By Kevin Steffey
This week, Tampa has the pleasure of hosting the Republican National Convention. In fact, the convention is being held a mere 5 blocks from our office in downtown. I know the convention has just begun, but the early success and visibility we have gotten is a testament to the hard work of many people behind the scenes. It made me think about what businesses can learn from the team putting on the RNC in 2012.
- Talent is key: the sheer number of people to hire, security check, and train for such a sizable event is immense. Law enforcement, service people for the many events around town, transportation, sound and lighting teams, and on and on. Without a hiring and training plan that anticipates some of the planned and unforeseen needs there is no way to be successful.
- Have your plan and your contingency plan. It is obvious from witnessing the activity right outside my window that there are plans on top of plans in play to make this event successful. Barricades have been erected around buildings – just in case. There is a large staging area for protesters with more port-o-lets than I have ever seen. One of the major highways through town is closed for security, but also to park the large number of busses bringing in delegates from around the bay area. Temporary roads and buildings have been put in strange places to provide protection for the VIPs coming in to the area. Even a threatening Hurricane Isaac seemed to be addressed with a “we knew this could happen” approach and the event barely missed a beat. As a police officer who visited our office to share plans stated, “we have our plans, and we have flexibility built-in to handle whatever comes up.”
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. The planners obviously understand that the event has major implications for attendees, residents, businesses in the surrounding area. As I mentioned earlier, police officers reached out to local businesses and worked proactively to help plan things such as deliveries, parking, traffic, and security concerns. Signs are up everywhere to help direct traffic and minimize impact to people’s daily lives. Local newspapers and TV channels have been outlining for weeks how to adjust for the event. All stakeholders need to have regular communication to maximize your success.
With such increased visibility, the stakes are certainly high for the RNC and the Tampa Bay area. But, so far the talent, planning and communication is making for a smooth event! The same can hold true for your business.