May 12, 2011
Joe Risser CPCU, ARM-P
Risk Management Design
San Luis Obispo
Special events can present a wide variety of additional risks to a public entity. Often the risks are linked to: uncommon or first time activities, complex activities and mixed crowds, temporary sites and services, involvement of partner and supporting organizations, and reliance on inexperienced staff and volunteers. Skillful management of the event and supporting activities, including the risks, requires through knowledge of the event, adequate controls and financing for losses that may occur despite all of the attention to risk. Assignment of adequate resources for the planning, and execution of the event, whether it be an entity event or the event of another organization at the entity’s facilities, is critical.
Events can become “special” based upon the content, participants, sponsors, venue, funding or other factors. The special “guest” may have armed bodyguards or an entourage of “followers” with whom local authorities will need to interact. Special events are generally beyond the scope of the public entity’s “day to day” activities, requiring exceptional efforts and resources. They may be an event of a city, Annual Holiday Parade, or the event of an outside entity held in a city or county facility, such as a Renaissance Faire. Impacts on the normal operations of the public entity, community, and immediate “neighbors” may be significant or benign, such as special lighting overflow, amplified sound and a surprise fireworks finale. Critical to the management of the event and the risks involved is ownership of the event and/or the venue.