Dear Event Doctor: The NFL instituted a new policy this past season limiting the size and type of bags spectators can carry into games. Our event doesn’t have as many spectators as an NFL game, but do we still need to be considering similar policies? How do we communicate and enforce such changes? —Safe and Sound
Dear Safe: Repeat this mantra to yourself and others as often as you can: Safety is non-negotiable. This truth extends to how you design, plan and operate your event. The degree to which you develop your security protocols will not simply be based on the number of people attending. It will depend upon a host of factors, including your specific market and venue, the world condition at the time of the event, media exposure and more.
Most of all, listen to the advice of law enforcement and security professionals. They live in a world that we event organizers don’t, and it is sometimes a scary place. It is important for every event owner to assess for themselves—with help from their local law enforcement authorities—how deep their security plan must go to ensure the safety of their fans, participants and staff. They may be satisfied with visual inspections of bags, or they may order searches, pat-downs and a robust list of prohibited items.
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A veteran of the sports-event industry, Supovitz has served as senior vice-president of events for the National Football League since 2005. Prior to joining the NFL, he was the National Hockey League’s group vice-president of events and entertainment for 13 years. He is also the author of “The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook,” the second edition of which is being published this month by John Wiley & Sons. For further information or to order, please visit the Media Zone at SportsTravelMagazine.com. Questions for The Event Doctor can be emailed to Frank Supovitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.