Event safety protocols have always been a priority for event marketers. But in the past couple of years, incidents involving active shooters have presented a new, sobering reality for marketers responsible for planning group gatherings. This heightened threat has led to new training and updated event safety plans to ensure that staff, clients and attendees are not only safer on-site, but that they feel safe, too.
As expected, much of the work on this issue is taking place behind the scenes. We tapped three agency partners to understand what they’re hearing from clients, the best practices they’ve implemented and the technologies that are supporting their efforts.
Four years ago, Mirrored Media hired Dustin Burt, owner and managing partner of Superior Protection Consultants, to supplement the agency’s security measures. Since Mirrored frequently produces music events and collaborates with celebrities, the benefit of having a consultant is twofold.
“We have to come up with a safety plan for our guests and for the general public, as well as a safety plan for any talent and celebrities that may be there. It’s being able to have a security consultant that can look at both plans simultaneously and know how they can interact,” says Justin Lefkovitch, founder and CEO of Mirrored Media. Moreover, he says, a consultant will look at the totality of the safety plan, including entry and exit points, ingress and egress for fire safety, an active shooter plan, training staff, adding bag checks, metal detectors, and assessing risk.
According to Burt, communication and collaboration between the various parties, including local police departments and other safety agencies, is paramount.
“Being able to have that line of open communication between everybody plays a huge role,” he says. “It sounds simple, but 90 percent of what we do is just communicating between all the departments that have to work together, which in return will promote a bigger, healthier and safer environment, but also a fun event.”
Mirrored has noticed—and happily welcomed—a shift in perception toward added security measures.
“It’s gone from a nuisance to a benefit,” Lefkovitch says. “We’re seeing a positive shift both from our clients, in their willingness to pay for it and understand why we’re putting such an emphasis on it, as well as from the guests. Now, when you say, ‘If you’re going to have a bag over this size it needs to be clear,’ people say, OK, and they plan accordingly.”
This means sending out additional communications to attendees ahead of the event to set their expectations (for instance, the size of the bag they may carry in) and make them aware of the added safety measures in order to expedite the process on-site. And in that way, there’s safety in numbers.
Read the full article at eventmarketer.com