LAUNCH OF THE GLOBAL CROWD MANAGEMENT ALLIANCEPeter Houghton
Global Crowd Management Leaders Unite for a Safer World
The Global Crowd Management Alliance (GCMA) officially launched today, bringing together crowd managers, organisations, businesses, academics, and individuals with a shared interest in safety from across the globe.
The initiative, spearheaded by the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA), the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) and Event Safety Alliance Canada (ESAC) has Board members from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, and a list of supporters and advocates spanning over 15 countries on five continents.
GCMA is a not-for-profit organisation which will promote responsible crowd management and crowd safety practices worldwide, leading to a globally recognised body of knowledge for professional crowd managers. The Alliance will also create and deliver learning opportunities for crowd management practitioners at all experience levels, in all geographic locations, and regardless of financial means.
GCMA Chair Eric Stuart said, I am delighted to have been elected by the founding committee of the Global Crowd Management Alliance to serve as its first Chair. This organisation will enable us to expand the opportunities for sharing knowledge and experience that will help keep people safe. While crowd plans are sometimes complex and need specialist knowledge, basic safety principles can be applied to many locations where crowds gather, and those principles can often be learnt and implemented at little cost. Most importantly, we should never forget that crowds are made up of people who expect to enjoy a pleasant day or evening out, then return home safely. Good crowd management can help achieve that simple, fundamental goal.
Eric, who also Chairs the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA), emphasized GCMA’s commitment to diversity in both leadership and membership. We welcome everyone who wishes to enhance crowd safety standards across the globe, and who supports GCMA’s goals to Educate, Advocate and Motivate crowd management professionals.
Now, as we emerge from the global pandemic that brought the events industry to a standstill, and which has seen a mass exodus of experienced workers, training and education is more important than ever. Steve Adelman, GCMA’s Deputy Chair and Vice President of the Event Safety Alliance (US), noted the significance of this moment in time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many event professionals have, quite logically, focused on infection mitigation measures so events and venues can reopen safely. But crowds require much more than vaccine passports and face coverings. From catastrophic occurrences like armed attackers to more routine risks such as overcrowding, trip hazards, and inadequate wayfinding signage, crowd management remains an essential issue for everyone involved with live events. I am thrilled that the Global Crowd Management Alliance has assembled subject matter experts from around the world who work with these issues every day, and who are prepared to lead and teach others to host safe post-pandemic events.
Those who attended the FSOA Conference in October were mainly impressed with Eric Stuart’s presentation revolving around the concept of #strongertogether and #safetymatters. Indeed, several safety officers spoke to Eric about becoming members of the UKCMA and I am working with Eric and Annie in connection with that.
The Global Crowd Management Alliance is a major step along the way enabling us to work together alongside both them and UKCMA for the greater good in the promulgation of best safety practices around our football grounds, especially as many of our stadia become concert venues in the summer or stage other sorts and events at various times of the year.
Since I met Eric, it has become clear that he is just as passionate about crowd safety management as football safety officers and his wealth of knowledge is a valuable asset for the FSOA to be able to tap into. Needless to say, I will be speaking to Eric about how the new Alliance can benefit us and will pass any information on at the earliest opportunity. His appointment as inaugural Chair of GCMA is not a surprise.
The announcement was made via a YouTube link at 1615hrs today