On The Frontline: One Team Event Safety
Jonathan Hill, Managing Director at One Team Event Safety, gives The Crowd Magazine his reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as some ideas for the industry….
This year has seen people presented with challenges the like of which many would never have imagined having to face in their lifetime. The events industry has been dealt a blow from which not all of us will recover and yet there has been a great response from across the sector.
Many event professionals have used the skills that have seen them stand out in the industry to assist in other areas of need. There has also been an undeniable movement towards upskilling and personal development so that once live events resume, we are not only ready but able to add even more value. However, even when the green light is given, there will be further challenges and roadblocks ahead as the world seeks to navigate its way out of this pandemic.
One of the concerns I have is that we may lose talent who, but for how this year has played out, would have come into this industry and had a great career. Instead, they have had to find work elsewhere, applying their drive and passion to achieve success in a different field. Two decades later, I can still remember the day that I fell in love with events and more specifically, event safety. It was a cold evening where the atmosphere was electric and I looked around realising that I was a part of something great; something that would be talked about even to this day. I want that person seeking to come into this industry, as well as those at the beginning of their careers in this sector, to be able to have that moment as well.
“The Events Industry has been dealt a blow from which not all of us will recover.”Jonathan Hill, Managing Director at One Team Event Safety
So, what will the events industry look like post Covid-19?
In truth, I’m not sure that anyone can answer that question fully. I do agree that for Event Safety Managers such as myself, we are going to have to consider infections a lot more in our pre-event planning than perhaps we would have historically. We are also going to have to consider how we support organisers to ensure that attendees feel safe from infection at the event. Upon entry, should we consider making thermal checks as commonplace as bag examinations and other searches? Should we be asking some pre-event health questions as part of the booking process? These are but a few of the questions to be considered in the coming months.
How then do we move forward? I would propose through teamwork and collaboration. By sharing our experiences including both successes and failures, as an industry we can develop a common approach. Through this, we are more likely to gain investment from the public and in turn their co-operation. One of the main things that has resonated with me during this crisis is the number of industry experts that have happily shared both their time and knowledge for free and, by extension, the number of event professionals that have taken the opportunity presented to them. They have then in turn added to the discussions and brought even more value to these sessions.
I believe that there is scope to use this same mechanism to encourage the industry to come together as a whole, propose a blueprint for the future and then become the guardians of this plan. We can share how it works in practicality and amend and update as and when required. I’m not suggesting a one-size fits all solution as we all know that this is not possible, or indeed practical, but instead a framework and measures that are commensurate with the size of the event. It could act as a forum where best practice and experience is shared. Event Organisers and Event Safety Managers can then draw from and incorporate this into their event planning.
I believe that the industry can and will play a leading role in the recovery from lockdown especially as there will be a desire for events. However, I also believe that initially there will be caution and reluctance from the public as they wait to see how the first ones go. My hope though is that through proper planning and communication, we can minimise this.
Jonathan Hill, Managing Director at One Team Event Safety