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Successful Event Management: Top 10 tips

25 September 2013

Steer Davies Gleave's recommendations for the delivery of successful events:

1) Agree roles and responsibilities ASAP
The longer different organisations linger over who is responsible (and paying) for different elements of the overall transport strategy, the more valuable time will be lost.

2) Integrate the transport plan
Event transport operations can impact upon a wide range of other ‘functional areas’ (eg crowd management, city operations and venue management). All these individual elements must work in harmony to achieve a good outcome.

3) It won’t be perfect
With the inevitable budget and political constraints, there will come a time when you must accept “you’ve got what you’ve got” and you need to work with it.

4) Have a single source of truth
Put effort into creating a single set of transport demand forecasts that everyone then uses. Keep a log of all the assumptions and update them as event details are firmed up.

5) Involve stakeholders early
This includes the local council, police and transport operators. You can’t do it on your own. You’ll need their help in the heat of the event.

6) Share your plans
If other key stakeholders do not understand your plan, then you do not have a plan. Ensure that all those affected understand the plan to lower the risk of others doing something that does not fit with the overall objective.

7) Remain flexible
Things WILL change. Event times, locations, even the type of event will change through the planning process, requiring changes to the transport plan. As our erstwhile American colleagues would say, “suck it up” and get on with it.

8) Transferability
Take care when transferring data gathered from one event for the planning of another. Yes, some aspects will be similar, but others will be wildly affected by different geography, culture or the transport infrastructure available in different cities. The key is to understand what can and cannot be transferred safely.

9) Have consistent operational plans
Keep your operating plans and policies as consistent as possible across all your venues. This makes staff training more efficient and provides greater resilience should you need to transfer staff from one venue to another.

10) Stay close to security
Security plans often change late in the planning process to reflect changes in the threat. Transport and security plans must remain mutually compatible to avoid traffic congestion, particularly at venue entrances.

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