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Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
Jun 14

Don't Copy Someone Else's Event Management Plan

Trying to copy someone else's Event Management Plan to use for you event, or taking an Event Management Plan template and trying to use that is NOT the answer.

I'm sure it's tempting to find one online somewhere and use it.

We're finding that more and more these days that people are needing Event Management Plans (EMP) where they may be in any or all of the following positions:

  • They never needed one before
  • They had NO idea they'd need one
  • They don't understand WHY they need one
  • They straight out resent needing one
  • They think the 'health & safety stuff will ruin the event'

. . . as well as variations of some or all of the above. 

We genuinely understand them. We do. We often have to spend time with new clients allaying their fears and demonstrating our value beyond ticking the box with an Event Management Plan. 

Why is it not the answer?

If you take an EMP from a different event or, indeed, a template and try to use it to 'tick the box' for your event you're taking a lot of different risks.

Here are some of the main ones:

  • You'll leave out things which SHOULD be considered for your event but now won't be because they're not in the one your copying.
  • You'll INCLUDE things that aren't relevant to your event which will waste your time and, again, likely prove to the people reviewing it that you simply copied another one.
  • You may do yourself and the event a disservice as the people to whom you're submitting the EMP, if they're experienced, are very likely to realise it wasn't done specifically for your event.
  • You may not know who did the one you're copying. That being the case, how do you know it's even a good one?
  • Templates you find online are often produced by particular organisations. So, what's in THOSE EMPs are what that organisation want their member clubs etc. to consider when running an event. It's likely to be very specific to that organisation / those events.
  • Other online templates are produced by local councils / authorities. Again, these will address elements and include things that the powers that be in that particular council want in there. It doesn't mean it will translate well across to where YOUR event will be taking place. 

The bottom line on this is that by not having a proper EMP for YOUR actual event you're putting the safety of your attendees at major risk. 

Is a template of ANY use?

Yes it is. 

It's good for giving you an idea of the types of things you need to consider when organising an event. 

It's just likely not to include EVERYTHING you'll need to consider for YOUR event. 

It's going to have its limitations. It may be missing things that your event needs or, indeed, that is now standard. 

A search online for 'event management plans' tends to throw up the Electric Picnic 2011 one as you'll see in the image above. Lots of people get very excited when they find it and think their prayers have been answered. Surely they just need to copy that one and they're sorted?

No. I'd say no. Here are just a few reasons why I'd say no:

  • It was done nearly 4 years ago. The world has changed a lot. 
  • It was done to satisfy one particular local authority. It's possible they're focused on some things and not bothered about others. 
  • It's a draft. The one used for the actual event could have contained any manner of amendments / changes.
  • It doesn't include many of the noted appendices so you're not getting the full picture.
  • We don't know what feedback they received upon submission of this draft. 
  • It's for a large greenfield site event and, as such, involves very specific challenges, which your event may not. Even if your event IS a large greenfield site event, it's not Electric Picnic is it? 

Oh, and did I mention it's for a different event, not yours?! 

Worst case scenario

Even with the best EMPs, the best staff and the best intentions, incidents will happen. 

If an incident happens at your event and you end up in court so a judge can decide whether it was just an accident or if there's more that could have been done to avoid it happening, do you want to be explaining that your EMP wasn't done by someone competent and experienced in doing them?

Do you want to be telling the judge that you found an EMP online and changed it for your event?

Do you want to be explaining that you didn't want to incur the cost of getting a proper EMP done?

I should hope you don't. 

So, what IS the answer then?

The answer is to find a company that specialises in Event Safety and producing Event Management Plans

EMPs need to be done by people who are experienced, trained, qualified and insured to do them. 

Here at Cuckoo, we're experienced, trained, qualified and insured to do them. 

Give us a shout.

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Hi there! We don't really operate as Cuckoo Events any longer.

The majority of our work now is done as Safe Events. This website is still live as there are a LOT of resources on here - particularly in our Blog section - that people still access very regularly. If that's why you're here, carry on!

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