Following the tragic stampede in which at least ten people lost their lives during the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Freedom City mall, Namasuba, Dixon Bon Okello gives his expert advice on how to avoid a similar occurrence.
Dear Event promoters, let’s avoid another stampede. Everyone must have a Clear Role:
Case Study: Balaam Marketing Agency.
Every single Service provider ie: usher, volunteer, security provider, and the vendor knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing and where they’re supposed to be at any given time.
Organize your event staff, and keep it that way. This will ensure that when trouble does arise, your team can spring to action like a well-oiled machine.
A pre-event meeting is definitely great for this purpose. Things you should want to include in the meeting (or at least on the print-out given to everyone involved) would be SOPs (standard operating procedures) for various possibilities, like how to manage the crowd, if there is crowd control failure at the entry or exit points, violence, drunk people, or fire alarms going off.
Try to plan every potential issue during your event, so that if it does happen, people can all follow a plan and know their role in it.
Gates should never be locked using padlocks but instead well trained, trusted security officials, should take charge. This helps during emergency situations. Entry and exit points should be properly planned for (Barriers can really help out).
Make sure the Mc’s are sober and follow a script, as what they say or do on stage can lead to crowd trouble. They should avoid Political, tribal, or religious insults.
Make Sure You’ve Got Trained Security
This is the most important thing you can possibly do for crowd control, and no event should be run without trained security staff at hand.
Most event organizers in Uganda always think of bouncers who believe bullying or intimidating revelers is the best solution.
Close to 95% of Ugandan bouncers lack basic Crowd control and events security training. I would rather recommend well-established private security companies.
Seriously, if you’re thinking of running an event without well-trained security providers, do everyone a favor and resign so they can bring in someone who will.