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Public Events Marred by Tragedy; Planning Essential

Public Events Marred by Tragedy; Planning Essential

Two big public events this week have been marred by tragedy, including a total of five hot-air balloon accidents that led to one death at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Monday and Tuesday, and 300 runners felled by heat on Sunday at the 30th annual Chicago Marathon.

Organizers of the marathon have come under particular scrutiny. Although the weather was unseasonably hot--a record 87 degrees Fahrenheit--some observers say the event team failed to have enough water stations stocked and did not communicate effectively with race participants when the decision was finally reached to cancel the race. One runner died during the race, but his death has been blamed on an undiagnosed heart problem. Some backers of the city's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games are worried that stories about the race will hurt their chances.

Protecting guests at special events involves detailed planning to make sure that procedures are in place to deal with dangers. Award-winning event producer James C. Monroe, CSEP, CMP, of Dallas-based JCM Special Events, has developed the "Ultimate Checklist," a 36-page document that covers insurance, site inspections, event layout and more.

To download a copy, click here.

Photo by© Andrew Johnson

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