Organising an event

Guidance for event organisers: people and personnel

Guidance for event organisers for managing people and personnel for their public event.

Management organisation

Compose a hierarchical organisational chart detailing the names of all involved in management of the event, either paid or unpaid and their individual responsibilities.

Contact details

Your contact details should include the names, addresses and phone numbers (land and mobile) of all event organisers/managers, and the names and contact details for all staff, contractors, volunteers, venues and agents.

Audience profile

Consider the profile of your audience eg who, how many people are expected to attend the event and accessibility requirements.

You should ensure that all arrangements made, including emergency procedures, meet the needs of disabled people.

Crowd management

Your crowd management plan should include how you propose to manage crowds, prevent crowd disturbances, crushing, pinch points or other incidents during the event. The crowd management plan should form a key element of your event management planning and should include the following procedures:

  • numbers of exits and entrances
  • number of security, stewards or marshals
  • dispersal policy
  • emergency evacuation plan
  • monitoring throughout the event
  • stewards positions and scheduling

The crowd management plan should incorporate details of the number and type of stewards and security, work protocols, methods of communication, chains of command, contingency planning and emergency response.

Stewards and security staff

Stewards responsible for crowd management should be identifiable (tabards, uniforms). Certain activities are classed as security activities in legislation and can only be undertaken by licensed security personnel, including door supervisor activities, searching of visitors and guarding activities.

The ratio of stewards (and/or security personnel) to visitors at an event should be identified early in the planning process, following a risk assessment. Every event is different and as such we would not recommend applying a formula to assess the numbers of personnel needed.

However, you should work on the basis of approximately one steward for every 50 members of the public for an indoor standing event and one steward for every 150 members of the public where seating is provided at an indoor event.

Ratios for outdoor events may need to be higher depending on the size of the event space. Additional requirements may also be needed at events attended by children.

The number of security personnel needed (guards, door supervisors etc) will be dependent on the type of event and your security contractor will be able to advise on this. 


Radios can ease communication between the organisers and stewards. The radio network must be licensed by the Department of Trade and Industry (the radio suppliers will assist you with this).

You may need to draw up a list of radio channels to be used (numerous channels for large scale events with 'production' on one channel and 'emergency' on another etc) and provide operational instructions for all those using radios during the event, including call signs, emergency cut of actions, radio silence etc.


For individuals or companies that you are using, employing and/or contracting to carry out any service and/or hiring for the event, you must ensure the following information is held:

  • list all goods/services the contractors are supplying
  • contractors’ contact details
  • contractors’ method statements
  • schedules such as start date and time, arrival time, completion of services, receipt of goods
  • hand-over of all appropriate certificates, eg portable appliance test certificate

All signed documents such as delivery notes and completion sheets should be retained on your event files and records.