It doesn't matter how big or small your room is just treat it as if it will be the site for an event.

This is an exercise to test your understanding of "size".

Open the document to see the instructions.

If you have any questions please post them in the discussion board.

Exercise: checking your event site capacity
1 page

This is another exercise. I live in Brighton (United Kingdom) and every summer plenty of events and festivals are being organized throughout the city. A favourite location seems to be the seaside for events such as bike races, classic cars exhibitions, rugby world cup screenings, and movies on the beach. It's all happening on the seaside in Brighton!

I have filmed the site and I want you to do a site survey for me. I appreciate that you cannot see all the details as good as you would if you were here in person. Have a look and let me know what you think are the most obvious potential hazards to you.

Exercise. Checking an event site for potential issues

Joseph Pred is the CEO of Mutual Aid Response Services (MARS) and he has worked with music and art festivals such as Burning Man (USA), Glastonbury (UK), and Insomniac (USA). His company is based in San Francisco. I interviewed Joseph in the summer of 2015.

Introduction of Joseph Pred, expert in safety and emergency management

After your site survey it is time to design the site based on what you now know (after the survey). According to the Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds the 5 factors you should consider when calculating you final capacity are:

1. The entry capacity

2. The holding capacity

3. The exit capacity

4. The emergency evacuation

5. The final capacity

We will look at the physical and safety factors, the sightlines, and the crowd flow at your event that determines the layout of your site.

What is site design?
Risk Assessment for your event
6 Lectures 12:33

A risk assessment is a document in which you describe the process to identify potential hazards and analyze what could happen if a hazard occurs.

A hazard = anything which has the potential to cause harm to people

A risk = the likelihood that the harm from a hazard is realized

It is not an easy task to make a risk assessment. Some might say that you should leave the risk assessment to the professionals but I think you need to know how to create one. After all, you are the responsible person.

What is a risk assessment?

The 5 steps you need to remember when creating a risk assessment:

  1. identify hazards
  2. who might be harmed by these hazards and how
  3. evaluate the risk and decide on precautions
  4. record the findings and implement them
  5. review the assessment and update where needed

Step 5 is something you will keep doing until the event / festival has finished. (including the break down!)

Preview 02:06

It's difficult to spot potential hazards. When you first create a risk assessment you might want to picture your event attendees as small children. Small children want to touch everything, they want to pick things up, they fall over stuff.... etcetera. Your audience might not act like small children but a drunk festival attendee can do some remarkable things. Trust me!

So look at your festival site through the eyes of your festival attendees (including the ones that are drunk). Will your audience act like small children? If so, what can they pick up, stumble upon, who can they hurt....

I can only give you some examples. Each venue, each greenfield site is different. The organization is different, the crowd is different, the food is different, the weather is different, etc. Make sure you discuss your list of hazards with your emergency services and/or local authorities.

Risk assessment example

Joseph Pred, CEO of Mutual Aid Response Services explain why you need a risk assessment for your event. Joseph is frequently asked to speak at conferences on the subject of health and safety at events and large gatherings.

Interview Joseph Pred

Years ago I was in a nightclub where I didn't feel safe. The venue was too crowded and it was boiling hot. At one time security had to open the emergency exits to let fresh air into the room. In my opinion that wasn't a safe place yet no one left the venue. I did not leave either, until it got too much for me. No one got injured but it did make me very aware that I should always keep my wits about me.

Have you been in situations where you didn't feel safe? This can be in a nightclub, a bar, at an event, at a festival, a train station or another public space. Situations you can think of: weather conditions, crowded, crowd behaviour, or..... [fill in the blanks]

Add your answers to the discussion board of this workshop.

Exercise: create your own risk assessment

Joseph Pred (www.MARS911.info) explains the practical implementation of your risk assessment.

Interview: What to think of when you create a risk assessment
Medical support and first aid at your event
4 Lectures 10:24

Medical and first aid facilities at your event are incredible important. But what do you need to have on site? Do you need an ambulance on standby or can you treat people in your own medical facilities?

And what do we mean by welfare at festivals?

When minimizing the medical and/or health risks at your event you need to look at some of the following:

  • type of audience (demographics but also size of your crowd)
  • the idea behind your event (is it a rave or a family event)
  • location (ie. proximity to medical facilities)
  • duration of your event (when do doors open and when are all visitors gone)
  • weather
  • acts/performers
  • activities (fairground rides, games, competitions)
  • misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • capacity and time spend queueing
  • transportation (car, train, public transport)

Again this list is to give you an idea of what to think of but more items could (should) be included.

Plan what and who you need at your event

At your event or festival you need to have some facilities for your medical workers. The first thing to think of is the area you offer to your first aiders. Consider where this will be located on site and how easy it is for attendees to get to these facilities. Besides this you need to think about the logistics of your facilities:

  • location to transport patience off site
  • access to the facilities

In this section we will discuss the equipment that can go into a medical facility area. You always need to check with your medical team provider what they exactly need on site. This should be discussed way in advance of your event/festival taking place. Always consult with medical experts!

The facilities

In this section you will learn the importance of working with a good and professional medical team.

There are several organizations that can provide you with more information regarding welfare and/or harm reduction programs at events and festivals. Please do check their websites.

Attitude is Everything (UK) - improving deaf and disabled people's access to live music

Dance Safe (USA) - promoting health and safety within the electronic music community

The Zendo Project (USA) - proving a supportive environment and education to transform difficult experiences into valuable learning opportunities

What to look for when hiring a medical team

I've got 3 questions for you. Please check The Event Safety Guide for this question. It doesn't matter whether you use the UK or the USA version of the guide. You can find the Event Safety Guide as an attachment in the 3rd lecture of this workshop (the importance of health & safety at your event).

Please provide your answers in the discussion board.

Good luck!

Preview 1 page
Minimizing the risks, increasing the safety of your event
5 Lectures 12:52

Your signage plan is a layout of al the signage used at your event or festival site. The bigger your event the more signage you will have. But before you plaster the entire site with signs....think. Be clever about what you tell your audience, where you tell it and how you tell it.

In your signage plan you need to include the following:

  • overview of the walk and driving directions (crowd flow on site and off site)
  • type of signage (electronic, boards, font size, colour)
  • placement of signage (roads, entrance, on site)
  • signage according to law

Your communication plan is a clear description of how and when communication will take place and by whom. There are 2 parts to your communication plan:

  1. internal communication
  2. external communication

In this section you will learn what goes in each of the plans. The point of creating a communication plan is to minimize potential risks and be prepared.

Communication channels

Your emergency plan gives a clear description of the preventive measures when incidents occur. These measures should be discussed with your local authorities and the emergency services, including your medical team and your security coordinator. In your emergency plan you cover the following subjects:

  • emergency routes
  • emergency exits
  • requirements of ambulances and fire trucks
  • communication channels
  • responsibilities of organization
  • risk assessment
  • medical care
  • communication towards visitors in case of emergency
  • spokes person for press and media
  • evacuation plan
  • recovery place

Again this list is not exhaustive and you should always discuss your emergency procedures with your local authorities.

Emergency procedures

No one wants to cancel the event you have been working on for so long. However it sometimes happens. In this section you will see a "real life" case study of a festival that got cancelled hours before doors were to open.

How could you have prevented this?

What would you have done differently?

Cancellation process

In this exercise you will find 3 case studies. Each case study represents an event where something (emergency, accident) happened. My question to you is: What would you have done differently if you were the event organizer? You might come to the conclusion that the organizers did everything right. I leave that to you.

Please place your answers on the discussion board of this course.

Exercise: 3 case studies of accidents at events. What would you do?
2 Lectures 02:47

I have already answered this question: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!

You are the event producer, the event planner or the event organizer so you are the one throwing this party. You are the reason people came to your event site. If you think that throwing a party doesn't come with responsibilities you are probably not cut out for the event industries.

In this section I will give you several examples of why you, as the organizer, are responsible.

Who is responsible at your event?

Always talk to your permit or license provider. Most likely this is your local authority (city hall, council, local government). Do not see them as the "enemy" that tries to prevent you from organizing your event. See them as a partner in the process. You need them so listen to them and discuss your plans with them.

In this section I will tell you who I used to talk with to get the correct licenses. In one case this involved about 25 different parties: 3 different city councils, environmental agencies, security, traffic police, health organizations, railway company, bus companies, neighborhood committees, etc.

Who should you talk to?
4 Lectures 03:28


You can not create a risk assessment the day before your event. It is not an add-on or an after thought. A risk assessment makes you think about the potential harm your event can cause to other people. Start creating your risk assessment at an early stage and keep updating it up until the day of your event (even then you can keep updating it).

The 5 steps you need to remember when creating a risk assessment:

  1. identify hazards
  2. who might be harmed by these hazards and how
  3. evaluate the risk and decide on precautions
  4. record the findings and implement them
  5. review the assessment and update where needed

Take your responsibility and speak to your partners that can help you organize a safe event.

The 5 steps of a risk assessment

A final piece of advice from Joseph Pred. If you are new to even planning what should you do? Where do you start?

Time to plan your event!

Once you know what it is you want to organize you need to start planning the details. These details include the safety of your event.

I hope you enjoyed this workshop. For more information please visit www.eventtutor.com where you can also find other workshops such as:

  • event planning
  • sustainable event management
  • wedding planning
Final thoughts

I have produced other workshops covering event planning:

1. Event To Plan A Successful Event: An Easy Guide

2. Sustainable Event Management In 8 Easy Steps

3. Wedding Planning

I have also written an eBook about you implementing an environmental plan. The book is called Event Management: Your Environmental Plan. You can download this on Amazon.

For more information please visit www.eventtutor.com

Preview 01:08
2 Lectures 00:00

The Event Safety Guide is an incredible helpful document for any event planner. Be aware that laws, rules, and regulations differ per country and/or region so always double check with your local authorities what the latest regulations are. If you are an American student you should check out the American version of the Event Safety Guide.

The Event Safety Guide (UK edition)
190 pages

The Guide to Safety At Sports Grounds (a.k.a The Green Guide) includes information about how to calculate your capacity. The guide is written for events in sports arenas but there are definitely subjects in there that are applicable for events and festivals.

The Safety at Sports Grounds guide
232 pages
About the Instructor
Jarno Stegeman
4.2 Average rating
116 Reviews
3,069 Students
4 Courses
The Event Tutor, online workshops in event planning

Passionate about events!

I have over 15 years experience in events, festivals and education. From organizing events for 100 people to festivals for 30,000 people, I've done it.

In my career I have worked as an event manager, a researcher at music festivals, and as a university lecturer in event planning. I'm still very much active in the event industry:

* Coordinator for A Greener Festival

* Production family events

* Researcher at music festivals (Bonnaroo, Lightning in a Bottle, San Francisco Pride)

* Wedding planner

Sign up for my workshops and I will teach you what you need to do in order to plan and organize an event, wedding or festival.

The 5 workshops you should keep an eye out for, are:

1. How To Plan A Successful Event: An Easy Guide

2. Sustainable Event Management In 8 Easy Steps

3. Event Safety

4. Event Marketing

5. Wedding Planning

Sign up today!

My CV:

A Greener Festival

I am a keen advocate of sustainable event management. Working with A Greener Festival, co-founded by one of my former students, is extremely insightful. As the coordinator for the Award Scheme in North America it is rewarding to see so many festivals (50 festivals world-wide in 2014) taking part in our award scheme.

San Francisco Pride
The San Francisco Pride weekend in 2013 attracted over 1 million people to the city. The events leading unto this weekend were plannend and produced by me. In 2014 I was the coordinator of the Economic Impact Study on behalf of SF Pride and the city of San Francisco. The aim of this research was to measure the economic impact this event has on the city and the wider community. In 2015 I coordinated a demographic study for SF Pride.

British University
Senior Lecturer and Course Leader of the Music & Live Event Management course at Buckinghamshire New University in England. I was responsible for the content and the delivery of courses such as Event Planning & Management, Sustainable Event Management, Event Production, Business Economics, and Strategic Management in the Leisure Industry.

Most Inspirational Tutor Award
I am very proud that I was awarded the prestigious Most Inspirational Tutor-Award by the students of Buckinghamshire New University in 2010 and 2011.

The International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies
From 2006 until 2013 I was the project manager for the International Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies, where I was responsible for planning and managing research projects at concerts and large scale festivals such as PinkPop in Holland, Creamfields in the UK, and Exit Festival in Serbia.

In 2010 my research at Exit Festival, a security and safety audit, got published in the book Case Studies in Crowd Management, Security and Business Continuity. Do check it out!

In 2015 I published my first eBook Event Management: Your Environmental Plan. This eBook covers the steps an event organization can take in order to make their event(s) more sustainable.

Club Health
On behalf of Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still I spoke at the Club Health conference about the “Underlying Causes of Crowd Accidents”. Ever since my undergraduate study, I wrote my thesis about the health & safety aspects at Dance Valley Festival in the Netherlands, I’ve been interested in crowd behavior at events and festivals.

Safety plan CliniClowns Tour
I have researched and written a safety plan for staff and visitors of a theater production of CliniClowns, one of the Netherlands most respected charitable organizations. This theater production was aimed at people with multiple disabilities. A rewarding project to get involved with!

Personal Licence Holder in England
As a Personal Licence Holder in England and Wales, I can act as a designated premises supervisor for any business that sells or supplies alcohol. A great advantage when working at events and festivals.

Pit Training Certificate
The Certificate in Pit Training that I have received is recognized across the industry in the United Kingdom as the qualification required for staff working in the front of stage pit at concerts and festivals.

Research in the Netherlands
As the co-founder of the Entertainment Research Center in the Netherlands I worked with large scale music festivals on licensing and permits, health & safety, and crowd management research.