What is the role of a steward at an event?

Health & Safety Role

Stewards need to be present at events and lectures in order to maintain the health and safety of students, staff and members of the public who are attending the event.

The responsibilities of a steward include:

  • Preventing the overcrowding of the venue. Each venue has a limited capacity as stated in Teaching Rooms Information, or indicated by the normal number of seats in the venue. Overcrowding is not allowed as this increases the risk of major problems should an evacuation of the venue prove necessary. Stewards should not allow any more people to enter the venue once all seats have been filled. Extra seats must not be provided.
  • Watching out for any other hazards that could cause harm to someone attending your event.
  • Knowing the fire exits and escape routes and how to react in case of an emergency evacuation of the venue.
  • Knowing First Aid arrangements.

Other tasks/roles of a steward can include:

  • Setting up the venue prior to the event and restoring it to normal after the event.
  • Stewarding people into the venue and ensuring that at a busy event all seats are filled.
  • Holding the roving microphones for Q & A sessions

The event organiser will need to brief stewards on their tasks/roles whilst working for their event. Please use the Steward Checklist| for this purpose.

If Departments, Societies or other event organisers decide to organise their own stewards (i.e. staff or students from their department) they must ensure that these stewards are given essential information for stewards to read before working at the event|

How to book stewards to work at your event

The Conference and Events Office have approximately 60 students who regularly steward at LSE's public lectures. They are provided with training and have lots of experience working at school events. Stewards are also available for administrative work (e.g. stuffing envelopes) or to work in capacities other than stewarding at your event (e.g. registration, cloakroom, etc.).

If you wish to book stewards for your event, please click here| and complete the form, giving as much notice as possible.  Please note, we will not be able to process requests made at less than 2 weeks' notice.  

If for any reason we are unable to meet your stewarding requirements, we will let you know a week before your event so that you can make alternative arrangements. Any queries please email|.

It is not possible to hire stewards for events taking place off campus.

Costs and Charges

Update January 2014:   Due to increases in hourly wages, the cost per hour of stewards for any bookings from 1 February 2014 will be £14.50. The small increase is due to pay increases implemented by LSE.  This rate is inclusive of a booking fee.

The minimum charge when hiring stewards is 3 hours' work (i.e. £43.50). You will be charged for the full hire time booked for (excluding breaks, see below), so please ensure your start and finish times are accurate.

Cancellation of Stewards

In the event of having to cancel a steward request which has been confirmed by the Conference Office please give as much notice as possible. If you cancel stewards with less than 24 hours' notice you will be charged the minimum charge for each steward booked for you.

Further Information

Start Times

For public lectures stewards start work at least 1 hour prior to the start time of the event. This ensures that there is time to brief the stewards, set up the venue and seat the audience in time for the start of the event. We would suggest the same for departmental events. 

Steward Numbers

For public lectures we have the following amount of stewards working in each venue and would suggest similar numbers for departmental events:

Old Theatre - 8
Sheikh Zayed Theatre - 8
Hong Kong Theatre - 4
New Theatre - 4
Wolfson Theatre - 2

The legal requirement is to have one steward per fire exit in the venue. Stewards can be departmental staff or hired stewards or a mix of the two.

Please get in touch with the Conference Office if you need advice on steward numbers.

Steward Checklist

In order for your stewards to know what is expected of them during your event you will need to brief them via e-mail and also in person at the start of the event. For public lectures we use a checklist which sets out all the necessary information. We have created a Steward Checklist  |for departmental events and strongly advise you to fill it in and use it to ensure the smooth running of your event. A member of the department should always supervise the event.

If you have booked stewards in order to use the NAB or Old Theatre cloakrooms then you should brief them to collect the key from the LSE Conference Office before their shift.

Steward Uniform:

Unless otherwise specified the stewards will wear their red Event Steward polo shirts and otherwise be casually dressed. If there is a more formal dress code for your event please specify this when contacting the stewards.

Break Entitlements:

Under the Working time regulations, workers aged 18 and over have the right to be provided with a minimum rest break of 20 minutes in the course of any working day that exceeds six hour. Therefore, should an hourly paid staff member be working 6 hours or more, they are entitled to a 20 minute break. However, the School provides permanent, full time staff with a longer period, normally an hour so it may be helpful to consider aligning hourly paid staff breaks with the norm across the school. These breaks are unpaid.

Terms and Conditions:

Stewards are required at public events to fulfil an essential health and safety role, including preventing the overcrowding of a venue. Overcrowding is against the law. You must consent to allow stewards working at your events to fulfil this role before we will process your request.

You must also confirm that a member of your department will provide a full briefing to your stewards in advance of the event and stay to supervise the event for the duration.

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