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Event Industry Trends – Public Health at Large Events

The recent COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the way we host and attend large events. Public health has become a top priority for event organisers, with the need to ensure the safety and well-being of all attendees. In this blog post, we will discuss COVID-19 trends in recent years, and the increased onus on human health at mass gatherings relevant today and in the future.


July 4, 2024

COVID-19 Trends:


The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant number of illnesses and deaths worldwide. The situation forced countries to put in strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus. Many event cancellations were initiated or events postponed to ensure the safety of attendees. While these restrictions have mostly been lifted around the world, following vaccination efforts, the pandemic increased the onus on event organisers to remain vigilant to public health issues such as infectious diseases, food safety, medical facilities, sanitation, and drinking water.


Infectious diseases:


The pandemic forced event organisers to consider infectious diseases more than ever before. Carrying these learnings forward will help to control infectious diseases at events, protecting the health of participants. Many events engage specialist medical providers, who will consider additional facilities for infectious diseases, such as isolation areas, public liability event insurance, PPE protocols, and public health advice and messaging. Particularly for large public events, additional measures such as these are becoming the norm.


Food Safety:


Food borne illnesses can quickly spread at large events, and organisers must take measures to prevent them. This includes ensuring food vendors are licensed and have proper food handling training. Adequate handwashing facilities and temperature control measures must also be in place. Your local authority (council) is a great source of guidance on these matters. You’ll need public liability insurance in place to make sure you’re covered should a member of the public attending your event suffer injury or illness.


Medical Facilities:


Event organisers must have a robust plan for first-aid and medical treatment. This includes providing access to medical staff and facilities, as well as having first-aid kits and defibrillators readily available. The resources you need will depend on a variety of factors – chiefly the number of attendees and the type of event. You’ll need this information when you buy public liability Insurance for Events. Speak to a specialist and obtain advice on the cover you require.




Good quality toilets and handwashing facilities are vital for public health. The first step is to determine the appropriate number of facilities – guidance for which is available from various online sources. You must also make sure that your facilities are maintained to a high standard – particularly with regard to the emptying of temporary toilets. In this case, it’s important to select a highly experienced contractor, who understands the logistical complexities of events.


Drinking Water:


Providing safe and plentiful drinking water is crucial, especially for events taking place outdoors during the summer months. You should engage a specialist to advise you—and to undertake expert services such as water supply design, installation, and disinfection. The disinfection stage is key—and organisers of public events should expect their local authority to scrutinise water quality and require water samples to be tested in a laboratory. Always have an emergency drinking water plan which outlines how you will provide drinking water if your main supply fails. For smaller events, using bottled water may be appropriate—but for larger events, you should plan for water to be delivered by road tanker in an emergency situation.


Public health has become a top priority for event organisers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the need for attention to be paid to human health at mass gatherings. Organisers must implement protocols and measures to reduce the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of attendees. In addition, food safety and medical emergencies must also be considered to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all attendees. By prioritising public health, event organisers can ensure that their events are safe and successful.


Hear from event organisers about the behind the scenes madness that comes with organising events, large or small, from music festivals to conferences, the insurance required for events, the chaos of the day itself, and the highs and lows of event organising, on Freddie’s podcast, WHEN SH*T GOES WRONG AT EVENTS.

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