As a Californian turned Carolinian it has been a peculiar week… With a lifetime spent in San Diego, I am a rookie when it comes to preparing for a storm… Let alone “the biggest, most costly storm to hit the US coast north of Florida..”
We are in the greater Charlotte area, so as it stands, we are fortunate to be out of any storm watch or warning areas. We are still expecting up to 10 inches of rain though… nearly twice as much rain as we saw in all of 2017 in San Diego. It has been hard to get a read on how serious to take this. On the one hand, the locals are saying it won’t be much by the time it gets here… But still, the stores have been sold out of water and essentials since Monday (storm isn’t expected to arrive until Saturday). So even though people may be saying there is little to be concerned about, they are taking precaution. Finding empty store shelves definitely had me feeling naive and underprepared.
This feeling of unpreparedness is uneasy… I write a lot about event safety, crowd management and situational awareness for event venue operators. As much as I preach situational awareness, I was not following my own advice in advance of Hurricane Florence. Because I have no hurricane experience, I allowed the collective wisdom of the community to dictate my response to the storm threat. This is reactive. It places me in the 80% crowd, who will wait for instruction before taking effective action. This makes me and my family more vulnerable than we should be.
We have since completed our preparations. We now have water, non- perishable food, flashlights, batteries/ chargers and a basic plan. From my Trained Crowd Manager training, I know that increasing time is the key to survivability. With the long range storm tracking, I had time to overcome my initial paralysis.
Though unprepared for a hurricane, earthquakes and fires are much more familiar. That being said, I now realize how unprepared I was for the natural disasters most likely to be experienced in Southern California. I don’t think I was alone… I would guess that the majority of people in San Diego do not have supplies or a plan in the case of a major earthquake. Earthquakes and to some degree fires are not predictable like hurricanes are. The lack of preparedness I experienced here, could not be overcome if a major earthquake had an epicenter in San Diego. We downplay the dangers of a major earthquake because it is outside of our experience set. Most of us have only experienced minor quakes so we assume our experiences will hold true during a major earthquake (I have no idea what an 8.0 earthquake would actually be like and neither do any of you). Furthermore, Californians joke about the eventual arrival of “the big one.” We don’t prepare for it though, because it is scary. Easier to think “it won’t happen to me.” This is dangerous. Based on my first hurricane prep experience I now encourage all of my friends in Southern California to have some earthquake preparations in place. Think for yourself because conventional wisdom is false.
Despite the storm preparations, it has been a really busy week for Stylehawk. We are excited to start work with new international jiu jitsu clients, a major rugby 7s tournament and an esports program. We have Fight to Win Pro 86 in Seattle this weekend, NABJJF Nationals Jiu Jitsu Open in Los Angeles next weekend and will be onsite for Subversiv on September 22.
Now for the recommended reading for my event venue friends…
In last week’s Stylehawk Streamer I talked about the active shooter situation at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on September 2. This article is a response to that shooting. It addressed the 5 steps people should take to situational awareness while in a sport event venue. “By accepting that a potentially bad event could happen to you, you are also accepting that you must be responsible for your own safety.”
This is the fourth post in our 4- part series on Guest Services. This article talks about the most direct or tactical element of a guest services program. Specific guidelines must be given to staff on how to interact with sport event venue guests. At this level, we are beyond theory and assumption. We need to tell staff simply and explicitly how to behave. This sounds easy, but is in fact one of the most challenging steps. The truth is, all of our planning and program development lead us to this point of interaction and we need our staff to be clear on how they represent the venue in that moment.
I have established that the 4- Hour Workweek is an important book to me personally. It speaks a lot about efficiency versus effectiveness. This is a very relevant topic for event and venue professionals. We are always under deadline and working crazy hours. In this post, Zdravko Cvijetic endeavors to improve efficiency without sacrificing effectiveness… the example he uses in the article is the actual article. It is an interesting read that touches on many familiar topics including the 80/20 rule.
The basic concept here is that leadership is not about being the leader. It is about inspiring your team to believe in your collective goals and allowing internal leadership to blossom organically. A single voice grows tiresome and cannot create sustained successes. This is a timely article for me. I have been reading The E Myth Revisited. In it, Michael Gerber talks about building a business with complete organizational structure even before you are capable of filling the org chart with staff. This helps define roles and responsibilities for future growth as the business matures. This in effect decentralizes the leadership burden for small business owners. For event and venue operators it speaks directly to staff management. In our venues, we often have large event staffs who work independently to represent the values of the organization. A single leader cannot provide sustained inspiration. A management system needs to be effectively integrated and internal leadership must come from the staff.
San Diego is a stunning city- there is no denying that! It has a spectacular downtown that is instantly recognizable and charming. The nightlife is great while still being an extremely family friendly destination. I start with a description of America’s Finest City when introducing the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier because the venue is distinctly San Diego. Located on the waterfront Embarcadero, Broadway Pier sits in the San Diego Bay next to the USS Midway Museum (aircraft carrier) and cruise ship terminals. The airport, Gaslamp Quarter, Convention Center, Seaport Village and PETCO Park are all walking distance from the venue. These attractions combined with proximity to thousands of hotel rooms makes the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier geographically desirable. The venue itself is an open structure space with roll up doors that provide access to a waterfront deck. This is a nice building for meetings and social events, but it can also be a wonderful space for certain athletic competition. Martial arts showcases, cheer and dance events and esport competition would be great in this space!