Certifications, Safety, and More ft. Mark Catuogno

There are so many certifications out there and on this episode we chat with Mark Catuogno about which one’s are worth your time! What about event safety? Yes! There are certifications as event professionals your team should get.

Thank you so much, Charles and Paige for having me on I’m so excited. Today, we’re going to really be wanting to share with the audience, what to do in regards to some tools certification that you guys want to look forward to as we reopen some of these you might already have, and some might be all new to you guys that we really need to step up our health and safety at our events. We really do want to meet again. I think that is the primary goal of our whole industry. We want to bring people together and be back in person, but I think our teams really need to step forward and say to our clients, this is what the plan is. This is a time when we’re not going to have our clients fully direct what we’re doing, where we’re going to take the lead on these projects and guide our clients to the most safe and secure projects.

I think you’re right, this is a really good time where we can lean in and use our expertise and the experience with our other customers to help kind of navigate that with them.

One of the first things I’m going to be talking about is continuing education.Many of us hold different certification letters and some of us, it’s required to maintain our letters, but I think that a big part of those letters is not the safety aspect. So one of the certifications that I recommend for people that build large scale festivals, events, trade shows, that have very big load ins is OSHA. So OSHA is the occupational safety hazard association. It’s covered all the United States. And just to simply get an OSHA 10 certification, it takes 10 hours online. Getting an OSHA certification allows for you to understand the people that are loading in your event are following all health and safety guidelines. Maybe yourself, you’re not doing it, but you’re the one overseeing them. I always felt we need to understand everyone’s job.

The other part that we’re going to also be talking about is American red cross CPR AED certification. I was at an event last year. We were actually not the safety directors of the event, but we had somebody collapse at the event and my team is AED CPR certified before the building’s response time to be able to get somebody locally in the building, we were able to start assessing the situation. Now people always talk about, that’s not our job. When you’re talking about health and safety and people’s lives, we always want to keep that as the priority of our event, but also there is laws that protect you. And I think that taking a class like this, you understand those laws and you understand that it’s not all about risks. Maybe actually you not stepping in can actually be the due diligence of you actually not doing your job and being educated.

The other thing we’re going to be discussing is we’re a huge fan of our industry associations. And one of them I’m going to be talking about is MPI. MPI, I think has one of the greatest education resources out there. We are huge fans of them. MPI has the meeting planner safety certification. So there’s two of them that they have. We actually recommend both. Their first is their crisis communications plan it teaches you internally and externally how to communicate with your client and also your client’s guests. This is something where you also want to deal with your clients media department and pre-planning.

How do you make sure that vendors are on the same page with the plan when they’re off doing other shows and then they just kind of show up to do your work?

Absolutely. And we found that to be the challenge, and we are being very diverse and open about it. And that’s also kind of why we’re building our tool to help with this. But what we’re recommending before that, and not just saying our tool is the one fix all, but is to have zoom meetings, to bring people together and to have a deck go over what that safety plan is. And also sending out through a DocuSign system where they sign off that I received this, and I’m going to share with my team.

How do we plan for health and safety in this climate?

I personally think that some of this absolutely needs to come from communicating with your clients. And I think that what their company stands are you as the actual planner needs to make their plan happen. I think where this starts also is their internal HR team. What is their company’s policies or what if they don’t have one, then we’re going to set one up. I think one of the biggest parts is, how we’re restructuring different experiences where there’s going to be glass partitions. We need to also create the plan where the exhibitors are also happy about that experience. I just was in a meeting recently, to participate in an exhibitor and they didn’t have a plan for me. They didn’t make me feel as an exhibitor that I counted if I wasn’t on the floor. And if I was just at home.

I want to ask you some questions about the idea around certifications. How do I vet certifications?

I was talking about MPI has their emergency preparedness for events certification program. That is an all around of everything to do with event safety. You’re going to get your experience on everything to do with event safety. I will personally put my Mark seal on it that I’ve actually obtained the certification. It is an amazing class taught by industry leaders, being able to really educate you on different safety planning. Another certification is, you know, that crisis communications being able to understand how to deal withthe communications of a crisis.

Would you please tell us about your favorite charity?

Absolutely. The SEARCH foundation is near and dear to me. I am a board member, please join us on July 29th, we will be hosting the most amazing virtual event. We want to bring people together, want you to see industry icons, and we want to have some excitement. We are so excited to be having a team up with us to make this also happen. We are so excited for you guys partnering with us. This is really a near and dear situations for the industry to come together. I think that that’s something we really need. If you’ve never heard of the SEARCH foundation, you can visit searchfoundation.org,

follow us @searchfoundation

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