Preparing For The World's Largest Sporting Event

Risks such as crime, infrastructure failures, supply chain disruptions and fire were all major considerations when it came to preparing for the world’s largest sporting event earlier this year.

Contrary to popular belief, it was the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, not the Olympics, that holds the title of world’s largest sporting event, according to Marc Siegel of ASIS International and Johan DuPloy, senior partner of the Temi Group.

On Tuesday at ASIS in Dallas, Siegel and DuPloy presented a session on the massive security and continuity challenges the Tsogo Sun Group, the largest hotel chain in Africa, faced and how the group successfully implemented the ANSI/ASIS Organizational Resilience Standard at their properties. The standard combined security and business continuity planning, creating a cost-effective approach.

Implementation of the standard involved planning, risk assessment, implementation and operation, checking and corrective action and management review. Most important, speakers said, was getting the commitment of top management. Other keys to success were inclusion (top up and bottom down), awareness/training, tailoring to the realities at each site, phased approach, setting realistic goals and recognition of compliance.

Implementing the standard provided a clear shift to prevention, and it paid off.

With a total attendance of 3.1 million fans, 290 crimes were reported in the 10 World Cup stadiums and 704 crimes reported within 1.5 kilometers of the stadiums.

DuPloy and Siegel said this was an excellent outcome as statistics show at least 50 people are murdered in South Africa every day.

“It’s amazing how much crime dropped during the World Cup,” they said.

Other issues successfully tackled by planners were cost-effectively managing risk, invisibly manage risk, assuring guest security, safety and comfort and overcoming hurdles from FIFA, the airlines, foreign press, tackling perceptions of Africa and South Africa and dealing with a loss from the South African World Cup team, Bafana Bafana.

About the Author

Cindy Horbrook is content development editor for Security Products magazine.

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