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land Park Convention Center invited the City of Overland Park’s       local DHS protective security advisor. “It was important for the pilot review to be collaborative on a local


    said. “We wanted to provide feedback to ensure the smart practices were achievable for everyone involved in safety, not just venue man- agers.” The Industry Security Council was asked to “broaden the lens”


   areas of opportunity for each local stakeholder, as well as the desti- nation team as a whole.


“Our local DHS advisor got a better understanding of our con-


         - tatives, and I got a better understanding of the resources they can provide, which was far more than I ever dreamt,” Mitchell said. “It’s one of those things where you think you’re pretty smart, but you get  same issue and you realize how limited you really were.”


Tailor a Destination Specific Plan The Overland Park Convention Center’s role on the committee was to represent small to mid-size venues, which make up the vast major- ity of the convention center industry—about 90%. “As we reviewed the smart practices, we wanted to make sure they were practical and scalable for convention centers and venues of all


sizes,” Mitchell said. “We were honored to represent the mid-size and small venues and took that responsibility seriously. It’s odd that the largest venues drive the discussion in our industry when there are so few of them—the operations and available resources are just 


Once EMSSI smart practices are rolled out, convention centers can tailor the guidelines to address the unique challenges they face - cation demographics and social environment to infrastructure and -  “Some convention centers only have six full-time employees,”


Mitchell said. “Our goal is an obtainable plan for all, whether you have six or 600 employees.” Customizable solutions for any size convention center is the ulti-


mate plan of action. Once a venue’s role is understood in conjunc- tion with their community, a roadmap can be determined. “It was a great experience,” Mitchell said. “I encourage all of my colleagues to explore in greater depth the resources available in their destinations, and the smart practices that will soon be available to them through EMSSI. The risks are just too great not to.” To learn more about EMSSI and the Industry Security Coun- cil, make sure to attend IAVM’s 2017 VenueConnect August 7–10 in Nashville, TN at Music City Center. FM


Britaney Wehrmeister is marketing manager of the Overland Park Convention Center.


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