Hosting Events at Match Venues
By their very definition, match venues are locations which are able to hold thousands of individuals. Although commonly used as sports arenas and for other forms of entertainment, match venues can also be great locations to host large events such as business seminars and similar mass gatherings. Wembley Stadium and Millennium Stadium are two examples of large structures that the public tends to be very familiar with. One major concern is addressing the logistics behind any such event. In other words, how should any large gathering be hosted and what are the primary variables that need to be taken into account? Let us break this question down into a few discrete categories.
All About the Location
Match venues are great ideas for an event due to their ability to accommodate thousands of visitors at any given time. However, not all are created equally. Some of the most basic concepts that first need to be taken into account are the location (how easily visitors can arrive), the parking spaces, the bathroom facilities and how much the venue will cost to rent out for a specific period of time. These variables should always be exceedingly clear before addressing other concerns.
Health and Safety
It is always important to address health and safety issues. In fact, there are some venues which will not allow an event to take place without having a robust plan beforehand. It is normally advisable to outsource security issues to a third-party provider. Gatherings such as electronics exhibitions or those which contain numerous kiosks always run the slight risk of theft. This threat is magnified as the number of visitors increase. So, it may also be advisable to determine whether or not the facility employs closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. This will help to guarantee that the needs of the patrons are attended to while the risk of theft is mitigated by the visual presence of a security team.
In terms of safety, we are referring to police and an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) presence. There is always the chance that a medical emergency can occur. Examples could be a heart attack, a woman going into labour or even a situation where multiple injuries occur simultaneously (such as the 2014 ceiling collapse at the Apollo Theatre). These staff need to be present during any such event. Not only could this avoid potentially crippling lawsuits, but the fact of the matter is that lives can be saved.
Another significant consideration revolves around evacuating a large crowd in the event of an unforeseen circumstance such as a bomb threat, a structural issue or a fire. The number of emergency exits should correlate with the expected number of attendees. All portals need to be clearly marked and when relevant, backed up with emergency lighting. Any security personnel should likewise be informed as to the location of these exits and the means by which they can expedite an evacuation if the order is given. If disorder occurs during such a situation, the health and welfare of every visitor will be placed in jeopardy.
It is critical for the organisers to coordinate their efforts with the management of the venue as well as with local authorities such as police and fire. Some topics to consider are those mentioned above as well as how many people are expected to attend, how long the event will last and even variables such as extra parking or traffic control around the immediate area. This will help to ensure that the entire event runs smoothly and the guests can fully enjoy their stay.
Food and Drink
There may be times when a match venue event supplies food and drink to the guests. Of course, this will depend upon the number of attendees and the budget of the host. While food is normally optional, the ability to access drinking water is essential. Those with existing medical conditions, the very young and the elderly are more prone to dehydration. This situation is only exasperated if the gathering is held during warmer times of the year. Water fountains are essential and there could even be instances when dedicated stalls that supply drinks are a wise choice. Much like the emergency exits, the location of these resources should be clearly marked.
Above all, every staff member who is involved with the event should review the topics mentioned above. It is a good idea to provide them with a two-way communications system (such as a walkie-talkie) as well as a hand-held map ahead of time. Should an emergency occur, they will be able to respond quickly and address any issues before they become major problems.
Hosting any event at a match venue involves a great deal of preparation. Not only must the gathering be pleasurable for all of those who are attending, but the safety of every patron is the top priority. This checklist is an excellent way to make certain that nothing is left to chance.