4 July 2023
Safety is the cornerstone of your event
If you work professionally with security, you can learn more about the processes you have to go through in order to run a good and safe event at the Danish Security Fair. Because it's about understanding that there are several phases that must play together if the whole thing is to work.
When creating a secure event, it is especially important to consider two things: Capacity and event phases.
"You have to analyze the place and calculate the square meters and pay attention to both entrance and exit conditions."
The recommendation comes from Sofie Dahl, head of consultancy at Event Safety, which is a company that offers knowledge sharing, advice and training on events. The second thing of the recommendation is:
"You should also have a broader understanding of the event phases. It is good that there is a single entrance for e.g. a concert, because people come scattered from three hours before the concert starts until right up to. But when the concert is over, all the guests have to leave at the same time. Here, it is important to ensure that people can get out in more places, so that they are not masted.”
Permit jungle and Covid-solution
Sofie Dahl recognizes that when an event needs to be put together – big or small – it can be a very difficult jungle to navigate.
“There are really a lot of permits that you have to apply for. It's a permission jungle! One must e.g. both have permits from the municipality and the police. The difficulty is also that it is very different from municipality to municipality whether they approve your application, depending on which case manager is dealing with the case.”
During the Covid-pandemic, where drive-in concerts were arranged, there were initially no rules for how these concerts could be held. This meant that many authorities were unclear as to whether or not they had to give permission for it. Therefore, Event Safety's work mainly consisted of helping the authorities on their way with the practical approach to how the concerts could be carried out safely.
"It actually made us really proud that we could indirectly help so many," says Sofie Dahl.
More demanding to scale up than down
On a daily basis, Event Safety advises both small and large customers. Sometimes organizers have asked if they can't just make their party space smaller and save a little money that way.
"However, it is not that simple. Because if you want to let fewer people in, it requires much of the same. If you go from 6000 to 3000 guests, you still need to staff the backstage entrance, the emergency exits, the stage area and the entrance. It requires almost the same number of employees, and the costs for the stage and lighting will be the same," explains the consulting manager.
"If you go from a small event to a much bigger one, that's a different matter. Then we have to recalculate how many people can be admitted, how to evacuate and how many toilets have to be set up," she adds.
At the Danish Security Fair, Sofie Dahl will talk about crowd management, which is about planning and supervising many people who gather. Another point in her presentation will be about behavioral understanding - how to handle many people in one place.
The future of event safety
Sofie Dahl also says that after Covid there was an unfortunate tendency for the audience to be blamed for not behaving nicely at events. It was not a fair interpretation, she believes:
"In many cases it was the organizers who were not properly prepared. 99 percent of the concert-goers were there to have a good experience - and then there is the organizer, who is responsible for ensuring that the queue does not get too long. It was our own machinery that had challenges, because we had to remember again how we ran events," says Sofie Dahl.
The head of counseling sees it as a challenge if it becomes a general tendency to blame the audience for something they have no control over. On the other hand, she also believes that crowd management will take up more space.
"I think that the work with crowd management will become greater and that there will be more focus on how to safely gather many people. We have already come a long way here at home and most of the organizers are really talented. But we can always become more skilled, so we must continue to ensure knowledge sharing with each other and help the inexperienced organizers to improve. It is the proper way to do it, because it is after all about the safety of the audience at our events," concludes Sofie Dahl.