Special Events: The Planning Stage
The planning stage of any event can be a very time-consuming endeavor. It is very important, however, to formally address as many issues as possible that may arise during the planning of an event in order to limit your liability.

1. Contracts
● Establish who has the authority for negotiation and signing

2. Safety
Crowd control and event security will depend on:
● Type of audience
● Type of event
● The experience of others with similar events
● The usage of restricted areas
● The possibility of problems arising during and after the event

Mitigate these risks by:
● hiring crowd managers and other employees;
● training personnel for the duties they need to perform; and
● providing personnel with safety training, including the use of fire extinguishers and emergency procedures (fire, panic, medical, etc.)
● providing crowd managers if more than 1000 persons are in attendance (approximately one crowd manager per 250 patrons)

Safety equipment
● Ensure emergency exits, lighting, fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment is available
● Perform inspections on equipment before the event
● Utilize site lighting and flashlights (for personnel) if the event occurs during non-daylight hours

Communication equipment
● Determine if radios or cell phone equipment, etc, will be needed

Spectator safety
● Determine if there is a risk of endangering spectators
● Set safety standards

Participant safety
● Determine who is responsible for making sure the facility is safe for the competitors and volunteers

Abuse prevention
● Determine if participants will be at risk of being abused

Incident and accident reporting
● Determine who is responsible for completing and maintaining incident and accident reports

3. Food and Beverages
Food services
● Determine who will provide the food
● Determine what will be provided
● Determine what precautions will be utilized to keep it safe
● Ensure they have insurance

Alcohol services
● Determine who will serve the alcohol
● Obtain a liquor license for the event
● Ensure area where alcohol is served is properly fenced
● Determine who will provide security
● Ensure they serve is properly
● Ensure they have insurance

4. Emergency
First aid
● Determine who will provide it
● Determine the level of care needed (the number of staff and stations required)
● Place signage to direct patrons to first aid station(s)
● Ensure easy access to first aid station(s) (for patrons, medical personnel and emergency vehicles)
● Ensure adequate water supply, emergency supplies and equipment are available
● Place an emergency vehicle (ambulance) on site

Emergency evacuations
● Determine who will develop and invoke the evacuation plan for the facility
● Develop inclement weather contingency plans o Could the event be postponed? What would the penalties be?

5. Facilities
Temporary Structures (tents, booths, stage, fencing, etc.)
● Ensure compliance with municipal regulations and bylaws
● Obtain a building permit
● Determine whether any temporary structures are needed

Washroom facilities
● Ensure there will be enough available (approx. one washroom/150 patrons)
● Provide more washrooms if alcohol is served (approx. one washroom/100 patrons)
● Ensure adequate wheelchair accessible washrooms are provided
● Determine whether any portables are necessary and available

Stands
● Determine whether portable stands are necessary and safe
● Determine whether the permanent stands are safe

Electrical requirements
● Determine what the demands will be
● Determine whether it will be safe and reliable

Road Closures
● Designate a municipal department or personnel to determine the requirements for temporary road closures
● Notify residents and/or public transportation organizations that may be affected by the closure a minimum of 10 days before the event
● Determine how will they be managed (traffic and pedestrian control/detours)
● Consider whether it will create negative publicity

Parking
● Calculate the number of vehicles anticipated and where they will park
● Ensure vehicles park in designated areas (do not obstruct driveways unless one has permission to do so)
● Inquire as to whether public transportation is needed

Vehicle management
● Determine what types of vehicles (including golf carts) are needed on-site
● Determine who will be managing them
● Establish who will provide and manage receptacles
● Ensure hazardous materials are promptly removed and in compliance with regulations.

6. Compliance Issues
Facility capacity limits
● Follow fire regulations

Insurance
● Determine who will provide it and what the cost will be
● Determine the appropriate limit

Licenses and permits
● Determine which licenses and permits are required
● Determine who will obtain them

Site Map
● Create a site map that outlines water services, food services, washrooms and garbage disposal
● Submit the site map to the necessary authorities

Occupational health and safety
● Ensure contractors, employers and workers are aware of their duties
● Ensure compliance with other aspects of health and safety (equipment standards, working conditions, first aid requirements, etc.)

7. Special Activities
Noise
● Limit sound amplification
● Ensure compliance with the municipality's noise regulations
● Ensure speaker stacks are tilted downward towards the crowd instead of straight out over the crowd and site)
● Do not exceed levels of 100 decibels (100 feet from the stage)

Fireworks
● Ensure compliance with legal regulations and guidelines
● Comply with regulations regarding storage and transportation
● Provide notice to fire department
● Obtain higher limits on insurance
● Train persons handling explosives (or consider contracting out service)
● Select an approved firing site
● Keep spectators, property and animals at a safe distance
● If outdoors, monitor weather conditions o If indoors (use of pyrotechnics), monitor ventilation

Quick Fact:
Low level fallouts or unexploded shells in firework displays may cause fires, property damage and bodily injuries to the public and the firing crew.

Moshing
● Determine if it is allowed
● If allowed, determine who will control it and how
● If not allowed, determine how it will be prevented

Animals
● Determine whether animals will be on site
● If so, determine who will be in charge of keeping them under control
● Determine whether any other activities could alarm the animals

Entry management
● If there is a participant entry process, establish who is responsible for determining entry eligibility and rules?
● If waivers are required, determine who will be responsible for drafting them, distributing them and managing them

Filming
● Provide details of filming activity to neighbors in the vicinity (residents and merchants) at least seven days in advance. The following should be included:
● Name of the company
● Name and type of the production
● Nature of activity and duration (i.e, times, dates and number of days)
● Company contacts and phone numbers
● Comply with all setup, filming and employment statutes (municipal, provincial and federal)
● Ensure no damage is caused to private or public property (including trees)
● Ensure the filming company knows it is responsible for clean-up and restoration
● Ensure general liability insurance and automobile third party liability insurance are obtained with a cross liability clause and a 30-day cancellation clause
● Require an indemnification agreement

Parades
● Obtain necessary permits
● Have crowd control measures (private security or police)
● Ensure personnel have adequate training in crowd control
● Have emergency services on hand (police, fire services, ambulance services)
● Utilize sanitation crews to clean up after the parade
● Establish a parade route
● Take into account all traffic detours and street blockades
● Have assembly and dispersal areas set up at the beginning and end
● Avoid overpasses, excavation or construction work
● Avoid odd turns, narrow streets and extreme upgrades/downgrades
● Distribute route to municipal officials, emergency services and parade participants
● Hire unit captains that accompany parade units through the parade route to handle any problems/breakdowns/emergencies
● Ensure adequate space in disassembly area (end of parade route)
● Obtain certificates of insurance on all vehicles
● Ensure drivers/operators participating in parades have adequate experience and qualifications to be in the parade
● Do not allow drivers to drink and drive
● Ensure adequate supervision is available for large groups of children (i.e., boy/girl scouts)
● Ensure sufficient room for accommodate spectators
● Establish locations of all grandstands, judging platforms, television stands, first aid stations, emergency tow vehicles and ambulances
● Ensure overhanging street lights are taken down (so they do not hit passing floats)
● Ensure route will be safe even if weather changes
● Ensure float decorations do not obscure the driver's view of the road
● Ensure drivers/operators can hear verbal instructions
● Ensure floats are sufficiently insulated while still allowing the driver to hear
● Ensure electrical generators are not too loud
● Ensure media personnel are carefully supervised and have press identification badges
● Ensure animals participating in the parade are well-trained, tame and adequately supervised. Do not allow dangerous animals to participate (i.e. tigers)
● Examine all items before throwing them into crowds (i.e. small prizes/food).
● Do not throw heavy items (i.e., canned soda) into crowds

8. Financial Management
Budget
● Determine a realistic and detailed budget

Cash management
● Determine who will have signing authority, deposit cash, do the accounting, and screen those who handle cash
● Determine whether there is a fidelity bond covering staff and volunteers
● Establish how will the cash be stored and transported

Ticket management
● Determine a method to control ticket sales

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