While thousands of fans cheer in front of their favourite band’s stage, jump up and down or follow the hundreds of scenes in a musical, and entire hoard of event managers and event engineers have been working in the background. They not only think about the lighting, sound and autograph hour, the question of the safety at the events plays a crucial role in the planning. At the “1st International Event Safety Conference” experts will lecture and discuss these exact topics. The conference takes place parallel to Prolight + Sound. We spoke with the consultant, Hubert Klüpfel, Executive Director of TraffGo HT, in greater detail about his lecture topic: “Evacuation Simulations”.
At trade fairs, major events or in the disco- where and why are evacuation simulations a must?
Hubert Klüpfel: “The example of the Kiss Disco in Santa Maria, Brazil a few weeks ago shows that evacuation and escape routes are necessary for survival. If flaws exist here, they will be found in a thorough analysis. The simulations function like a magnifying glass. It makes the smallest details apparent, those not usually visible to the naked eye. Also, it allows for a systematic and stringent strategy. It creates charts, graphics and animations. Therefore, the results can easily be interpreted by the experts, as well as the decision maker, who usually does not deal with these issues on a daily basis. Last but not least, you get reliable data that is conclusively and understandably documented, so that you are on the safe side.”
To which extent is human behaviour plannable or predictable in such simulations?
Hubert Klüpfel: ”Naturally, that is a fundamental question. I look at it very pragmatically. You and I can predict human nature everyday, with your children, your partner or your friends. Similarly that applies to events. You can often rely on empirical values from the past. There days when there is a press of a specific group of people or an event draw a specific audience. It is relatively easy to predict which group will arrive by car and which by train. Principally, that is not different in dangerous situations. Sometimes the behaviour seems extreme because the conditions are extreme. However, in general it is acceptable, that means adapted to the situation and therefore understandable and reasonable. Therefore, it is also fairly predictable. When one speaks about panic, then usually it is about a life threatening situation. It is not panic that kills people, but it is the fear for one’s life that panic, with its extreme behaviour, causes.”
What can the audience expect at your I-ESC – 1st International Event Safety Conference presentation?
Hubert Klüpfel: “In my presentation, I will speak about the possibilities and limitations of evacuation simulations. Most notably, I will emphasize the possible utilization for planners and organizers. That can include support in acquiring an organizing permit or the optimization of the rush of people at a trade fair so that the exhibition space can be best possibly utilized.”
Thank you for the interview!