Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2017 Contents EVENTS | STU KATZEN
recently came across an article written by a
prominent American PCO that stated that
there was literally nowhere on earth
anymore that is safe for events. He stated
that everywhere was a potential hazard and
potential terror target and questioned what the
future for events held and their safety?
Theoretically he is probably correct. Someone
can attack literally anywhere and at any time.
In fact, just a few weeks ago we saw this
happen in Las Vegas. A lone gunman for
unimaginable reasons saw fit to let loose at a
concert from a hotel room. Killing dozens and
Why? Who knows. But the reality is, that
the shooting could never have been foretold
or forewarned. It, like Manchester, wasn’t
terrorism. It wasn’t some plot to destabilise.
The Vegas shooting was far more likely a
symptom of an empire in decline and a
people in pain and confusion.
Coincidently, I had a group of 150 VIPs
going to Vegas one week later. The reality, as
I explained to my client, was that the
perpetrator was no longer alive and therefore
from a purely practical position the group
was not in danger. In fact, security was at
peak levels that week, with police and TSA all
on high alert and generally everyone looking
So why then did I get emails from guests
asking if the program had been cancelled or if
we were going, despite communications to the
contrary going out as soon as we found out
Stu Katzen says events are under threat of becoming so boring
and safe because of the “fear factor” of the unknown,
including acts of terror and crazy people.
about the shooting? Why was there so much fear?
Because it seems our world, more and more, perpetuates fear. More and more we see the
words “don’t”, “stop”, “can’t” and “be careful”.
Insurance companies ramp up fear and fees, governments hype fear and do away with civil
liberties in an effort to “protect us” and events and activations take on the “bleige effect” (a mix
of bland & beige) in order to not offend, be safe and lower insurance costs.
The domino effect is that we make events “safer” so clients expect it to be safer, so we do
less and less in order to make it safer and so the expectation changes and, like modern day
medicine, it is assumed that if there is a doctor “in the house” nothing will go wrong.
Well... This is not the case. In fact, far from it, as we saw in Vegas.
Events are in serious danger of becoming cookie cutter and lacking an edge and the result is
boring and less bang for your event dollar. All in the name of safety!
So, what should we do?
We can’t change what we can’t change. There are always going to be crazies who for some
reason known only to them and the voices in their head, want to hurt people. No amount of
planning will change that.
Terror will continue, just as there will always be hate in the world. The best way to combat this
is to move forward as we would/should. By doing things outside of the box. By creating art,
events and shows that give voice to us and our clients. By not stopping the creative process
and by saying “No we won’t be stopped”!
Yes, I know, “soap-boxish”. But after seeing the people of Las Vegas pick themselves up,
brush themselves off and continue as they knew they had to, you can’t but feel admiration and
inspiration from that and come back fighting.
The reality is that despite the pain and destruction of the shooting, Vegas found some new
heroes and a way forward. My VIPs had a fantastic time and gave back to Vegas their hard-
earned money, time and a fair amount of love (and lust) at a time when Vegas needed it. All
parties came away smiling.
In short, we saw that Vegas does have a human side. We also saw and see it over and over
again, that we can prevail if we want to.
So, to quote Franklin D Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” and as event
professionals it’s time to give a little bit more and not give in to fear. m
Stu Katzen can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eventify.com.au.
micenet | 73
Links Archive micenet October 2017 micenet February 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page