Event organizations are under the spotlight as recent various tragic incidents during events make headline news and topic conversations
— Hanesman Alkhair. Event Expert from Prasetiya Mulya University.
TANGERANG SELATAN, BANTEN, INDONESIA, December 12, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Event organizations are under the spotlight as recent various tragic incidents during events make headline news and topic conversations. Whether the events are taking place domestically or abroad, the capability and preparedness of event organizers are strongly questioned.
The most recent was the disbandment of the NCT 127 concert at ICE Bumi Serpong Damai, Banten, Indonesia, on November 2022, due to 30 spectators fainting from being aggressively pushed against one another to the point of breaking down the guardrail. A week earlier was the Berdendang Bergoyang music festival, which was held at Istora Senayan, Jakarta, at the end of October. Ensuing chaos since the density of the spectators exceeded the venue’s capacity, the music festival was eventually stopped midway as several spectators were also reported to have fainted due to the jostling.
Despite underlying factors that have caused these incidents, the event-organizing industry is now facing tough challenges. Manager of the Bachelor’s Degree (S1) Event Program, Prasetiya Mulya University, Hanesman Alkhair, said, currently, the event organizer industry players are challenged to continue to be creative in answering market demands that have begun to rise after the COVID-19 pandemic. “On the other hand, they also have to be more careful and thorough in implementing mass management, especially for organizing events that involve large audiences,” he said in Jakarta.
Hanes considered that one of the factors resulting in unexpected occurrences was the public’s high enthusiasm for attending the events, after nearly two years of being confined to a pandemic. “The pandemic has formed new human habits, which then form new characteristics of the masses,” he said. This, he added, should be of concern to event organizers.
Another factor that is no less important for event industry players to understand is the consumption pattern of social media and gadgets in society. From various studies conducted by international crowd scientists, it appears that the pattern of using gadgets has formed individuals who tend to be unaware of their surroundings. “Everyone uses a smartphone, including when they attend a crowded event. The behavior of people who are too focused on gadgets makes them less aware of their surroundings,” said Hanes.
The high public interest in attending events, coupled with changes in people’s behavior when they are at the event location, have forced event organizers to make various adjustments. “Event organizers must be able to anticipate this by creating mass control scenarios that comply with standards and details,” he said. In that scenario, risk management that arises in the event includes those that must be carefully prepared.
Two important points in risk management for organizing events that must be prioritized are the anticipation of the emergence of density, as well as sudden movements in mass groups. “These two points are critical points that can make an event not conducive, so all event stakeholders such as event organizers, security forces, and so on, need to be well-anticipated,” said Hanes.
To prevent density, Hanes explained that the stakeholders of an event need to make the flow of visitor movements in such a way. For example, separating queues, partitioning the audience area at a festival or music concert, and placing more security officers at points prone to congestion. “There needs to be a special arrangement to prevent crowding of visitors,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the risk of sudden movement in an event usually occurs when attention-seeking occurrences attract a crowd. Some examples are rain, chaos in a certain area, or even information that allures widespread notice – the Itaewon incident, South Korea, perpetuated by a group of people suddenly moving after receiving information about a celebrity’s presence in a cafe in Itaewon.
“Sudden movement can cause congestion. Associated with the characteristics of people who tend to be sucked in by gadgets, this situation can pose a risk of panic when jostling and pushing occurs,” said Hanes. This situation, therefore, becomes dangerous because the masses who are not ready will be squeezed and have difficulty getting out of the situation.
Future Event Industry Opportunities
Hanes also projects that the event industry in the country has the opportunity to continue to grow and develop. This, he said, is reflected in the increasingly widespread holding of international-level events in Indonesia throughout 2022. The event sectors that are noted by Hanes have the potential to be improved by industry players next year are events related to sports, such as sports events and sports tourism; meetings, incentive conventions, and exhibitions (MICE), as well as music festivals.
“Especially for music festivals, event organizers must now be able to explore new concepts that can provide a complete experience to visitors. This sector also has the potential to be developed and evolve into an event that is more than just a music festival,” he explained.
However, Hanes suggested, to maintain a conduciveness for the event industry and ensure that the holding of various events can be safer and more comfortable, there needs to be some sort of joint steps taken by academics, practitioners from the industry, security forces, and local governments. Stakeholders, he added, need to adjust various aspects of organizing events, especially regarding mass management, trends, preferences, and people’s behaviors post-pandemic.
Prasetiya Mulya itself, through the Bachelor’s Degree (S1) in Events Department which has been operating since 2015, has done a lot of studies and research on various aspects of organizing events, including regarding risk management in an event. Another advantage of this department is the exploration and development of event concepts that are the result of the students’ creativity. Students are also allowed to interact with industry players from the start of the learning process, in the form of internship projects and guest lectures. This is to prepare students to have comprehensive knowledge, insight, and abilities when engaging in the industry.
“Recently, we are developing an immersive experience concept in an event, where visitors can get a complete experience from the start until they leave the event location. Of course, it also discusses the concept of safety and comfort,” said Hanes.