INTIX Panel Discusses New Laws That Impair Hospitality
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
January 26, 2017 - Taylor Mims, Amplify -- Most live entertainment professionals love their career because they get to create engrossing and memorable events for excited fans, but certain laws have tarnished some of the industry’s ability to provide a safe and favorable experience. At this year’s International Ticketing (INTIX) conference, the “Welcoming All Audiences: Impact of U.S. Bathroom, Gun, and Other Laws” session broke down some of the most invasive laws affecting live entertainment and the ways the industry is working with or around them.
“What we’re going to talk about is how to balance the obvious need for security and being aware and still being able to welcome audiences in for the experience they’ve come for,” said INTIX President and moderator Maureen Anderson.
The matter of safety took up the majority of the discussion between Anderson and panelists Dee Dee Naff from SmithsTix and GLBT Community Center of Colorado’s Debra Pollock.
On the subject of violence at live events, Pollock said, “It seems like this isn’t going away, it’s getting worse.”
Pollock was in charge of the country’s first major pride festival taking place after the Pulse Nightclub attack. Her usually vibrant event turned into one of mourning and fear, less than five days before it began. Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism departments were enlisted to help ward off any aggression towards one of the largest LGBT events in the United States. She and her community had to establish security protocols that all three panelists agreed are necessary in today’s climate.
“We had already worked really hard to update our emergency plan which is the moral of this story,” Pollock said. “You need to have an emergency plan.”
Pollock and her team spoke with other events like hers, including Boston’s Pride festival which had worked with the Boston Marathon.
She added, “My suggestion would be to find an organization or a venue that’s similar to yours and see if they have (an emergency plan). There are also plenty of resources like Homeland Security’s website and you need to create a relationship with your local police.”
“What we also learned was that not everybody is made to feel safer by the presence of law enforcement,” Pollock said. She explained that in her community people of color especially can find law enforcement intimidating and their inclusion in events needs to be a discussion amongst staff prior.
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