Event safety and security – a most current matter

Last week MPI Denmark had the first seminar of the 2017-2018 season…and so my first meeting as Vice President of Education.

The theme for the seminar was safety and security, a theme that – unfortunately – turned out to be very current…more on that below.

Four different angles on security

The seminar was designed to let us in on different angles on safety and security, and so we had four speakers:

  • Martin Stuchly, BC Hospitality Group
  • a gentleman from the Danish Security and Intelligence Service who shall remain anonymous
  • Mette Vestergaard Huss, Sirius Advokater
  • Thomas Steinmann, CPH Lounge

Martin Stuchly enlightened us on how a huge venue handles security during events, how their employees are all trained to deal with security issues, and their strategy for handling security in general.

Mette Vestergaard Huss, who is a lawyer, let us in on what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will mean in connection with data security and the do’s and don’ts of handling attendee data, and Thomas Steinmann gave us tales from real life events where safety and security was of utmost importance (it always is, but there are events where something is more likely to happen than others).

Terror acts and the work to prevent them

The last speaker had a presentation that unfortunately turned out to be very current: He was from the Danish Security and Intelligence Service and while he was telling us about the Danish anti-terror measures, a maniac decided to ram his car into innocent pedestrians in Barcelona. At the exact same time we were listening to him speak about this!

However, as we talked about during the seminar, though it is a scary scenario it is important that we all don’t become worried and fear terrorism around the next corner. It is still way more dangerous to drive your car to or from an event than to attend the event itself – even if it is on an open square in a big city.

Remember the ‘small things’

What is just as important is all the ‘small’ things (after all, what are the odds of having a meteor crash into the building during your conference?). Do you remember to check up on emergency exits, AED’s, and first aid kits at the venue? And how do you handle an allergic reaction, a sprained ankle, or the need for CPR.

So, what did we learn at the seminar last week? Well, we learned that you can never be too careful, but that you also have to keep some perspective. And still, if you get too scared, life is not worth living, so let us go out, plan some events, and stand together to keep our industry alive.

After all, that is the best punishment to those who don’t know how to behave in public!

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