Before the event

Building event safety begins in the planning stages. Anticipation may help prevent problems, while preparing for different scenarios gives the organisers the confidence to act in them. General instructions on planning events are available in HYY’s Guide for Organisations (currently only in Finnish).

Take at least the following into account:

1. Either principles of safer space or event safety principles are in use at the event.

When the event has some shared ground rules, it is easier to take action if someone behaves inappropriately. The aim of the principles is to create practices that help everyone promote a safer and more equal environment at the event.

The principles can be different at different events: for instance, it may be necessary to set different principles for remote events than live events. You can use HYY’s principles of safer space as an example, editing them to suit your organisation or event.

2. The event has at least two persons in charge of event safety.

    Different organisations have different names for the people in charge of event safety, such as equality officer or support person. In the end, they all deal with the same thing. The person in charge of event safety is someone who the participants can talk to about any problem situations that arise during the event. The person in charge of safety helps with the situation as best they can.

    The person in charge of event safety is not a police officer, doctor or psychologist, nor are they superhuman. They should also not be the only one who takes action in problem situations. Members of the board and the event organisers must all be aware of how to act in different situations and ready to react if needed. All discussions with the person in charge of event safety are confidential, and all participants should be aware of this. Participants must be able to trust that information about them taking action or experiencing harassment will not spread in the organisation.

    The persons in charge of event safety must be:

    • Clearly marked with something distinctive (e.g. shoulder strap, vest, badge)
    • Able to function throughout their shift (completely sober)
    • As neutral as possible in all situations
    • Familiar with event safety (by having read this manual, for instance) and the venue
    • Approachable

    3. You have clearly communicated about the event safety principles and the persons in charge of event safety.

    Communicating about event safety before the event helps ensure that all participants can commit to the shared principles and know who they can turn to in problem situations. You can tell participants about event safety in a confirmation message sent to their email, for instance. The instructions can also be printed out and fixed to the walls or toilet facilities at the venue. In addition to this, it is advisable to mention the principles and the persons in charge of event safety at the beginning of the event.

    4. The event organisers have familiarised themselves with the premises at the venue.

    We recommend doing this before the day of the event if possible. This helps prevent problem situations and risks related to the premises. If possible, assign a space as a quiet room. In almost all problem situations it is important to have a quiet room at your disposal – whether the situation involves facing a shocked individual, a participant who is too drunk or resolving a problem situation that has already occurred.

    5. Access control at the event is well planned.

    Access control for the event must be organised in such a way that the organisers are aware of the number of participants in the premises. If the event is not open to everyone, the organisers must know who the people present are. In buildings that have other premises, too, it is important not to allow entry to the building to people who are not coming to your event. If there are people with no legitimate reason to be there trying to enter the building or venue, you should not hesitate to contact the building’s security service and/or the police.

    6. The event organisers are prepared for problem situations and know what to do.

    The persons in charge of event safety and the organisers must be prepared to call for help. Important phone numbers, such as the number of the guard in charge of the venue, should also be saved in your phone in advance. HYY’s premises have their own guards who you can call in problem situations. The persons in charge of event safety should also make sure that they know where the emergency exits and first-aid extinguishing equipment are located.

    7. You can always call the emergency number.

    Everyone, both organisers and participants, should remember that you can and should always call 112 if you feel it is needed. The emergency response centre will give you advice with your situation and decide whether to send in an ambulance, for instance.

    Last modified: Wednesday, 22 November 2023, 10:39 AM