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Communications Plan

The Communications Plan is a key part of the Operations Manual.

Clear, efficient and reliable communications are an integral part of any event safety management operation.

Ground management should draw up a Communications Plan for inclusion within the Operations Manual.

The Communications Plan is a generic document for use under standard operational conditions. It may therefore be necessary to adapt or supplement the plan to cater for a specific event which has its own communications requirements. This should be included in the Event Management Plan.

There are four key areas for planning:

Operational communications

The Communications Plan should identify the approaches to be used in operational communications.

This includes:

  • Providing, operating and maintaining all appropriate means of communication, including the management of the operation in the control point
  • Ensuring that all safety personnel and stewards are competent and suitably trained in the practice of good communications
  • Maintaining all necessary lines of communication, in both normal and emergency conditions
  • Providing lines of communication between the control point and all relevant functional areas in the venue, such as hospitality, facilities management and refuge areas
  • Setting out the procedures by which messages concerning crowd safety can interrupt routine communications issued via the public address system or screens.

Pre-event communications with spectators

The Communications Plan should set out how management will communicate in advance of an event with ticket holders and other people attending, by using such methods as social media, emails, texts or letters, in order to relay important safety-related messages.

This includes:

  • prohibited items
  • the venue’s bag policy
  • any searching and screening measures in place

Pre-event communications can also include information on what spectators can expect on arrival at the venue; for example, a video demonstrating the ingress arrangements and circulation within the venue.

Event day communications with spectators

Ground management should maintain communications with spectators throughout the event day.

This can be supplemented, if available, by push notifications via an app; for example, by providing early updates on transport issues or road closures during the period when spectators are in transit – sometimes known as the ‘fan journey’ – plus rolling information on queues at entry points, ticket checking procedures and so on.

Accessible communications

In all aspects of the Communications Plan, consideration must be given to the needs of spectators and staff who have cognitive or sensory impairments.

All printed and displayed messages should avoid the use of colour combinations or backgrounds that may lead to any of their contents being misunderstood by people who are colour blind. Our Guidance on Colour Vision Deficiency provides further details on this.

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