Guest Blog: Has Safeguarding become the Buzzword for the events industry?

Top of Article

By Thomas Stead, owner of X2Consult – Safeguarding and Child Protection

When you think of the term ‘safeguarding and child protection’, you routinely think about the education sector, young people and those at risk, however, it has become more important than ever for event planners to start to take safeguarding seriously and prioritise it as a critical aspect of their event planning and management.

In previous years, event safeguarding has primarily focused on physical security measures ranging from metal detectors, bag checks, security personnel and less about well-being and protection. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, event safeguarding has become more about mitigating risk and keeping those at risk safe and offering a haven where attendees can be treated with dignity and respect.

As events continue to attract vulnerable groups including children, the elderly and those at risk, event planners should be taking the necessary steps to protect them. Event planners should be considering developing a child protection policy, conducting background checks on staff and volunteers and providing training on child protection policies and procedures, not to mention appointing a designated person to oversee the implementation of these policies at the event.

Given the constantly changing nature of the risks and hazards that events face, it is also important for event planners to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest guidelines and best practices for event safeguarding. This includes monitoring the event to ensure that safeguarding measures are being implemented effectively, and continuously reviewing and updating their plans as needed.

Whilst for some, the term safeguarding is just a ‘buzzword’ or box ticking exercise, for many it highlights the additional measures and responses needed to those attending their events. As more and more events are moving to online and becoming virtual, the need for protection is even greater. As technology starts to evolve and companies become more tech savvy, event planners will continue to enhance their safeguarding provision further, with many utilising the market of facial recognition, drones tracking, and biometric scanning.

As many companies start to enter the planning phase for summer events of 2023, event safeguarding is likely to become even more important, as the events industry continues to grow and evolve. With the rise of virtual and hybrid events, event organisers will need to adapt their safeguarding measures to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees in new and different ways. This may include things like implementing new security measures for virtual events, such as monitoring chat rooms and other online spaces to prevent harassment and abuse. Not to mention risk mitigation on social media and other audience-based platforms.

Event planners and organisers can do the following things to ensure that their event goes ahead with as little issues as possible, taking into consideration the needs of the audience and those attending:

  1. Conduct a Safeguarding Risk Assessment – Identifying the potential risks and threats that could potentially harm their attendances, ensuring that specific measures are put in place before the event takes place.
  2. Coordinate with Local Authorities – Identify through the local authority whether there is any intelligence around said event and ensure that the event polices align with those of the local authority safeguarding hub.
  3. Communicate with Attendees: – Event planners should communicate with their attendees prior to the event, outlining what safeguarding procedures are in place.
  4. Train Staff & Volunteers: Companies should train staff on the event safeguarding procedures as well as any additional emergency evacuation procedures.
  5. Continuously Monitor and Review Safeguarding Plans: Organisers should ensure their policies and procedures are up to date in line wit the latest guidelines and that all measures are effective and robust.
  6. Designated Safeguarding Lead: Event Organisers should have a specific member of staff or team designated to overseeing all areas of safeguarding and child protection.
  7. Safeguarding Policy: Event planners should have an overall safeguarding policy highlighting the policies and procedures of the event as well as the main contact numbers at local authority and how to make a referral.

To conclude, event safeguarding is a crucial aspect of ensuring the safety and security of all attendees. By implementing proper planning and risk management strategies, event organisers can minimise potential hazards and create a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. It is important for organisers to consider the unique needs and concerns of all attendees, including those with disabilities or special needs, and to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to any situations that may arise.

Thomas Stead is a highly experience Safeguarding and Child Protection practitioner with over 12 years’ experience working within the education, sport, and event sector. Thomas is the owner of X2Consult – Safeguarding and Child Protection, a company that specializes in risk planning, event safeguarding and operational child protection training. Thomas has a wealth of experience in advisory roles, focusing on on-the-ground safeguarding, risk mitigation, and event safeguarding planning. Thomas has worked on a variety of high-profile events throughout his career, bringing a diverse range of experiences to the table. Committed to promoting the safety and well-being of children, Thomas is dedicated to making a positive impact to the lives of young people.

Guest Author
Author: Guest Author

This post is by a guest author for If you would like to feature as a guest author please contact us by emailing

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.