Meeting MPI Toronto - July/August 2016 - (Page 19)
TAMING THE BEAST:
rganizing the logistics of a large outdoor event,
such as the Canadian National Exhibition, is a
A series of permits must be secured each
season including building permits, notice of project
permits, street closure permits and special occasion
permits for licensed facilities.
As the framework for the site design is finalized and
all permits are secured, work begins with a battalion of
safety engineers, security consultants, microbiologists,
health, fire, building, electrical and midway ride inspectors
to ensure the event is a fun but, more importantly, safe
experience for hundreds of thousands of guests.
Annual move-in of the event is a "phased-in" operation. If
the event site hosts numerous events throughout the year,
the event planner must schedule the move-in around those
Even when you have officially taken over the site
and have restricted certain areas on the grounds as
designated construction zones (i.e. where the rides are
being assembled), the general public may still be attending
events on the site as they do during CNE's move-in.
Weather is another wild card that can wreak havoc on the
setup of any outdoor event. Nothing slows down the movein and move-out process like bad weather. It is important
to factor the potential for "weather-related" delays into the
overall move-in schedule.
Safety should always come first at large events, and it
is important to develop a robust program that embraces
safety on numerous fronts including food safety, structural
safety, environmental, fire and electrical safety, as well as
the overall personal safety of guests.
At the CNE, a full medical centre, staffed by members
of Toronto Paramedic Services (TPS), operates on-site
throughout the entire event. TPS also maintains a crew of
paramedics that move throughout the grounds by bicycle.
Toronto Fire Services is also on-site all 18 days of the fair.
Two Lost and Found Centres are set up for the event, which
are staffed by fully screened attendants who are trained in
initiating searches for missing individuals.
The team also connects regularly with various
government agencies in an effort to identify, and
proactively respond to any threats to the community.
It is imperative to have an Emergency Preparedness
Plan. As the fair approaches, CNE staff, consultants
and stakeholders, meet routinely to exercise Emergency
Preparedness Plans in order to be ready for potential large
scale emergency situations.
Leading up to and during the event, staff work with
four external security firms in addition to its own security
consultants. A close working relationship with Toronto
Police Services is also in place and the police maintain an
office on-site throughout the fair, with uniformed and plain
clothes officers patrolling the grounds.
At the end of the day, all the set-up logistics and safety
measures should be back-of-house endeavours, invisible
to guests who are there to enjoy the summer at a large
outdoor community celebration. How do you make them
invisible? That's where the "magic" comes in! ●
Virginia Ludy is the CEO of the Canadian National Exhibition.
For more information, please visit www.theex.com.
www.facebook.com/MPIToronto | twitter.com/MPIToronto | www.mpitoronto.org | MEETING * 19
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - July/August 2016
Welcome, New Members!
Boutique Experiences & Emerging Incentive Destinations
How You Can Benefit from the MPI Foundation
Cruising to Event Success
Chapter Speaks: What Are You Reading or Listening to This Summer?
Community Volunteerism: How to Incorporate a Hands-On Charity Component at Your Event
Taming the Beast: Planning Outdoor Events
Building Custom Experiences
Maximizing Your Downtime: Reflect, Revise, Plan
Activate Your Event with Experiential Marketing
Beyond the Annual Barbecue – Incorporating Family at Events
Meeting MPI Toronto - July/August 2016