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ICC Wales wins ICCA Best Marketing Award with a lesson in security

ICC Wales wins ICCA Best Marketing Award with a lesson in security

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A surprising ICCA Best Marketing Award this year, with a winner who could look like a cause of public interest as much as a marketing work: it was awarded to ICCWales during the 61st ICCA Congress, for their ‘Protect Duty Report’, a study into how upcoming safety legislation in the UK will affect venues, and the people who attend them and there. It was inspired by Figen Murray, whose son was killed in the Manchester Arena Terrorist attack. And this is relevant at two levels: first, as a reminder of the fact that events have their share of risk and the first responsibility of venues and organisers is to manage that risk (a relevant message after a complicated summer in Spain and a dramatic Halloween in various parts of the world); second, it is an example of good content marketing, where the venue or destination does not merely promote itself, but provides useful know-how to its industry.   Eric Mottard

ICC Wales recognises the responsibility of a venue like theirs, to their industry colleagues and created the ‘Protect Duty Report’, a complete work reviewing the changes in the law but beyond that, involved a range of stakeholders (including security and counter terrorism experts) to create a working document educating and informing the UK events industry about how these changes will impact their events.

As ICCA President Marta Gomes said, ‘’The ICC Wales entry is not just about marketing a destination, but about improving security in convention centres. It is easily adaptable by others, and will have an even wider impact about improving security in all venues, and protecting people who use them for work and for leisure.”

The new Protect Duty legislation places an increased responsibility on venues to take responsibility and accountability for mitigating against the risk of a terrorist attack. So ICC Wales worked to ensure its safety, but beyond that, decided to educate its industry so that all can adapt, and create a safer event industry tomorrow. ICC Wales worked with Gwent Police, Counter Terrorism Security Advisors and other security agencies to “ensure their security provision and plans are proportionate to the threat and offer guests using the venue the best possible protection”. Gwent Police conducted training exercises at ICC Wales, and the venue has taken this opportunity to test its own emergency responses, a key requirement of Protect Duty. For instance, they underwent a Vulnerability Assessment in August 2020 conducted by WECTU (Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit) and identified venue strengths and areas for improvement which ICC Wales is taking steps to address. The Protect Duty act will also create a digital service developed by Counter Terrorism Policing, the Government and the private sector to provide access to relevant counter-terrorism material, advice and training.

They also strengthened the education of their staff on this critical issue, and continuous digital training on both cyber and physical security continues, and a security workshop on Counter Terrorism for senior managers and operational personnel will be organised. ICC Wales will also review its Counter Terrorism Plan, in a plan involving effective equipment (fence lines, search arches, etc.) and procedures (parking regimes, accreditation procedure, pre-site search procedure…).

The report includes advice by key figures in that field, like Lloyd Major (Halo Solutions CEO and previously Head of Tactical Support at the National Counter Terrorism Police Operations Centre during the terrorism attacks between 2016 and 2019), and STORM 4 Events CEO (company which specialises in strategic, tactical and operational risk management. It also includes a survey aiming to understand the level of knowledge on Protect Duty amongst Conference Organisers.

An interesting initiative: your marketing increasingly is just about being useful and bringing relevant knowledge to your industry!

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