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Chapter 3 From Risk to Resilience Contemporary Issues in Event Risk Management (Peter Ashwin)

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635901-4827

ISBN: 9781911635901

Published: April 2021

Component type: chapter

Published in: Crisis Management and Recovery for Events: Impacts and Strategies

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635901-4692


In today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous global risk society, national boundaries are blurred, inter-connected markets are exposed to delocalized risks with consequences that may stretch over extended or indefinite periods of time. Under these uncertain conditions, event organizers find themselves planning and delivering events in an environment characterized by disruptive effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and extant risks from home-grown violent extremism, cyber-criminal threats, supply chain disruptions and event cancellations (Beck, 2006; Hall, et al., 2019; Piekarz et al., 2015; Reid & Ritchie,2011; Rutherford Silvers, 2008; Tarlow, 2002). It is widely acknowledged that risk management should be viewed by event organizers and event professionals as a fundamental responsibility for planning and delivering a world class guest experience in a safe and secure environment (Berlonghi, 1990; Piekarz et al., 2015; Rutherford Silvers, 2008; Tarlow 2002;). However, in stark contrast, many event organizers concede that they do not have an event risk management plan (Ashwin & Wilson, 2020; Sturken, 2005 cited in Robson, 2009; Robson, 2009). In light of the recent proliferation of violent attacks on festivals and events, from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing to the recent 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival (California) shooting, there has been an increasing public discourse and emerging legislative requirements for event organizers to demonstrate an evidence-based approach to risk management decisions with the ability to explain the rationale behind those decisions in clear, objective and transparent terms (US Department of Homeland Security, 2020; UK Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure, 2020). Drawing upon the existing body of literature for event risk management, from Berlonghi (1990) to the recent 2019 event industry survey investigating event organizers approaches to risk management and resilience (Ashwin & Wilson, 2020), this chapter will explore contemporary risk issues in today’s volatile, ambiguous, complex and uncertain world. First, it will discuss the inter-related risk constructs pertaining to socio-cultural theoretical perspectives of risk and how an event organizer’s perception of risk influences their approach to risk management and decision-making. Then the chapter will address two contemporary risks, both of which present the potential for catastrophic consequences: cyber-criminals who are increasingly focusing their cyber-attacks on vulnerable, event digital eco-systems; and domestic terrorism and the threat from homegrown violent extremists, domestic violent extremists and unaffiliated lone offenders (‘lone wolves’). Finally, pragmatic, risk-based approaches to mitigating these risks will be discussed, specifically, preventative risk control measures and opportunities for enhancing organizational resilience to cyber-crime and terrorism.

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  • Peter Ashwin (Author)

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Ashwin, 2021

Ashwin, P. (2021) "Chapter 3 From Risk to Resilience Contemporary Issues in Event Risk Management (Peter Ashwin)" In: Ziakas, V., Antchak, V. & Getz, D. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635901-4827


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