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In this section, you and your team will think about what information you need to collect to plan for this event and learn for future events.

Talk with your team about when your key decision making points will be to ensure that you have the information you need. Some events check that they have the right levels of resourcing in the right places two months before the event, and knowing what drugs they may see is useful information for that conversation.

Look back at the aims you identified in the first section of this guide and find ways to measure how you track against them.

Every event is unique and dynamic because some variables can be unpredictable. That is the excitement of the challenge that can bring event organisers euphoria and satisfaction, or absolute head aches and heart breaks. Data collection pre-during-post event is integral and contributes to being prepared, being flexible, and being robust to constant change.

- Ashley Quensell, EVANZ Board Member, General Manager of National Operations at P4G.

Data Collection

What data do you need to collect, when, and how will you do that?

You might want to review your incident reporting and management plans to ensure they help you to record useful information.

Identify when your key decision making points are and ensure you have the information needed. How you resource your event (eg, appropriate levels of crowd care and medical support) should be informed by data.

Talk with your team about how you can use the data you're collecting to brief your staff, services, and patrons as needed.

Some helpful sources of information are:

  • Records of what happened in previous years or in other similar events.
  • Reports from staff, support services, and patrons from previous events.
    Health services and police in your area.
  • Organisations who work to reduce drug harm (NZ Drug Foundation, drug checking services like KnowYourStuffNZ, Ministry of Health, High Alert).

The data you collect during the event will help you respond to issues that arise. It will also help you learn how to prevent, predict, and respond to incidents at future events.

Consider how you will collate data in real time and share that with your event team. You may want to allocate one person or a team of people to manage data collection, analysis, and decision making. Try to prioritise information, so that the right information gets to the right people at the right time - avoiding information overload. You might like to revisit the communications section.

Some helpful sources of information are:

  • Incident reports.
  • Your team briefings. You may want to include a standing agenda item to discuss incidents, near-misses, and what is working well or not. Check that the people at your team briefings will have all the information they need. They may need to talk with others first (eg, event staff, security, cleaning crew, communications staff, patron welfare teams, performers/artists, food services, volunteers, neighbours).

Collecting data after the event will help you evaluate how well you did and prepare for future events.

This data could be descriptive overviews, anecdotes, and real data.

  • Peripheral data may also be helpful for some events. Things like presentations to the closest emergency department from acute alcohol or drug intoxication (anecdotal or otherwise), number of ambulances callouts 0-24 hours post event within the region, data from local police about incidents/accidents in the area at the time of the event. This may also include anecdotal data from patrons post-event.
  • How does your data compare to what other like events have seen? If there are key differences, is there a reason for this?  

Some helpful sources of information are:

  • Feedback from staff, support services, and patrons. Feedback surveys or discussion groups can help.
  • Incident reports. You may need to gather more information, or collate information from multiple sources to get a clearer picture of what happened.
  • Your team debrief. You may want to explore near-misses or incidents that were not recorded when they happened.
  • Reports from other local services. For example: the number of presentations to the closest emergency department for alcohol or drug intoxication; number of ambulance call outs after the event; and how the number of police interactions compared to usual.
  • Records, which could include:
    • The number of people who engaged with social media harm reduction posts.
    • The number of people who presented to medics/ambulance, were treated, transferred to hospital, or died.
    • The results of drug checking, such as the drugs that were identified, the percentage that were as expected, and what people stated they would do if their drugs were not what they expected.  
    • Police reports and the number of incidents where police were involved.
    • The number of people who were removed from the event.
    • The number of drugs that were confiscated and what was found in the amnesty bins.
    • Security data.  
    • Crowd care data, such as number of people presenting to crowd care or mental health services.
    • Entry and re-entry statistics.

Data Analysis

This is an important part of the development cycle, although it can be easy to forget to resource it. Consider who will analyse the data you have collected. You might need to bring in expertise to help you.

Make sure that you can get an idea of how effective your plan was at reaching your aim. If you can't, identify how you might be able to measure that better at future events - this is part of the development cycle.

You may want to consider:

  • What information you need to share with others or save for future events. This will help you prioritise what information is essential or nice to have.
  • What data can be presented as it is (eg, a graph showing the number of people who were in a chill out space over time)
  • What data may need to be analysed to determine their relationship (eg, if there were any patterns in the timing of incidents when compared by gender or age)
  • What data can be compared with previous years or other similar events
  • Who you involve to make sense of the data. These could be people in your event team, services, and other stakeholders. You can use these prompts to guide discussion:
    • What are the common themes or patterns from this data?
    • What doesn't fit with that story? (eg, "In general we noticed...except..." or "on one hand we saw...but on the other hand we saw")
    • What surprised you?
    • What is missing?

Record what you learnt from this event so you can use it to prepare for future events. You may also want to save data files so that it is easier for you to compare that data with future events.

Make sure that you store the information in a place that is easily accessible in the future. You might want to share this with others as well.

Reflect on your process of planning, delivering, and evaluating your event. Identify where it would have been helpful to have had information or made decisions. Build those points into your preparation for future events.

More information and examples


Congratulations, you have finished building your plan.

We would love to hear from you. Contact us to ask questions, give feedback or continue the conversation.


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Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora

These resources have been created for event organisers, by event organisers. They were commissioned by Health Promotion, Health New Zealand -Te Whatu Ora, and the NZ Drug Foundation helped the working group share their expertise. Much thanks and appreciation to those who've contributed.