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Your Small Venue Needs Proactive Operations Too

, | September 8, 2016 | By

“It’s a 400-person stadium,” your Principal tells you.

“Our faculty is enough to oversee tonight’s game,” she continues. Your Principal, Angela, is a seasoned administrator with the district.

You trust her judgment.

It’s now 5 PM, and you’re finishing up the faculty meeting for tonight’s football game against the Sequoyah Indians.

“You two take the rear entrance,” pointing to John and Sarah, two 11th grade teachers standing in the back.

“Jim, you and Sandy handle concessions tonight,” you continue. You finish running through names on this evening’s volunteer roster.

“OK, everyone good luck tonight,” you shout as you wave to everyone.

You expect this game to go off without a hitch.

Several hours later, around 9:15 PM, you begin shutting down the small stadium when you hear a loud noise.

It’s a gun shot.

You hear screams as everyone flees.

“What’s going on,” you ask the first person that runs by you. “Someone’s been shot,” they respond.

You’re in charge of the stadium tonight.

Of course, you’re going to call the police. We’re sure all 400 people watching this evening’s game will as well.

But, what are your protocols? Did anyone see the incident? How are need-to-know personnel notified?

What do you do?

Oklahoma Boy Shot During High School Football Game

In a recent article written by Chris Sommerfeldt of New York Daily News, “Frightened Oklahoma football fans ducked for cover after a 13-year-old boy miraculously survived a gunshot to the temple while cheering on a high school football team Friday evening.”

Sommerfeldt’s article continues to explain that, “The unidentified teen was grazed by a bullet, which cut as deep as his bone after gunfire erupted in the bleachers of the McLain High School football stadium in Tulsa around 9:15 p.m., Captain Malcolm Williams told the Daily News.”

According to the article, there were only about three minutes left in the game. This fact caught our attention along with the fact that this incident occurred on a small property where everyone ran for safety.

Two critical lessons to be learned here.

  1. At any moment, in any location, anything can happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning of your event – or the end. Anything can happen.
  2. Anything can happen on any sized property – it doesn’t matter if your venue is a 70,000 seat stadium or a 400 seat high school football stadium.

You need to be ready for anything.

Do you oversee operations for a small venue? Then, you should keep reading. We’re going to explain how Proactive Operations is necessary for small properties like yours.

Why Proactive Operations is the Answer for Small Venues

Here’s the thing, Proactive Operations does not only apply to large stadiums, airports, malls, or operations.

This shooting incident demonstrates the need for strategy, infrastructure, and technology in small venues.

It’s all relative. But, it’s crucial to everyone’s wellbeing.

Employing Proactive Operations can benefit any size operation – and it’s critical that your operation uses it.

Let’s outline this methodology for your property.

‘Strategy’ is necessary for your [small] venue.

This aspect of Proactive Operations is where you’ll create the strategic framework for your operation using our ACDA Principle™.

You will address various areas of your small operation. You will also apply the techniques covered in the Principle to strengthen your abilities.

The Principle includes:

  • Awareness, Communication, Documentation, and Analytics

To put this in perspective here is a relatable example.

The Awareness of your operation would be your ability to see incidents either before they happen or as they happen. That way, you can work to mitigate the situation immediately. This ability can come from staff or your guests.

Consider our introduction scenario. We’re not aware of what exactly played out during the Oklahoma incident.

But, we’d suspect that lack of “eyes” prevented staff, spectators, and authorities from witnessing the incident and catching the suspect.

Increasing your presence increases your Awareness.

Want to learn more about the ACDA Principle™? Check out this article we wrote. You’ll learn a lot about this important principle.

‘Infrastructure’ keeps you in control.

You will not have the advantages of personnel resources or physical infrastructure that a large property has. But, this can also prove beneficial to your operation.

Smaller venues do not require the same amount of personnel or physical infrastructure, which allows your team to be agile.

Your centralized command center can house you, a dispatcher, and an individual from each Police and Fire Rescue. Everyone else is mobile to enhance your awareness.

Organizing your staff and flow of information is what we refer to as Infrastructure in Proactive Operations.

This area of the methodology lets you control communication. This ability matters exponentially during any incident.

Once your strategy and infrastructure are complete, you’re ready for technology.

‘Technology’ is your small venue superpower.

Technology is the cream of the crop. It augments your strategy and infrastructure.

Technology skyrockets your efficiency, but also affords you the ability to keep up with the changing operational landscape.

Now, you might struggle with getting buy-in from upper echelon or important stakeholders.

Technology costs money.

We get it, but you need to make a case for progressive technology. Your ability to employ Proactive Operation relies on it.

It’s no longer a nice-to-have, even for small venues.

You have to do the math. The math never lies. How much does one incident at your small venue cost you?





Deploying the proper technology to increase awareness, enhance communication, capture accurate and complete documentation, and run the analytics on your operation might save you lots of long-term money.

Take it further. Ask yourself, “What is the cost of doing nothing?”

Your ability to identify an incident, mitigate it, and protect your property financially is the reflection of your efficiency.

How efficient is your operation?

Technology, specifically text communication and incident management software, can increase your awareness to help prevent incidents while simultaneously reducing your response time to these incidents.

These solutions give you the extra time needed to save someone’s life, capture a suspect, and get all the facts.

Now ask yourself, “How important is everyone’s safety?”

Think about the risk. Reflect on the reward!

Over to You

We can’t stress the importance of Proactive Operations for small venues. You can know whether you’d be able to prevent or mitigate a shooting or other severe incident on your property, but only if you maximize performance.

That’s why your small venue needs strategy, infrastructure, and technology – too.

Learn how to employ Proactive Operations using strategy, infrastructure & technology.

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