30th Anniversary Conference & Exhibition – Sheer BrilliancePeter Houghton
I have to give a huge vote of thanks to everyone who participated in our 30th Anniversary Conference & Exhibition. Testimonials are flying in from delegates from all levels of football. When you think that clubs were represented all the way from Man City to Macclesfield FC, the topics were relevant for safety officers at all levels of the football ladder, and these are the messages coming in loud and clear.
The idea was that this should be a conference and exhibition for safety officers, presented by safety officers and our colleagues gave us valuable insights into the topical issues that have taken place in and around their stadia and the affect it had on their matchday operations, the pressure it put upon them in their decision-making and the final outcomes, some of which actually lead to guidance from the SGSA.
Our keynote speaker, Chief Constable of Cheshire and national lead for football policing, Mark Roberts, proved to be a champion of information-sharing and outlined his desire for the FSOA and UKFPU to work together to ensure that together we continue to deliver safe environments for people to enjoy watching football.
The last session was a hastily thrown-together “state-of-the-market” look into how the challenges of the day are affecting the additional stewarding market and Showsec, G4S and Stadium, who really only found out in the afternoon coffee break that they might be needed for this, stood together as one in emphasising to us why you can’t phone them on a Friday afternoon and say “Can you send us 40 for our 1230 kick-off in the morning?”. It is great to see collaboration between these exceptional providers rather than competition and this is something that the concept of “strongertogether” means when we work with not only our corporate members , but also those of the UKCMA.
Our corporates worked hard to produce sponsorship for this event and a combination of Showsec, Dllmeier, Suprema, G4S, Wagtail UK Event Detection Dogs, DCRS and Accredit Solutions, helped us produce an exceptional event that in essence meant that every delegate attending would not have to spend anything once they arrived. Indeed the levels of support from our sponsors and exhibitors is on the increase with some new enquiries being made on Thursday morning.
Suprema also sponsored the inclusion of 10 safety officers from Leagues 1 & 2 and all contributed to free day delegates.
We are moving towards compulsory CPD, not a “recommendation” or a “suggestion” but a mandate. We owe it to ourselves to get to the simplest way of achieving a minimum of 10 hours in one place, twice a year.
Our next event will be moved from its usual October slot into November. Our usual dates are full-on football dates due to the positioning of the World Cup. Domestic football is free from the end of the first week in November, so don’t book a holiday, book in at the home of the Bard and the home spiritual home of the FSOA Conference & Exhibition- Stratford-upon-Avon!
The only downside was that one delegate has reported a positive lateral flow test, which was clearly not caught at the conference because of the incubation period. If you get a chance, check yourself out.