ge Crowd Control
Whether a political rally, concert or marathon, outdoor public spectacles
can draw tens of thousands or even millions of people. Some events, such
as a visit by the pope, are planned months in advance and require highly
orchestrated security operations. Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA last September, for example, required the largest security
operation in U.S. history.
But other public events are planned and executed in less than a week—
posing extra challenges to project managers tasked with ensuring all goes
smoothly and safely. As vice president of Giants Enterprises, a subsidiary
of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, Sara Hunt manages the planning and execution of public, non-baseball events staged by the team.
When the Giants won the World Series championship in 2014, she didn’t stop to celebrate for
long. After all, about 48 hours after the ;nal pitch,
1 million fans would be lining the streets of San
Francisco, California, USA for a victory parade in
honor of the winning team.
Because such events only happen after victory,
“you don’t want to start planning too early,” says
Ms. Hunt, San Francisco. “But you also want to
give yourself enough time to create a seamless
event with a safe environment for all participants.”
;ere’s a lot to consider during the project’s planning phase. Along with establishing which streets
throngs of dedicated fans should line, there’s the risk
of bombs, stampedes and power outages, and the
question of where television news crews and local
VIPs should be located.
There’s a danger in taking a myopic view
and planning for one form of disaster, says Ms.
Hunt, when in reality communication is critically
important no matter what the situation is. “Regardless of whether it’s
an earthquake or a stampede, you need to engage the right emergency
resources to react quickly and thoroughly,” Ms. Hunt says.
She credits the parade’s success to clear communications and strong
relationships among di;erent stakeholders: public relations personnel, city
o;cials, Giants team representatives, event producers, police and ;re o;cials, and the department of public works.
;at level of coordination was on display when, in November, Pope
Francis visited Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic. ;e latter
visit marked the ;rst time a current ponti; has visited a country in a state
of active armed con;ict.
or a stampede,
you need to
engage the right
—Sara Hunt, Giants Enterprises,
San Francisco, California, USA