By R.V. Baugus
In any interview, it is just as important for the employee to ask questions of a potential employer as it is for the employer to ascertain during an interview if a candidate is a possible job fit. Today, it is important that diversity, equity, and inclusion enter these interviews. If an employer does not ask for a candidate’s stance on the subject matter, it is important for the candidate to make certain to know his or her potential employer’s adherence and promotion of such.
The following questions were posted on the University of Southern California Career Center website and adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE’s) article on Questions Students may Ask to Assess your Organization’s Commitment to DEI by Chelsea C. Williams, Founder and CEO of College Code. Any company that works to support DEI should be prepared and able to answer these questions from any candidate.
From the formal interview to a networking night to an informational interview, is a great opportunity to ask questions about the organization. As a candidate, you are also interviewing the organization to ensure this is somewhere you want to work, or intern so ask questions to better understand the company. Below is a list of questions posted on the University of Southern California Career Center website and adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE’s) article on Questions Students may Ask to Assess your Organization’s Commitment to DEI by Chelsea C. Williams, Founder and CEO of College Code. Any company that works to support DEI should be prepared and able to answer these questions from any candidate about an organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
· How does your organization define diversity? What lenses of diversity has your organization made a direct commitment toward?
· What social causes does your organization support?
· Has your organization made any formal commitments in support of racial equity?
· How does your organization center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging?
· Does your organization offer any formal employee training around biases, anti-racism, or general DEI?
· Does your organization have any affinity groups or committees to support diverse populations? If so, how do these groups contribute to the culture of the organization?
· Does your organization complete annual compensation equity analysis?
· What resources has your organization provided to its employees in support of COVID-19 and racial injustices?
By Ashley Keen, CVP
Like almost all of us, it has been nearly a year since I have been involved in a live event and it has been longer since I have been on the front lines, directly dealing with the public. A few weeks ago, I was given the amazing opportunity to work at a vaccine distribution center. It is rather fitting for the times that we are in, that my first reintroduction into the live events world would be an event such as this.
Due to the position I was assigned to, I quickly realized that I was the first face of the distribution center for our “customers.” I had been trained on the job, but had not been given all the information to answer specific questions not directly related to my job.
This made me think about front-line workers in a way that I have not thought about in a long time; probably since I was on the front lines myself. I have been reflecting on our front-line employees. Specifically, I thought about how we train them and how we set them up for success. Below, I have compiled a list of some do’s and do not’s of training front-line workers and volunteers as they come into your facility or on campus for your event, especially if it is their first time performing their job duties.
• Get to know your employees and volunteers.
o This can be a quick introduction! Even if you do not have time for lengthy intros, this can be achieved quickly by introducing yourself, asking their names, and getting some basic information about them. I found that the supervisor knowing and remembering even basic information about us as volunteers made us feel that our team was valued.
• Provide thorough training.
o One of my favorite training methods is the method of I do while you watch, we do together, and then you do while I watch.
o At this specific event, volunteers were tasked with training the volunteers on the next shift. I was struck by the complicated game of telephone this caused. Remember, an employee’s or volunteer’s training is only as good as the person training them. It is important to build in quality control and checks throughout the training and the shift, to help alleviate bad habits.
• Provide detailed written instructions.
o These can be referred to anytime after the initial training. This is especially important if the task your employees or volunteers are performing are varied throughout their shift.
• Periodically check in with your employees and volunteers.
o Checking in with your employees lets them know they have not been forgotten about. It also helps to remind the volunteers that the work they are doing is important and valued.
• Check out with your employees and volunteers at the end of their shift.
o Use this time to ask them about their shift. This can be a valuable way to gain feedback. This interaction will be the final way that you can leave your employee or volunteer with a sense of accomplishment. It can also help set the tone for the next time you see them.
Overall, this experience was extremely rewarding for so many reasons and I am so thankful I was given this opportunity to participate in something as important as public vaccinations. I was reintroduced to events in a way that I will remember forever.
Ashley Keen, CVP, is Production Supervisor for the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona.
By Stacie Bauer
As the Ungerboeck Learning Center celebrates its 1-year Anniversary, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on what we have learned and a time to celebrate the wins, which would have been challenging, given the uncertainty in the events industry throughout this past year. However, as we look back, we are proud of our accomplishments and the positive impact that the Ungerboeck Learning Center has made on everyone in the broader Ungerboeck Community.
Ungerboeck identified a need for online training and education opportunities before the pandemic and partnered with Thought Industries, the world’s leading B2B customer education and external training platform provider, to roll out the Ungerboeck Learning Center. What began as an effort to globally streamline and digitalize customer onboarding, within four months quickly pivoted to focusing on the larger training needed at hand. Customers were looking for the ability to stay engaged, upskill, and show their competencies in the events industry, while they waited for events to resume. So, the team shifted focus and began the development of a certification program. These certifications were designed to validate the globally recognized skills needed within the Ungerboeck platform for a given role. Additionally, it enabled event professionals the opportunity to invest in their own education and advance their careers to ensure they are prepared for the future.
“The ability to provide training to customers during such a volatile time was a true measure of dedication of the Ungerboeck team and capabilities of the Thought Industries platform. We offered content on everything from how to properly mass cancel events to creating virtual event solutions. Thought Industries was a great partner in helping us meet the needs of our customers and providing us the expertise and customer support we needed in this unexpected journey,” said Karen Swindells, Instructional Designer, Training and Education at Ungerboeck.
Today, the Ungerboeck Learning Center has nearly 10,000 registered learners from over 600 organizations worldwide. Since June of 2020, Ungerboeck has had over 800 Certifications issued, an average of three certifications per day.
“The digital transformation of events businesses has always been important but never before has the use and learning of technology been so imperative to the future of the industry. Two of the most important elements of success with technology are learning and change management. We are thrilled to be offering high-quality online learning solutions and a certification program that gives our customers and their employees the tools they need to ensure success in their digital journey. We are very excited and overwhelmed with the customer response received so far,” explains Manish Chandak, President & CEO of Ungerboeck.
Many event professionals have shared their enthusiasm publicly as they took advantage of the Learning Center & Certification program:
• “Thank you Ungerboeck for offering great training courses and certifications for free.”
– Megan Haggard, Dallas Cowboys
• Another tool added to the toolbox during quarantine – plowing into 2021 with some steam!” – Austin Connors, Pennsylvania Convention Center
• “Working my way through all of the Associate Certifications. Thank you Ungerboeck, this kind of support is very important especially at this time.” – Elsa Nealon, TO Live
• “Anyone looking to develop their skills and knowledge of Ungerboeck should seriously take a look at these new certification classes!” – Shae Straker, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
“It’s been a truly gratifying experience to work closely with the team at Ungerboeck to support the rapid development and deployment of their new certification courses to help those in the event industry pivot to the new normal,” said Barry Kelly, CEO, Thought Industries. “Hearing that the learning has been well received and helping thousands of event professionals transition through this challenging time is what it means to partner with our customers throughout the customer journey.”
Stacie Bauer is Event & Sponsorship Coordinator, Marketing, for Ungerboeck.
By Jaime Sharp
Social justice advocacy group Black Opera Alliance (BOA) and international arts management consultants TRG Arts have announced a partnership to further BOA’s mission to expose racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the opera sector and promote reform.
In September 2020, BOA released their “Pledge for Racial Equity and Systemic Change in Opera,” which maps out eight areas of needed transformation. As the opera field seeks out truer equity, inclusion and racial justice, this framework provides specific requirements and timelines.
BOA is eager to understand whether The Pledge is being followed and if progress is being made. BOA is also committed to helping the sector understand how to make this needed transformation.
“We are pleased to partner with TRG Arts in this incredibly important work because we believe their expertise in data analysis and benchmarking is crucial to ensuring that change in our sector happens. Lack of industry-wide accountability has been a prime culprit in stalling substantive industry progress in the EDI space. This partnership will aid in BOA’s goal to shine a spotlight on the sector’s progress with The Pledge,” said Dr. Derrell Acon, Project Director / BOA Leadership Council.
Through this partnership, a system will be created for the sector so that benchmarks can be learned, and progress can be tracked and shared. Additionally, BOA and TRG Arts plan to release quarterly Insight Reports in 2021 that will detail how the sector is making strides towards The Pledge’s requirements.
“We are so proud to be invited to participate at Black Opera Alliance’s table. At TRG Arts, we have witnessed the powerful transformation that can happen when data are collected and analyzed, and insights are shared,” said TRG Arts CEO Jill Robinson. “Supporting Black Opera Alliance’s work to expose racial inequity and under-representation, and promote reform is an honor for us. The time for action in our sector is now.”
Dr. Acon continued, “While colleagues at TRG Arts offer a wealth of experience in arts analytics, our BOA team brings a myriad of critical perspectives as marginalized artists and administrators in the opera field. The collaboration is magic.”
“Insight reporting to the sector on our findings will mightily advance Opera’s understanding and approach to this work, as well as further position BOA as a leader in the broader performing arts sector vis-à-vis verifiable change and accountability in the spheres of racial equity and social justice.”
Jaime Sharp is an administrative assistant with the Black Opera Alliance.
By Lorianne Walker
WESS, a GardaWorld company and nationwide provider of event staffing and security services, announced its rebrand to BEST Crowd Management. BEST Crowd Management will carry the longstanding expertise and demonstrated success of WESS, providing guest services, gate management, perimeter protection, security response and field intrusion teams, access control, parking management, and executive protection and consulting services.
Who is BEST?
• Decades of experience providing world-class security solutions for crowd management solutions.
• Current partners include the country’s largest stadiums professional sports teams, college sports teams, major concert venues, and convention centers for corporate events.
• Present in more than 27 markets and a growing footprint that reaches from California to Las Vegas, Florida and New York.
“The decision to rebrand follows from decades of experience and demonstrated success in providing the BEST for our clients. It’s time we updated our branding to reflect our standing,” said Jeff Spoerndle, Vice
President of BEST Crowd Management.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BEST Crowd Management has demonstrated its leadership, flexibility and adaptability, introducing services including temperature screenings, social distancing supervision, capacity monitoring and vaccination checks.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought crowd management to the forefront,” said Spoerndle. “Event staffing and security is no longer just about ticketing or physical security—it’s about securing staff and guests from an invisible health threat. As a result, sports venues, corporate events, and even nontraditional event venues and organizations require a partner that brings highly-cultivated expertise with adaptable skill sets and services.”
“We’re proud to announce the rebranding of WESS to BEST Crowd Management Services,” said Prentice Robertson, Chief Operating Officer, Security Services, U.S. at GardaWorld. “BEST represents the very core of the GardaWorld family, bringing energy, innovation and world-class expertise and resources to deliver highly customized security solutions.”
To learn more about BEST Crowd Management and its services, visit https://best.garda.com/.
Lorianne Walker is with Abel Communications for GardaWorld.