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drp invests in crisis training at the NEC

Worcestershire-based creative agency drp recently partnered with the NEC to deliver a crisis training day at Hall 12 of the Birmingham venue.

The exercise is part of an ongoing crisis training programme for all the drp team who have been working with the police and a specialist crisis management consultancy.

The two-year programme has been designed to ensure the team has the necessary skills and processes in the event of an incident, and that attendees and staff gain the maximum protection and support as possible.

The day at the NEC involved around 50 drp team members from across the business, as well as a large contingent from the NEC including security, events team, catering, and a key drp client.

The simulation was based on a 4,500-delegate conference being held in Hall 12, set out to be as realistic as possible, with a registration area, auditorium, catering, breakouts and an exhibition.

The scenario, which none of the participants were aware of, commenced 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 simulated scenario was supported by social media and fake BBC news reports that deliberately gave conflicting and confusing information.

The drp ‘Gold’ team, were activated, who would control any situation and the crisis communication lines were put in place including the client’s own PR team.

As the crisis unfolded tension ran high, particularly when the NEC went into total lockdown, the NEC’s dogs were deployed as reports of incidents across the centre, heading towards Hall 12.

The teams had to deal with 4,500 delegates now locked in the hall for an indefinite period of time.

Throughout the day the scenario was paused to reflect and look at improvements which would be made.

Dale Parmenter, CEO of drp, commented: “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”.