“The room’s too cold.” “Where’s our lunch?” “The security is harassing us!” —These comments could happen on any social media channel during any event at any venue, and it’s important that employees are monitoring and responding to them. While businesses are actively attuned to channels such as Facebook and Twitter during regular business hours, the level of monitoring drops off during an event, exactly when it should be increased. That’s just one of the findings in our 2013 Technology Report, available for purchase* at www.iavm.org/venueds.
*IAVM member venues that participated in the 2013 Technology Survey receive a copy of the report for free.
Photo credit: JGoge / Flickr
Raise your hand if you keep your smartphone next to you when you’re in bed. Now raise your other hand if you still use it for work-related matters after 9 p.m. Touchdown. You may be more tired and less engaged at work.
Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have found that workers who monitor their smartphones for business purposes in the evening sap their energy for work in the office the next day.
“Smartphones are almost perfectly designed to disrupt sleep,” said Russell Johnson, a MSU assistant professor of management. “Because they keep us mentally engaged late into the evening, they make it hard to detach from work so we can relax and fall asleep.”
There were two studies. In the first one, 82 upper-level managers completed daily surveys for two weeks. In the second study, 161 employees from a variety of fields were surveyed daily. Both studies showed that sleep patterns suffered when smartphones were used for work at night. The second study also compared smartphone use to other electronic devices and found that smartphone use was worse than watching TV or using a laptop or tablet. Finally, smartphones emit a blue light, which has been shown to curtail the sleep chemical melatonin.
“So it can be a double-edged sword,” Johnson said. “The nighttime use of smartphones appears to have both psychological and physiological effects on people’s ability to sleep and on sleep’s essential recovery functions.”
The easiest solution is to turn off your phone at night, but for most people that would be the equivalent to cutting off your writing hand.
“There may be times in which putting off work until the next day would have disastrous consequences, and using your smartphone is well worth the negative effects on less important tasks the next day,” he said. “But on many other nights, more sleep may be your best bet.”
Rob Noonan, chief of public safety for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and an IAVM member, recently joined panelists for a discussion at PCMA that centered on communications challenges and lessons learned during the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Mitra Sorrells at BizBash provides a summary of the discussion, including remarks from Noonan and fellow MCCA colleague Katie Hauser.
For more on the immediate effect of the marathon bombing on the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, read Fred Peterson’s article “Week of Terror” in the Aug/Sept issue of Facility Manager magazine.
To dive deep into emergency plans and crisis management, consider the Academy for Venue Safety & Security Core and Advanced Training courses taking place February 23-27 in Dallas, TX.
For Frank Poe, The Academy for Venue Safety & Security (AVSS) is all about preparing for the unexpected and having the skills necessary to address challenges flowing from incidents.
“AVSS was developed around four key focus learning tracks—Risk, Emergency Preparedness, Security Operations, and Training,” said Poe, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center and AVSS faculty dean. “In presenting the core content, Prepare, Prevent, Respond, and Recovery (PPRR) is foundational. To that end, the faculty presents critical information to our students that will equip them to return to their venues better prepared to assess venue risk and improve venue emergency planning. AVSS has touched over 5oo industry professionals through its concentrated and intensive curriculum and provides for our students a network of contacts to support them as they implement PPRR methodologies in their home venue.”
Students in the core track will be trained in such courses as “Principles of Risk Management,” “Security Equipment & Technology,” and “War Games.”
“Principles of Risk Management” focuses on the impact of consequences, how to establish priority consequences, and how to determine what threats and/or types of threats will cause the consequences to occur.
In the “Security Equipment & Technology” course, students will learn practical applications of security equipment and current technology for the protection of life and assets in a public assembly environment.
“War Games” is a training exercise that puts to practice principles of safety and security presented at AVSS. Students will play aggressors and defenders attacking and protecting a public assembly environment.
Overall, AVSS is a thorough educational and exciting program not only for students, but for the faculty, as well.
“It’s an opportunity, as a volunteer to give back to our association, as well as build a professional network of individuals that care about our venues, customers, guests and the communities that support what we do,” Poe said. “I have always received, through volunteering, much more than I give.”
AVSS takes place Feb. 23-27 in Dallas. Please visit the website for more information and to register.
I recently revisited “Catching Hell,” the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary that explored the infamous Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship game. The main storyline chronicles the immediate and irrational reaction of Cubs fans to that devastating moment where a foul ball is almost caught for a crucial out by Cubs left fielder Moises Alou, but is missed due to the reaching arms of front row guests, ultimately being tipped by the hands of guest Steve Bartman.
With no video display board in the ballpark, the swell of hostility travels through the streets outside the ballpark, through replays on radio and TV, and through phone calls from fans at home to fans in seats. Around the 52-minute mark of the film (included above), we are given a glimpse of fans reaching fever-pitch and venue security evacuating a bewildered Steve Bartman.
I lived in Chicago that year and recall most of the pop-culture aftermath; the endless replays, the commentary, local radio rants, threats, and the smash-hit Halloween costumes. Fast-forward to today, where I work with and for venue managers, and I am completely enthralled by the focus of the venue staff, and the highlights of their efforts to keep Bartman safe that are included in Alex Gibney’s film.
“I had never seen that reaction before to one fan in the ballpark, ever … There were fans jumping down from their seats, getting in our faces, trying to stop our progress.”
– Security personnel from Wrigley Field
The venue team finds themselves in that intersection of careful planning and chaos, surrounding Bartman as tension escalates, leading Bartman down a thought-out escape route, disguising him, barricading him from aggressive guests, and ultimately guiding him all the way into the personal residence of a security team member.
It’s a layer to the story, and most venue security stories, that largely goes unseen. The preparation, training, and focus that they alone bring into the unpredictable atmosphere of live events.
As a consumer of these events, this film rekindled my gratitude for the tremendous effort so many venues undertake to keep us safe. As a member of the staff at IAVM, I look at our programs like The Academy for Venue Safety & Security, our Crowd Management Conference, and the active-shooter training that we include at many of our conferences, and feel extremely proud to be a part of the shared effort by our members and colleagues to excel at keeping guests, and scapegoats, safe.