Australia Day

26 January 2015

87 days to go

Types of risks

Risks are recognised as either ‘strategic’ or ‘operational’. Strategic risks relate to plans and strategies. Operational risks are those that occur in our operations (as we go about our work). Both strategic and operational risks are specific to a project or particular task.

Risk1 Risk2


Sources of risks

  • Poor planning
  • Inadequate management
  • Individual errors (e.g. wrong advice, negligence)
  • Unsafe physical conditions
  • Natural events (e.g. rain, storms, earthquake)
  • Commercial and legal relationships (e.g. with suppliers and contractors)
  • Economic circumstances (including funding and sponsorship)
  • Inadequate safety measures
  • Design error, inadequate testing, poor quality control
  • Human behaviour (e.g. strikes, riots, sabotage)
  • Technology and technical issues

The main risk areas in event management

The following table provides a useful categorisation of areas of risk in an event.


For example, paid and volunteer staff, finances and accounting, contracts with suppliers, liability and negligence, permits and licences

Marketing & Public Relations

For example, media coverage, productions crews, sponsorship and sponsors

Health & Safety

For example, fireworks & pyrotechnics, sanitation and maintenance, animals, decorations and equipment, medical services, fire safety

Crowd Management

For example, crowd movement and seating, use of illegal drugs, lost and found, noise control, services for people with disabilities and seniors, alcohol sales and consumption


For example, policing, hiring and briefing private security, crowd control, arrests, riots, anti-social behaviour, incident reporting, evacuation procedures


For example, parking, public transport, traffic control