What should an event company’s head of risk have on their watch list for 2019?


What should an event company’s head of risk have on their watch list for 2019?

14 Jan 2019

Changes to the law and emerging new technologies could usher in some fundamental changes to the management of risk for event companies in the coming year.

New Technology

The events before Christmas at Gatwick with over 140,000 passengers affected when the airport was closed due to illegal drones allegedly flown by eco protesters shows that new technology has a downside.  Calls for a tightening of the law with regards to drones misses the point.  There are perfectly good laws which were tightened this year to control the use of legally manufactured and legally flown drones.  The problem is that with new technology not only can drones fly further for longer, it is possible to build an illegal drone without the inbuilt controls that would prevent such an incursion.  Tightening the law does not work against protesters or terrorists already bent on breaking the law and whose intentions will not be deterred by new legislation.  Gatwick’s spokesperson unhelpfully admitted on television that they are virtually powerless to prevent this kind of incident which presumably now means that we can expect a spate of copycat incidents in the coming year.  The events industry is quite well informed with regards to the threat posed by drones as they are used extensively and legally at events for a wide variety of functions from filming to crowd monitoring.  However the pace of technical changes means that we must make renewed efforts to understand the threat as technology changes.

Whilst Lithium batteries are a potential fire hazard, new battery technology is again advancing quickly and requires that we rethink our approach to temporary electrics.  Venues are rightly concerned with fire safety and by default control access to mains supplies.  The obvious solution is to ban the use of rechargeable batteries for use other than in portable items.  The main issue is not mainstream manufactured portable batteries but cheap imitations made in the far East.  Does this, however, miss the point?  Is there potential for venues or contractors to provide power in the form of rechargeable batteries making mains single phase connections virtually redundant?  Certainly it would be of great benefit in developing countries where the mains connections are often far more dangerous than a battery solution would be.  Do we need to redefine what we mean by mains supply?  Whilst this may seem fanciful, the idea of Formula E, basically electric racing cars, sponsored by all the main motor manufactures with its own world championship would have seemed fanciful until it started a few years ago. Now it is a mainstream motor racing fixture.

These are only two examples and the lesson is clear, the industry needs to do some horizon gazing to identify the threat and opportunities that these and other new technologies pose.



  • "Great day hosting our first AEV working group event!..WOW did I learn a lot and some great insights into how other venues work and the challenges they are trying to overcome. If you are a venue looking to network with other like minded professionals I would recommend looking at joining the AEV".
    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
  • "“Great essential for a successful venue. The AEV provides a platform to establish consistent best practice in this field"
    Phil Wetz
    Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
  • “The AEV provides collective representation for its member venues, turning individual commitment into a group effort"
    Paul Brough
    Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
  • "Proud to be part of this Cross Association discussion. I am confident in our ability to improve and progress our working platform through conversation".
    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Vandenburg
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
  • We have benefited hugely from all of the insight, discussion, events and networking, but it has also meant that we have been able to give back to the industry by sharing our unique experiences and professional knowledge and allowing our employees to help lead and shape the Association from the inside.
    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
  • “The AEV has been an invaluable asset to us as a company and the wider industry, helping to lobby on the industries behalf, consolidating and distributing information and facilitating vital knowledge sharing.”
    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval