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Changes to the Event Health & Safety Law – this affects you!

Vinatge_Weekend_0036_PPSFrom April 2015 the Construction Design Management (CDM) Regulations will apply to the events industry. There has been some concern from the industry as to how this will affect event management so this short piece aims to set out how this could affect you.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have indicated that they will be issuing further guidance over the next 6 months specifically for events health & safety law (as soon as this is available it will be circulated) and that the regulations will be applied ‘with a light touch’. Further they have stated that: “In many production and smaller scale event related construction activities in the entertainment sectors, where risks are generally considered to be lower, CDM management provisions will be of limited relevance beyond what is required by other health and safety legislation.” Nevertheless Festival & Event Organisers should be aware that the Regulations can be enforced (ignorance is no defence) and understand the main requirements.

The regulations apply to events where there is construction activity for example unique constructions, stages, seating, temporary demountable structures (e.g. Marquees) and particularly where there are multiple contractors. The key to the guidance is understanding the specific roles required under CDM and relating it to events:

The Client – This is the person or organisation that holds responsibility for the project/event and for the appointment of competent people/organisations to undertake the roles of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor outlined below and that they fulfil their duties under CDM. These people must be appointed before commencement of the project and when appointing these roles you should ask that they are competent under CDM regulations to undertake this role.They are also responsible for providing any relevant information to the Principal Designer & Principal Contractor.

Principal Designer –  This is the person or organisation responsible for planning, managing, monitoring & co-ordinating the health & safety of the project and for the production of an event safety plan for the purposes of identifying, eliminating or controlling forseeable risks.

Principal Contractor – This is the person or organisation that is responsible for planning, managing, co-ordinating & monitoring all build, use and dismantling ‘on-site’.

It should be noted that the Client can also undertake the roles of Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor; in addition the Principal Designer and Principal contractor can be the same person or organisation. The Client should set out clearly and in writing the name of the person or organisation that will undertake each role.

The CDM draft regulations can be downloaded free of charge here.

An ode to Event Management or If … (with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

I penned this short poem after a recent lecture to Event Management students at Sunderland University. The question asked was around ‘What traits do you need to be an Event Manager’ this is my poetic response.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you
If you can wait for hours to eat or drink or go to the loo

If you’re passionate and care about the smallest detail
If you can go the extra mile to make sure that you don’t fail

If you can work long hours and work to deadlines so tight
If you can cope with the highs and the lows, the dark and the light

If you don’t take no for an answer but keep people on side
If you can handle pressure and do your work with pride

If you can still be smiling when the last person is there
If you can be fair when all around you are unfair

If you can do all this without going round the bend
You too can be, an Event Manager, my friend!

By David Bilton

Lighting up the winter darkness – event management

The last quarter of 2013 was certainly a busy one. Winter events require a different feel and different skills. We were especially busy as outdoor event management specialists, providing health and safety advice, liaison services and hands on management.

Outdoor winter events are filled with warmth, atmosphere and wonder, with event organisers striving for an event that will become an annual or bi-annual staple. This year we’ve been lucky to work on some truly amazing events full to bursting with light, warmth and indeed fire.

Fireworks displays took places at Jesmond Rugby Club and Gosforth Rotary Club together with a new Blyth Fireworks display exercising our crowd management skills – all on the same weekend!

Lumiere filled Durham with throngs of people taking in the fabulous art installations. An elephant on a bridge, a fish tank telephone box, processions, floating dresses and projections of the amazing Lindisfarne Gospels, all showing how light, movement and sound could transform this ancient city.

Enchanted Park web 11 2013The Enchanted Park in Saltwell was certainly popular, with many of the tickets sold out well before the event took place. This year the park enchanted visitors by sending them out on a quest, challenging them to keep the park secrets. Not to let the cat out of the bag but fairies, fire, birds, mad scientists and sculptures all told an amazing story, so much so visitors were heard to ask if they could go round again.

So what makes a magical outdoor event?

  • Using the natural setting to the best advantage
  • Thinking of all the senses to add to the atmosphere
  • Being creative about routing visitors around the event
  • Developing surprising elements that feel a bit out of the ordinary – are they really allowed to use fire?

We’re now well into planning and delivering 2014 events and enjoying every minute of it, well aware that winter will be around again in a blink of an eye.

If you need any support with your event please contact DGB Events.


Images by Richard Kenworthy. Enchanted Parks developed and commissioned by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and Gateshead Council and produced by Pinwheel.

Practical guide to participation events – North East Event Management

Sir Chris Hoy and Edith Bowan - Sky Ride Newcastle Gateshead

Sir Chris Hoy and Edith Bowan – Sky Ride Newcastle Gateshead. North East Event Management

This was the summer of cycling, running and becoming a warrior with DGB Events working on a host of outdoor and active events. As a North East Event Management company we see more and more of them. I don’t know whether its still the continued excitement from the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics but events involving sport, participation and challenging the human body seem to be the order of the day.  Certainly triathlons, obstacle courses and stamina events (mostly involving mud) are more popular than ever before and participants want something different and challenging at every turn.

This summer we’ve worked with Total Warrior in Shap, the SkyRide cycle event in Newcastle and provided safety advice for the BUPA Great North Run.

So what makes a great participation event? Here’s my top eight.

  1. Start with the event content. What elements are the core part of the event, what will make your event better than any other similar ones (and/or the previous years). What do the participants need and what do you need to put in place for your spectators. Keep in mind your audiences and think of complementary activities, information and support services. So they may be cyclists, but they might also be interested in nutrition, well being, outdoor clothes. Think about what’s in the news, how trends are changing and respond to it. Think about the needs of spectators as well as the participants. What will be their lasting memory…
  2. Location, location, location. Did I mentioned that the location is important?! The venue needs to be the right size to comfortably house parking, support services such as toilets, site officers, food and drink areas, changing, lockers as well as the actual event area. The site needs to be easy accessible for public transport or via good road links.  The last thing you want is to have frustrated participants or spectators turning up, late and uptight. And the shape and topography needs to work for your event, if you think creatively you can often make what seems like a site problem into the star of the show.
  3. Dress to impress. So you’d like to have banners, beautiful site maps on every corner, branded flags filling the whole site – a real sense of festival. Think how you make your site look special and ‘festival like’ with the budget you have. Speak to local companies, think about printers, newspapers, schools, community groups, local authorities, talk to them to see if they could get involved for a little positive PR.
  4. Tell the world! Well you don’t have to tell the world but you need to tell the people who either would coming along or would help promote the event for you. You need to get your programme pulled together in plenty of time too. Do not underestimate how long it takes to get information back from partners and suppliers, think of a reasonable amount of time then add 4 weeks! And be focused with your marketing and PR, map out your message and your schedule and budget. Your launch event is an opportunity not to be missed, who are celebrities or sports people who would give your event some clout! Remember the communication doesn’t finish the moment the event finishes either, keep the buzz going on social media, through sharing stories and photographs, planning for next year!
  5. Health and safety planning. There are not many people who get excited about making the risk assessment and health and safety documentation all present and correct – but DGB Events are one of them! One thing is certain, you will have a much better, controlled, happier time delivering this event if all your plans are worked through methodically and are fit for purpose.  Health and safety documentation must be part of your planning and the safety of participants and spectators is your responsibility so take it seriously.
  6. Have a plan B and a plan C… The weather, the suppliers, the staff… What could go wrong?  Exactly. So have a plan and be pragmatic and flexible. Ensure you have fixed method of making decisions and then sharing information with staff.
  7. Budget. Simply do your sums and keep them up to date. Work out your event expenditure and your income. Talk to people, do some research and make sure you are using your gift of common sense. Common sense has been known to go out of the window when it comes down to the wire. And that takes us to the last point …….
  8. Keep your head when those around you don’t.

There are many many more things to consider. But if you start with the basics and put in the hours planning, your event will stand out and become a regular on the calendar. Good Luck – events planning and delivery is not for the faint hearted!

If you need any help drop us a line. DGB Events the North East Event Management Company.

DGB Events Big Weekend – Outdoor Events Management

DGB Events was instrumental in the event management of 3 different outdoor events in 3 different locations over the weekend. ‘Brass Windows’ was a fabulous new performance created by Lucid Instrument for Durham Brass Festival. DGB Events provided the Production Manager and the safety plan for the event. At the same time The Old Gaffer’s Association made a great display on Newcastle Quayside and the North-East Chilli Festival was chock-a-block at Seaton Delaval Hall – both thanks to a Safety Management plan by DGB Events.

We even organised the weather (though we can’t guarantee this for EVERY event!).

If you need support in delivering outdoor events, we’re the experts, drop us a line.

DGB Events to deliver May Market at Team Valley

Organisers of the May Market at Team Valley are continuing their relationship with DGB EVents forged at the Christmas Market at the same venue.

This Christmas Market attracted over 20,000 people and we’re hoping to attract a similar number of people to come along to the May event. The market will include high quality craft and food and drink.

Click here to have a look at their FaceBook page

Event Management & M.A – Back To School

MA in Event ManagementDavid Bilton, Company Director of event management company DGB Events, is committed to ensuring that the knowledge and expertise delivered by DGB Events is of the highest possible quality. As part of his continuing professional development David has already passed the University of Derby Event Safety Management Diploma and NEBOSH General Certificate.

Although David is recognised in the profession as a published expert, he is ensuring that no stone is left un-turned by returning to school – well the University of Derby – to complete a Masters Degree in Event Management. First two modules passed – only 5 to go!

DGB Events provides essential event health and safety advice

As a leader in the field of event and festival delivery DGB Events have a remarkable knowledge of how to make sure event health and safety plans and manuals are fully developed. DGB Events provide organisers with peace of mind, knowing that each element of their event has been checked for safety. After all the safety of visitors is paramount to each and every organiser.

DGB Events liaise with emergency services such as the Police as well as local authorities to ensure a safe and well planned event, great for the visitor, as well as the local residents, other road users and the emergency services.

Through the Independent Street Art Network David is producing guidance for all event organisers into Police Charging and Working with Cranes. For further information go along to

We are here to help and advise, so wherever you are and whatever advice you need please feel free to drop us a line to discuss your project. As leaders in the field of event health and safety we are passionate about ensuring your event is both engaging and safe.

ISAN Event Health and Safety Manual