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Drp partners with NEC for crisis training day

Dale Parmenter hails "unique and exceptional" training experience

Pictured: the simulation was based on a 4,500-delegate conference being held in Hall 12

Drp partnered with the NEC to staged a live-action crisis training day in Hall 12 at the Birmingham venue.

The exercise is part of drp’s ongoing crisis training programme, which has seen the agency working with the police and a specialist crisis management consultancy. The two-year programme has been designed to ensure the team have the necessary skills and processes in the event of an incident.

Dale Parmenter, CEO of drp, said: “This was a unique and exceptional experience created and masterminded by Marie Lacey and the crisis team at drp in partnership with the NEC to really bring the training to life. It’s a massive commitment and investment for us, I’m confident in the event of an incident the drp team have the skills and confidence to manage the situation in a professional and calm way to maximise delegate safety. We are committed to continue to develop the programme and fine tune our processes.”

Around 50 drp team members, a large contingent from the NEC including security, events team, catering, and a key drp client took part in the simulation, which was based on a 4,500-delegate conference being held in Hall 12. The hall was set out to be as realistic as possible, with a registration area, auditorium, catering, breakouts and an exhibition, with drp, the NEC and client teams split into their typical roles.

The scenario, which none of the participants were aware of, began in Birmingham New Street station as the delegates were arriving and registering for the conference in the atrium. The scenario then escalated towards the NEC, the challenge for the team was ‘what to do next’.

The realism was supported by social media and fake BBC news reports that deliberately gave conflicting and confusing information. As the crisis unfolded tension ran high, particularly when the NEC went into total lockdown; the NEC’s dogs were deployed as reports came in of incidents across the centre heading towards hall 12. Finally, the teams had to deal with 4,500 delegates locked in the hall for an indefinite period of time.

Throughout the day the scenario was paused to reflect and look at how improvements could be made.

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