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Securing Industry Resources: Top Tips

Securing Industry Resources: Top Tips

This document has been designed as a resource for individuals and organisations planning events. If you are already at an advanced stage in the planning process, this will hopefully prove a useful checklist, or if you are new to your event, it should provide a frame of reference to get started.

While we all welcome the return of live cultural and sporting events, it is clear that COVID-19 has exacerbated existing shortages in the supply chain, including the sufficient provision of safety and security personnel throughout the UK. Even prior to the pandemic, the UKCMA was actively highlighting an anticipated shortfall in Security Industry Authority (SIA) staff.

Our Association members are working hard to overcome these unprecedented challenges which include:

• Security/Safety Staff leaving the industry, for alternative employment or overseas opportunity.
• During the pandemic, traditional stewarding roles have been replaced by key worker roles at supermarkets, deliveries and manufacturing and many will not return to the industry.
• An increase in demand for SIA personnel- it is estimated that over 5,000 licensed staff per day are providing support to UK Government, directly or indirectly.

This situation has been compounded by organisers ‘stacking’ events at the end of the year in anticipation of the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Securing Industry Resources: Organisers’ Top Tips July 2021 We appreciate your event costs are going to increase with the additional measures needed to keep audiences, staff, and performers safe, an artificially shorter season increasing demand, and all with little option to pass on these associated costs to your customers.

Everyone will be drawing from the same depleted pool of resources, so to help secure the services you require our top tips are:

• Don’t assume longstanding contacts will be able to supply as usual – engage with them early to give yourself the opportunity to look elsewhere if needed.
• Put out tenders/quotes early to get a picture of the current market, but don’t leave it too long to confirm bookings, as availability is likely to change rapidly.
• Get agreements in place and documented as early as possible but understand that this may require some early expenditure.
• Additional or new restrictions could be implemented at any time, so scenario plan and ensure you book sufficient contingency resources.
• Additional mitigation measures could prove costly, so plan, anticipate and budget accordingly.
• Be clear what your requirements are and who can fulfil these. The delivery of COVID-19 mitigations are not necessarily safety and security roles. Considering how these might be delivered will help to take the pressure off the crowd management industry, allowing for more critical roles to be filled by trained security personnel.
• Given the shortages, the most valuable and necessary resources will be scarce, resulting in higher costs. You may be asked to pay increased rates by your trusted and reputable suppliers.
• These gaps in the market are making room for less ethical providers to move into the industry. The skills vacuum is also likely to be filled by new and inexperienced workers. If your usual suppliers cannot fulfil your requirements, seek recommendations, or talk to associations such as the UKCMA who can signpost you to reputable companies.
• Ensure the companies you work with are compliant with all standards e.g. BS7858, and will be in a position to meet future obligations emanating from recommendations of the Manchester Arena Inquiry and Protect Duty forthcoming legislation.
• Be clear that these are not short-term challenges for the industry. New legislation will have long-term implications for the way we all operate and the availability of resources. Consider this in your mid- to long-term planning.
• Keep talking to your suppliers.

Thank you for reading and best wishes for your event!

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Association of Festival Organisers (AFO): 23rd Jul 2021 14:22:00

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