What do we mean by safety?
When we talk about safety for event participants, it is important to remember that this safety is both psychological and physical. While it is hopefully obvious that we want to ensure that users are physically safe at an event – whether that's from physical hazards or other attendees – it is equally important to ensure that the environment allows people to feel supported enough to participate and engage fully. When attendees feel harassed, insulted or abused, the effects can be serious. Not only could you lose them as event attendees, you may lose them entirely as contributors to the Wikimedia projects based on one of these incidents.
Who is involved in keeping an event safe?
It is important to remember that everybody is in position to contribute to the personal as well as collective safety of event attendees; this is not a responsibility that falls exclusively on a single person or team. Everybody can take steps to help ensure their own and others' actual or perceived safety during in-person events.
- The event organizing team (EOT) will often run a risk assessment and review potential safety-related scenarios during the planning stages of the event. They will then ensure that there are appropriate protocols in place that can be implemented should a situation warrant it. Members of the EOT should be easily identifiable by anyone attending an event, and there should be a well-publicized way to contact them in case a safety threat is identified.
- Venue staff and security have a general responsibility for the safety of people using their space. They will often be involved in the event's organisation and work closely with the EOT to ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to help assure participant's safety while on their premises.
- Event attendees can also take proactive steps that can help safeguard their own safety, as well as the safety of others.