Have you ever been at an event that you didn’t have a hand in organising and wondered what would happen if there was a massive electrical fire? Maybe you have envisioned getting caught up in a panic-stricken stampede during an emergency (like in one of those awful scenes from an apocalypse movie)? It’s during those moments that you look around for all the venue’s exit signs, and then fervently hope and pray that the event organisers have a good system in place to keep everyone safe. Most importantly, you are also reminded why it is so important to have your own ducks in a row when it comes to health and safety regulations at your own events.
Things can, and do, go terribly wrong at events
While no one ever wants to consider that such things could happen, they can! In 2013, for example, one of LG’s promotional events in Seoul went horribly wrong when some rogue attendees whipped out knives and BB guns to get to smartphones vouchers hidden in 100 helium balloons. It wasn’t pretty: Twenty people were injured and seven eventually had to be hospitalised. We are also quite sure that LG’s reputation suffered a significant blow because of this unforeseen catastrophe.
Another sad example is the death of an avid Linkin Park fan who sustained fatal injuries outside of the Cape Town Stadium on the way to the band’s live music event. This tragedy occurred when temporary scaffolding outside of the venue collapsed on a number of concert-goers due to very strong winds. Nineteen people were injured, twelve of whom needed to be hospitalised.
This is why it’s so important that, when planning events, the correct event compliance and ethics procedures are followed and that provision is made for all potential worst case scenarios.
Event compliance procedures need to be right at the top of your event planning checklist
When it comes to event compliance and ethics procedures, it does not pay to cut corners. Are you aware of all the laws and compliance parameters for every single facet of your event?
The SABS Standards Division has developed South African National Standard Requirements for Health and Safety at events, which touches on everything from health and safety responsibilities and duties for event organisers, site and venue owners, to venue and site design and communication regulations for your next big event.
Because the relevant regulatory material is easily accessible to event planners, there is no excuse for event compliance and ethics to fall by the wayside. We suggest that you use the SABS resource (hyperlinked for you above) to double-check that all your events compliance and ethics bases are covered.
Good ethics create a good reputation, says the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EISA)
According to the EISA, ethics is concerned with “the extent to which individuals or organisations act towards others in accordance with ethical values and standards”. The EISA is correct – companies that maintain good ethical standards and prove to be consistently trustworthy tend to retain their clients and customers. Ethical practices are an important component of customer satisfaction, which is directly linked to your brand’s reputation. Think about the recent VW carbon emission scandal and how their unethical practice directly affected their brand reputation and crushed their profit margins.
Is it time to create an event planning code of ethics?
Do you have a code of ethics that you use and communicate to your event management team when planning your corporate events? Such a code could help you with the appropriate procedures and processes for protecting guest’s personal information, for example, and should include information from the POPI Act. Couple this code with sophisticated event registration software that ensures the secure handling and storage of personal data, and you will be well on your way to running events that are POPI compliant.
Event compliance and ethics are crucial. It can take only one disaster to shut down a really good event management company or department.
Want to know more about ensuring that your events are compliant? Download our Event Compliance Checklist to update yourself on the essentials.
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