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A survival guide to #NSVW19 event risk management

How to identify and manage risks before they happen.

Understanding the importance of identifying and managing risks before they happen is crucial to the success of an event.

To understand risk, you need to realise that any event has possible positive and negative risks. Accepting this fact is vital in event organisation.

Why understand risk?

It’s human nature to fall into the trap of thinking that risks have only negative effects. However, a negative risk can actually create positive risk and open up opportunities to make your event smarter, more efficient and more rewarding.

What are potential risks?

An event is planned to do a "Stream Clean Up Day" connecting student volunteers with the environment and playing an active role in conservation. Potential risks could be:

  • Slips and falls - will all volunteers be advised to wear appropriate footwear?
  • Injuries (cuts, bruises and sprains) - will there be first-aid kits available? will a first aid officer be on hand?
  • Unpredictable weather - what information will be given about appropriate clothing to be worn?

We’ve identified the five steps of the risk management process and created a risk assessment template to help you with your next event:

1. Identify the risk:

Discuss and describe the risks associated with your event (and its outcomes) with your team.

2. Analyse the risk:

Now that you have identified possible risks, begin dissecting the risk and detail how it may affect the goals and objectives of your event.

3. Evaluate or rank the risk:

Decide to what degree the risk is acceptable (doesn’t pose a threat to the event) or serious (needing an action plan).

4. Treat the risk:

Assess your high-ranking risks (the most serious ones), and draw up a plan to treat or modify them to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

5. Monitor & review the risk:

This is the final step (hooray!). Use the risk assessment template to monitor, track and review the risks identified earlier.