What to consider if you’re showing world cup games on a big screen

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ll be aware that the world cup is nearly here. In fact, at the time of writing this article, we’re only 8 days away!

For many venues, pubs and event locations, the world cup creates an ideal opportunity to get punters through the door and cash over the bar.

To increase capacity, many are planning to show the games on big screens. This is a fantastic idea, and could create a buzz about your business that lasts long after England’s inevitable quarter final exit to Brazil or Germany.

But as positive as these events can be for cash flow, they do pose some unique risks that could, if not managed properly, affect your ability to claim through event insurance should an accident or injury occur.

In this blog, we’ll look at some key risks to consider when planning your event(s) and the best controls to put in place.

How many people can come to the event?

If you’ve hired a large field or open space to stage your event, numbers aren’t as much of a problem for you. But if you’re using an area that usually acts as a beer garden, precautions have to be taken to make sure that there is only ever a manageable amount of customers in the venue at any one time. Overcrowding can lead to crushing, anger and increased chance of injury to members of the public.

Before the event, decide on a reasonable maximum limit of people. During the event, try to maintain breathing space below that limit. For instance, if you decide that your venue can probably just about hold 200 people at a time, make sure there are never more than 185 people in the premises.

Limiting numbers can be difficult when there is extra demand for games. And remember, just because England aren’t playing in a certain game, doesn’t mean that there won’t be a large supporter base for the teams that are.

Consider making your event all ticket, and hiring SIA licensed door staff to work the entrances. You could also only allow entrance via certain doors (as long as other doors can still act as exits).

There is a big BUT with limiting numbers however. Discrimination laws are still in place, and you need to be sensitive and forthright in explaining why people can’t enter your venue. Be fair and just; entrance should only be denied on the grounds of numbers, or anti-social behaviour.

How easy is it to exit the event?

It may sound like we’re preaching to the converted, but it is important to ensure fire exits are clear and working. This links nicely to our next point…

The position of the screen

The best position for viewing doesn’t necessarily equal the best position full stop. Consider where people will want to stand to get the best view. Avoiding congestion in certain areas is vital for limiting accidents and keeping customers happy.

Our advice would be to put the screen in a central location but next to a wall. Customers should be able to see the screen from as many angles as possible, so the crowd is nicely spread out. There should also be enough room to create ‘walkways’ for people going to the toilet or exiting the premises.

Event Safety

With the summer set to be one of the hottest in memory, and the amount of alcohol per person up considerably, expect the number of reported accidents and injury to increase.

But there are definitely steps you can take to limit risk.

As we stated before, limiting numbers to avoid overcrowding is the most important factor. Using plastic cups rather than glass is also a good idea.

However, keeping people safe and injury free isn’t necessarily limited to trips, falls and other obvious injury. If you’re planning on using huge speakers to broadcast the football commentary, consider putting warnings up as to how far away your customers should stand to avoid lasting damage to their hearing.

Employer’s liability with event insurance

The risk of accident or injury to the public is increased for events like these, but there is also the possibility of claims against your employer’s liability. This is especially true if staff are moving through crowds to collect glasses or bringing drinks directly to customer tables.

Accidents to staff in these situations are always difficult to minimise, but you can alleviate the risk. Our top tips for you are limiting the amount of time a staff member is required to walk around the crowd (so they take it in turns), designating staff walk ways that customers can’t stand in, and giving  workers proper training in how to carry food and drink.

If the event is really large and you’ve decided to hire a firm to handle the catering and waiting/bar staff, the sub-contractor should have their own employer’s liability insurance.

Event Equipment

Owned, hired or leased, equipment in this context means anything that is important to the running of the event.

For a starting point, it is vital that safety checks are completed on ALL equipment before the event. This is vital for ensuring the safety of customers, and also making sure that your insurance policy is valid. Broken equipment could cause the event to be cancelled, and also cause physical harm to customers. Uncovered live wires, large items falling over, naked flames around gas; all are more common than they should be.

Please note that it is important that you investigate the validity of checks undertaken by sub-contractors or leasing firms.

Event Licensing

Just because the game is on BBC or ITV, doesn’t mean your standard TV license is necessarily appropriate for you to show the game to large amounts of people. It may also be the case that your license to run your venue doesn’t actually allow you to run an event of that size. Check your license and if you’re in doubt, ask the council about a Temporary Event Notice.

To gain a ‘TEN’, your event must be limited to 500 people at any one time. You can apply for multiple TENs, as long as games are more than 24 hours apart. If you’re hosting more than 500 people or showing games on consecutive days, you may need to officially extend your license.

No matter what license you hold, you should always alert the police when hosting any large event.

Event Insurance Cancellation

At Insure Our Event, we offer cancellation insurance as part of our policies. Although it’s unlikely that games at the world cup are called off (although it has happened before with European qualifying games), your big screen event is still subject to horrendous weather conditions or venue closures outside of your control.

Cancellation insurance could be very useful if you’ve spent a lot of money on equipment and extra licenses for the game.

Risk Assessment

And finally, we suggest that everyone holding an event commits to a thorough risk assessment so they foresee any hazards. At Insure Our Event, our account executives work closely with you to make sure you have the proper level of cover in place and all risks have been accounted for.

For more information on event insurance, contact us today on 0844 488 9207.

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