YouRope is an industry association for music festival, events, public venues and suppliers to the industry that is based in Europe. They have an offshoot, the “Yes Group” for event safety and attendees at the conference included groups from festivals, emergency services and university academics.
My attendance at the event was a result of a long term professional relationship with Professor Chris Kemp, who invited me to attend and present at this year’s conference.
The focus was on event management, security and crisis, referencing various issues that had occurred at the European summer festival season.
Discussions around crisis were more closely linked to emergencies, where the group considered the escalation of an emergency, the external and internal communication, where there is a potential or adverse impact on the brand, escalated beyond the immediate emergency scenario.
Consideration was also given the how event organisers, staff and patrons might react in a crisis, and how to consider an emergency timeline based on those reactions.
During a simulated desktop exercise at the conference, as part of the reflection on the value of realism in testing and rehearsal, the organisers arranged for an ‘armed bandit’ to burst into the room during an exercise and for the attendees to deal with the crisis situation and the subsequent consequences.
While it became apparent very quickly that the ‘crisis’ was staged, there was still the increased heart rate, heightened awareness and adrenaline surge that was a fair representation of the pressured environment created during a real emergency. While I am not suggesting you employ this tactic at your next desktop, you may want to consider how the pressure in an emergency environment will effect decision making.