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Why risk assessments are crucial for safe events: Navigating the new normal

Posted by Sarah Threlfall

Updated April 2024

In the dynamic landscape of event planning, ensuring safety and compliance has always been important as well as now legally mandated. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical importance of risk assessments in orchestrating safe and successful events as it was only through them that we were even allowed to operate live events at all. As we continue to lead our clients through the evolving terrain of the events industry, it’s important to stay focussed on comprehensive yet realistic risk assessments and to navigate the “new normal” with confidence and responsibility.

What is a risk assessment and why is it crucial?

At the core of event planning lies the fundamental practice of risk assessment. It involves the systematic evaluation of potential hazards, identifying who might be harmed, and implementing measures to mitigate risks. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional risk assessments took on renewed significance. The additional guidelines and protocols introduced in response to the pandemic necessitated an intense study and understanding of the legal position and guidelines as well as how that all interacted with the existing Health and Safety legislation.

The importance of covid risk assessments in events

Risk assessments serve as the cornerstone of event safety, providing a structured framework for identifying and managing potential hazards. Beyond meeting legal requirements, thorough risk assessments instil confidence in stakeholders by demonstrating a proactive commitment to safety. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, failure to conduct adequate risk assessments can have profound consequences, ranging from regulatory non-compliance to reputational damage and your events being shut down.
This could result in your event being immediately shut down.

Sarah Threlfall Onsite Event Management

Benefits of conducting risk assessments for your event

  • Ensuring legal compliance
  • Enhancing safety measures
  • Fostering client trust and satisfaction
  • Building audience confidence
  • Standing out in a competitive market
  • Safeguarding the well-being of all participants

Key considerations for successful risk assessments

1. Early integration of risk assessment considerations into event planning:

  • Identifying potential hazards and risks from the outset
  • Incorporating safety measures into event design and logistics
  • Ensuring that risk assessment is a foundational aspect of event planning rather than an afterthought

2. Engaging all relevant stakeholders in the risk assessment process:

  • Soliciting input and feedback from suppliers, staff, and participants
  • Fostering buy-in and collaboration to ensure the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategies

3. Practicality assessments:

  • Evaluating the feasibility and practicality of proposed risk mitigation measures
  • Considering logistical constraints, resource availability, and operational considerations
  • Striking a balance between safety requirements and the smooth execution of the event

4. Prioritising high-risk areas and activities:

  • Identifying and prioritising areas of the event with the highest potential for risk
  • Allocating resources and attention to mitigate risks in these critical areas
  • Implementing targeted control measures to address specific risks effectively

5. Conducting comprehensive COVID-19 transmission risk assessments:

  • Assessing the potential for COVID-19 transmission at every stage of the event
  • Considering factors such as venue layout, crowd density, and interaction dynamics
  • Incorporating insights from public health authorities and guidelines to inform risk assessment

6. Implementing control measures:

  • Identifying and implementing practical and effective control measures to mitigate risks
  • Enforcing measures such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitation protocols
  • Establishing protocols for monitoring compliance and addressing non-compliance swiftly and effectively

Theatre style meeting

Adapting to the new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a paradigm shift in event planning, prompting organisers to adapt and innovate. While the challenges posed by the pandemic are undeniable, they have also catalysed a wave of innovation in the events industry. From virtual conferences to hybrid experiences, event organisers are leveraging technology to connect attendees while prioritising safety. Moving forward, hybrid events are poised to become the new norm, offering a blend of in-person and virtual components to cater to diverse preferences and mitigate health risks.

Moving towards the new normal with Brightspace Events

According to a recent survey by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) nearly 70% of event planners expect hybrid events to become a permanent fixture, combining in-person and virtual components to cater to diverse attendee preferences and mitigate potential health risks.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brightspace Events has emerged as a beacon of innovation and resilience in event management. Our commitment to thorough risk assessments, innovative formats, and cutting-edge technology sets us apart in delivering exceptional experiences. By embracing the “new normal” and continually refining our risk assessment protocols, we remain steadfast in our mission to rebuild confidence in live events.

Hybrid Event Panel Live Streaming

Why outsource your event management

In an era defined by complexity and uncertainty, outsourcing event management can offer a strategic advantage. Partnering with experienced professionals not only streamlines the planning process but also ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and best practices. By entrusting your event management to experts like Brightspace Events, you can focus on your core objectives while enjoying peace of mind knowing that every aspect of your event is in capable hands.

Choose Brightspace Events today!

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the events industry, placing a renewed emphasis on safety, resilience, and adaptability. Through meticulous risk assessments, proactive safety measures, and innovative event formats, organisers can navigate the “new normal” with confidence and deliver exceptional experiences for all participants. As we collectively chart a course towards recovery, prioritising safety and well-being remains paramount. Choose Brightspace Events today and embark on a journey of safe, engaging, and unforgettable events. Contact us at or get in touch with Sarah to learn more about our comprehensive event solutions.

Sarah Threlfall

Sarah's worked in the corporate event industry across hotels, global event agencies and now at Brightspace for over 25 years and has been lucky enough to deliver some jaw dropping delivered events from Antigua to Zambia. She now leads the agency and is heavily involved with all the projects and is wildly enthusiastic about every client and every event; relishing the challenge to get under their skin and deliver real value in their event strategy. Health and well being are central to her life so she prioritises all sorts of activity with running as her first love and most recently, joining a ladies cricket team. She's also very likely to be found on the touchline of junior football / rugby and cricket matches as well as indulging her love of live theatre. (p.s. as 2 separate hobbies; her kids would disown her if she were bursting into song / bringing out the jazz hands on the sidelines!)