2018: Personal Review by Professor Chris Kemp CEO
Looking back on a year of many highs and few lows, it is hard to put together my favourite moments but much has stood out for me.
2018 was a year of change for us as a company which reflected many of the changes taking place in the industry.
Trying to keep pace with change is difficult, often upsetting and sometimes almost impossible and as such we chose really identify our areas of strength and let those areas that we felt less able to compete in go.
It is always hard when you are trying to build a reputation as the key to this is to focus on what you are good at.
In some businesses we encounter, shouting the loudest seems the best way forward but with us, it is about quality and providing a competitive price for a highly developed product or service.
The year started with Eurosonic and the YES Seminar where we changed the focus from one of tried and tested delivery to one where members of the group could freely deliver sessions to their peers and to enable them to gain both confidence and solutions for issues at their festivals.
This proved a very popular approach and brought a lot of new faces to the table. The continued support from long term clients also continues with the SES Group, the Police and the National Association of Arenas all providing further developments and the cementing of already strong relationships.
The year provided two of the most absorbing and interesting projects for Network Rail focusing on Clapham Junction and London Euston Station which enabled the company to stretch further their knowledge of crowded space at transport hubs.
High profile court cases and key counter terrorism tabletops for Wembley Stadium and the O2 Arena provided the MOM associates with some high-profile work at these iconic venues.
Leadership programmes with major venues and events were also fun but the bespoke nature of MOMs services make these both difficult to develop and often tortuous to deliver owing to making changes on the hoof as elements develop.
MOM’s Ultimate Grand Prix proved as popular as ever with many programmes featuring this high-level scenario-based learning activity.
After providing this for Roskilde Festival staff, we worked with the Roskilde Security team and Jim Gaffney from MOJO in creating, managing and monitoring a new barrier configuration for the Orange Stage. This focused on changing the front pit area from a double pen configuration to a single one prompted by the issues with the curved front of stage end of the normal double pen set up at other festivals. It was an unmitigated success.
Working with Lambeth Council again on their show was great fun and testing the way in which the plans had been implemented meant that all of the MOM office staff could work as a team at the event. With fifty staff supporting, we analysed and crunched the numbers and responses to create a report on the changes made from last year and how successful they were.
Professional certificate and diploma courses were run in Switzerland in partnership with Pascal Viot and iSSUE and in Denmark with Sabine Funk and IBIT which enabled MOM to support key quality programmes in other parts of Europe.
Other notable partnerships are with Movement Strategies who we have worked with on venue projects with Liverpool ACC arena and also on courses where they provide expertise which MOM does not have. Also, Police Scotland who have worked with MOM on a number of support issues.
Providing public and private lectures for Napier university, IOSH (Institute of Operational Safety and Health, the IBIT Conference in Germany and other organisations was again good for building both personal and professional links.
The year finished on a high with the Wembley Stadium Steps Project, courses for Canary Wharf and the London New Year’s Eve tabletop being the highlights.
Throughout the last five years, we have been working with colleagues across the world on the development of a new MSc in Crowded Space Design and Management and this will be released shortly with the first cohort being scheduled for September 2019. This very unusual and thought-provoking programme will be a twelve month, work based course with workshops in Edinburgh for each module and will hopefully become the MOM centerpiece in our push to make this developing industry ever more professional.
When I try to think of any low points in an unusual year, I come to the conclusion that every cloud has some sort of silver lining. Only this week, four pieces of work scheduled for February have all changed their dates and to be honest, for the better, as it allows us more time to make sure that they meet our exacting standards.
If anything, the only disappointments have been where promised work has not materialised or where partners have not provided us with the help and support we need to ensure that our consultancy is of the highest standards. In such cases we prefer not to work with those that cannot meet these requirements.
So here’s to another great year and we hope that it will bring us some more interesting projects to keep us occupied and to enable us to help our partners too in solving the new challenges which they will no doubt face in the coming months.