On Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th March 2022, ExCeL London hosted the Event Production Show, a summit dedicated to live events and bringing together industry professionals including promoters, organisers, agencies and suppliers. In this article, we pick out five key themes with insights from the show.
The world around us
The world around us continues to impact the events industry in fundamental ways. On the plus side, it was fantastic to be back at an in-person event, meeting people and learning from the best. It's very exciting to look forward to a British summer full of events.
However, the devastating war upon Ukraine could have consequences for the events industry all around the world. For example, issues surrounding cyber-security might emerge if a technological warfare is waged. It is a risk that event organisers must plan for in 2022.
Attitude towards control rooms
Be proactive rather than reactive in how you manage issues of event security. Costs are going up and margins are going down, but you should never make cuts on the serious contingency planning.
Control rooms might be a cost centre, but they are an essential one. Don't see safety and security as a hassle, a hindrance and a cost generator - and don't be apathetic towards security.
Accountability continues to be a sacred cow for the events industry, especially with the advent of Martyn's Law in the United Kingdom. Use digital tools that enable automatic time-stamping to remove the confusion from your post-event incident reporting.
When considering your accountability, do consider Martyn's Law and the latest government response to the proposed Protect Duty. This indicates the likely requirements you will face as a UK venue / event operator once this legislation is passed.
Practise multi-agency collaboration when planning your event, to familiarise people both with each other and with your standard operating procedures. Get all of your agencies on-site to take part in a readiness exercise six to eight weeks before your event to achieve this.
Learn lessons together as you go through the entire event planning and delivery phase. Create a big list of learnings that you consistently add to and can reflect upon post-event so that you can make improvements for next time.
There is a 20% deficit in security resource from pre-COVID levels, with the potential to get worse. People have left the events industry for better paid and more stable jobs with better hours elsewhere - and might not return. This is an untenable industry-wide problem, and your tools and software need to be even better to attempt to make up some of the deficit.
As an industry we need to consider how we can improve this situation. The compromise cannot be on vulnerability.
We would like to thank all panellists and speakers at the Event Production Show. Here were the talks that we attended.
- The Changing Face of the Private Security Sector - Eric Stuart (Gentian Events and UKCMA), Figen Murray (Martyn's Law / Protect Duty), Lorraine Hellend (Westminster Group), Michael Kill (Night Time Industry Association) and Sam Newson (The Events Company UK)
- Making an Event: Lessons in Command Control - Laura Armstrong (LS Events) and Chrissy Gilbert (Chronosoft)
- Resilience Planning for Disruptive Incidents - Richard Kirtley (Polo in the Park) and Rob Walley (Controlled Events)
- OnePlan: Collaborative Planning for a Safe Event - Paul Foster (OnePlan) and Pete Dalton (PAD Command Consultancy)
- Have times changed? Developing an immersive experience at sporting events - Harriet Grace (Accept Management), Peter Hodges (SweetSpot), Phil Hodgetts (Momentum), Tayler Fewster (Epsom Downs Racecourse) and Tyffani Robb (NOWIE)
- Sustainability: A Case Study from Formula E - Iona Neilson (Formula E)
- Communication Tools for Better Events - Mike Baker (2CL Communications) and Rob Walley (Controlled Events)