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Effective Event Management – Planning a St. Patricks’ Day Parade

Posted by Tara Gibson - Monday, March, 12 2018

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, the nation is bound to see a wide spectrum of celebrations and parades centered around the annual Irish brouhaha.

Each year some 122 million Americans — about 39 percent of the population — celebrate the holiday, reports History.com. And the St. Patrick’s Day parades that are part of that tradition tend to be a very big deal. New York, which has staged 250 of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the nation, annually attracts some 2 million spectators, 150 bands and up to 250,000 marchers.new-york-city-83522_960_720.jpg

If you’re part of the event management team planning a St. Patrick’s Day parade, you understand the vast array of logistics that go into such events. Sure, the big cities including Pittsburgh, Boston and Chicago may make them look easy, but the reality is that hundreds of details go into the event management process.

Here’s a brief checklist of what you should consider for effective event management:

  • Have you optimized the safety of the route? Are your measures for crowd and traffic control sufficient, and where might congestion be an issue? How and where must you cordon off viewers? What limitations must you enforce with participants in terms of prohibited items, alcohol consumption, noise abatement and the throwing of candy and prizes? What hazards may be presented by moving vehicles, machinery, animals, young children and weather? Be sure your route maps and emergency detour maps clearly delineate street closures, regulations around schools, hospitals and government buildings, railroad crossings, stationary performance zones, etc.

  • How detailed is your emergency response planIt should anticipate the most common emergency situations encountered at parades, and staffers, volunteers and emergency personnel should be made aware of corresponding actions to take and key people to contact if emergencies occur.

  • How will local police and fire officials be involved? Talk to municipal officials for details on how much coverage will be provided for free and how much must be paid for. Where will first responders be stationed, what role will they play, how long will they remain on duty and how can they be reached in emergencies?

  • When, where and how will floats be assembled and disassembled? Have you designated enough out-of-the-way space for this part of the process, will it interfere with traffic flow in any way, and will parade entrants have enough time to prepare?

  • How will debris and trash be addressed during and after the parade? Are there enough trash receptacles on the route? Who will handle the tasks of picking up and depositing extra trash before emptying the receptacles? Where will receptacles be emptied, and will there be a charge?  

With thorough effective event management, attention to detail and a little luck of the Irish, your St. Patrick’s Day parade should go off without a hitch.

Swift911™ - the automatic emergency notification system created by SwiftReach - offers peace of mind when you’re planning logistically complicated events.

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