Whether your event is expecting large or small attendance, it is important to consider crowd management. You are legally obliged to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of participants, including the orderly movement of crowds coming into and leaving the event. You will need to ensure that the venue or location is capable of holding the event and expected attendance.

It is better to overestimate numbers rather than underestimate as overcrowding will create far greater issues. Use methods such as pre-sold ticket numbers, weather forecasts, similar events, social media and general public interest to try and gauge an estimate on numbers.

Large crowd numbers will ultimately have a flow on effect to additional services or infrastructure that your event may require, such as security, toilets, waste management, road closures etc.

Crowd Arrival / Dispersal

Whilst the arrival of crowds will often be more staggered, the dispersal will often involve all attendees exiting the venue on mass, which can create significant challenges. This should be planned for in a way that ensures access and egress points are sufficient to safely cater to the number of people using them. Also take into consideration things like peak hour traffic, and specific free public transport / courtesy buses options to help move crowds quickly and effectively.


Your Risk Assessment must provide an insight into the types of issues that the event could create and the level of security required.

For events that require large numbers of security personnel, a Security Plan should be developed and distributed to all those involved. This should include a position description for each of the identified roles and provide details on the various tickets and passes, the access allowed for each, a copy of the site plan, venue and event policies and security roster.

Level of Security will depend on a number of factors including:

  • Venue – Is it located in an area that normally attracts bad behaviour?
  • Timing – Night-time events generally create greater security issues.
  • Type – Sporting Events can create problems through issues with competing fans.
  • Alcohol – Will it be sold at the Event or can patrons BYO?
  • Money – Will large sums be processed at the Event?
  • Attendees – The number and type of people attending the Event.

PLEASE NOTE: Security is a specialist role that should only be undertaken by suitably trained personnel. This is not something that can be tasked to anyone such as volunteers.

User Pays Police

User Pay Police are required where events require the Police to go beyond their normal responsibilities as a direct result of the Event. For example a large concert may activate User Pay Police to patrol the concert site to maintain a visual reminder of the law, and discourage illegal or antisocial behavior.

If you are unsure as to whether your event will require User Pays Police contact the Coffs Harbour Police Station to discuss the type of event you are proposing. Generally the Police will provide a guide as to how many User Pays Police will be required per head of people.

Coffs Harbour Police Station 02 6691 0799


Briefing contractors such as security and police is essential to ensuring effective crowd control so you should organise such contractors to commence duties early enough to enable time for a briefing. The briefing should cover a number of things including the site layout and in particular entrances and exits, first aid posts and possible trouble spots. The briefing should also cover restricted access areas and the passes required for these areas, along with any relevant issues that have been identified in the Risk Assessment.

Cash Handling

Many events will require the need to collect money which can cause significant security issues, particularly where large amounts of money accumulate.

You should allocate a member of your event team and a security guard to circulate through the areas of the event where money is collected (entry gates/merchandise stalls/bars etc.) to prevent a build-up of money at these points.

Money should be transferred to a safe central collection point, well away from the general public, and where possible utilize a safe.

You should try to conceal money moving practices from the general public and avoid sticking to a routine. Where large amounts of money accumulate on site, consider utilising the services of a professional cash collection service to remove cash from the site at certain intervals during the Event.


When planning an event, it is a legal requirement to consider the access needs of people with a disability. With over 16 per cent of the NSW population living with some form of disability, making your event accessible is also an important commercial decision.

Promoting an event’s focus on accessibility may also be an attractive prospect for supporting partners or sponsors.

Prior to the Event you should advertise any relevant information such as the availability of accessible parking and location of accessible entry points, viewing areas and amenities.  You will also need to ensure that these areas have adequate and appropriate signage and that all of your event staff and volunteers are aware of the event inclusion procedures you have in place.

Lost Children

Lost children should be taken to a central location such as your Event Management Centre. Two (2) personnel should remain with the child at all times until the child is reunited with their parents.

If you are planning a crèche or child care area at your event you need to ensure any staff who will be involved in the supervision of children have completed a Working with Children Check.

If your event targets families, providing wrist bands for children at your Event Info Booths or access points that parents can write their phone numbers on can make it a lot easier to reunite lost children with their parents.

You can apply for a Working With Children Check here:  https://wwccheck.ccyp.nsw.gov.au/Applicants/Application