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Essential Safety Considerations For Your Conference Or Event

Organising an event or exhibition is a huge responsibility, not least because you need to ensure the health and safety of your attendees. This is not only for the obvious duty to their welfare, but it is also a legal obligation and essential for upholding the reputation of your business. Here are some points to bear in mind. 


Make an assessment of the venue

The first step is to assess the suitability of the exhibition venue. Does it have sufficient capacity for the activities you want to carry out and the number of people attending? Are there any obvious choke points such as near entrances and exits? Will there be room for people to comfortably network during breaks?


Consider accessibility for people with disabilities. Do all the conference or event rooms have level step-free access? Are the corridors and doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and are there disabled toilets? Check out where the emergency exits are, and if there are plans for evacuating wheelchair users from upper floors. 


Carry out a risk assessment

You may wish to appoint a designated health and safety officer to carry out a risk assessment and ensure that your event is compliant with the relevant regulations. 


The assessor should identify potential hazards such as trip hazards from trailing cables for electrical equipment, steps that are not clearly marked, or flooring that could be slippery when wet. If you are hiring equipment for the event, the correct lifting and carrying techniques should be followed. 


The security and access to the venue should be considered. How will the attendees identity be verified, and will it be necessary to implement screening procedures such as bag checks? For each potential hazard identified, a strategy should be put in place to mitigate them.


Have an emergency response plan

Establish an emergency response plan for various scenarios, such as a medical emergency, a fire, a security threat, or adverse weather event. Ensure that there are some trained first-aiders among the event team, and that there is a readily available medical kit. 


Put a chain of command in place so that all the team know their role and who they are answerable to in place, and if necessary consider hiring extra security personnel.


Signage systems and pre-event information

A clear signage system should be in place at the venue to indicate emergency exits, potential hazards, and emergency procedures. All staff and attendees should be informed how to promptly report any safety or security issues. Any reported incidents should be immediately investigated and a follow-up report made.


When registering for the event, attendees should be asked about any disabilities, medical conditions or special dietary requirements they have, so these can be accommodated on the day. It would also be prudent to outline the basic safety protocols and procedures in advance of the event, and ask attendees to provide emergency contact details.


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