Champion boxer, Mike Tyson famously said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” when asked about fight preparation. While it’s not boxing, the same sentiment can apply to managing a big campus event, like commencement or a hosting a home game. There are so many variables to account for and, despite all the time spent preparing for the big day, factors out of your control can pop up and knock plans sideways. When your plans need to change, the last thing you want to be thinking about is, what happens now? Or, did we do enough to prepare?
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”
Create a Single Source of Truth
Big events on campus require lots of people to work together. Ideally, everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done to run a safe and successful event; however, this is not always the case. If you have ever been at the mercy of a commencement weekend command center that relied exclusively on radios, paper checklists and text messages to manage operations and send critical communications about the event, you know that a lot of your time can be spent figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing instead of actually completing your tasks. Additionally, If you’ve ever been at the helm of one of those command centers you probably know where at least a few of your grey hairs came from. What is the fix?
Establish a single source of truth. Without a single source of truth to reference completed tasks, tasks in progress, personnel assignments and status updates it is extremely difficult to keep teams organized or adjust plans in real-time. The Rave Platform can be your single source of truth for big events, emergencies and even routine operational tasks by delivering the following outcomes:
You can’t address what you can’t see. Improving situational awareness during a large event, or even during normal operations, can be a challenge when the plan of what needs to be done is decentralized and spread between paper checklists, tribal knowledge and other disparate sources.
Think of all the processes and materials required to run a graduation weekend:
- Emergency procedures
- Contingency plans
- Traffic management
- Parking maps
- Safety/Health check routines
- The schedule of events
- Evacuation routes
- And more
The Rave Platform can store and organize prebuilt digital checklists specific to each of those examples, and more, as well as their associated materials. With everything in one place, from tasks and alerting templates to parking maps and safety instructions, your team is informed of what they need to be doing and equipped with the information they need to carry out their responsibilities.
Dynamic Task Assignment
The Rave Platform doesn’t just store digital checklists, it makes them operational—helping you turn plans into action. Dynamically assign critical tasks to key stakeholders according to situation specific checklists and track, in real-time, responses and actions being taken—all of which are recorded automatically to prove compliance.
Tactical Incident Collaboration
Tactical incident collaboration is what happens when preparation and accountability are brought into a single platform. It’s Rave’s answer to the following questions:
- When you have to implement a change of plans in real-time, how do you do it? How long does it take?
- How confident are you that everyone who must be notified of the change will receive the information they need, when they need it?
- Can you confirm that actions have been taken according to the notifications you are sending out?
With visibility into what has been done, what’s in progress and what still needs to happen during response to an issue, you can make strategic decisions quickly on how to allocate resources, address issues based on urgency, and know precisely when to engage your auxiliary support groups, like local law enforcement or a crisis management team.
Automate communication of key information with mass notification and targeted notification capabilities. The ability to automate notifications on a predetermined interval can help your team stay focused on strategic tasks while maintaining consistent communication with the larger campus community during an evolving situation. Additionally, automate targeted communications to a specific team or group reminding them to complete a task or to update the status of the task they are currently working on.
Reporting and Accountability
Prove performance and ensure compliance with time stamped reports of when an action was taken, who performed it and if any other information was provided, like a description of a scene notes about a broken piece of equipment, and even a visual of a suspicious person—yes, images can be attached.
Leverage reporting details and review all actions taken during a situation to make changes that may improve future incident response. Additionally, gain the ability to quickly conduct repeatable drills according to your plan to discover ways your team can be more efficient and provide better protection before the big day.
Scale Protection with Personal Situational Awareness
You can’t address what you can’t see (for the second time). With so many more people on campus during graduation or a sporting event it can be even harder for campus safety teams to spot safety threats. Promote personal situational awareness by training your campus community to recognize signs that something is not right.
Personal situational awareness enhances:
- Individual protection for students, faculty and staff by making them recognize, avoid and report potential danger.
- Accountability for campus safety by all members of the campus community.
- Visibility into all areas and activities on campus through tips sent from the campus community via the Rave Platform’s personal safety app.
- Proactive response from campus safety to address tips about potential threats before they escalate.
An engaged, situationally aware, campus community reduces safety blind spots during big campus events by having critical lines of communication open between campus safety officials and the students, faculty, staff and visitors they are working to protect. When you can detect a punch is coming, you can respond to neutralize it.
Deliver Critical Communications to Everyone, Temporary Visitors Included
We believe that the most effective tools are the ones you actually use so we designed a mass notification system that works in concert with the rest of the Rave Platform, delivering the ease-of-use required to send critical communications during emergencies along with notifications that help streamline operations tasks. However, keeping everyone participating in a big campus event informed presents a unique challenge—communicating with temporary visitors. This group can require the most hand holding during a big event and, unfortunately, they can also be the hardest one to communicate with.
Temporary Visitor Risk Factors
- They are not in your system
- They are less familiar with campus
- Where things are
- School policies
- How to get help
- They haven’t participated in emergency drills
To address this challenge, the Rave Platform has text message (SMS) opt-in capabilities that make it easy for schools to include temporary visitors in event specific and mass critical communications. By texting a predetermined keyword to a text-message short code, temporary visitors, and anyone with the keyword, can opt-in to communications associated with the event they are attending.
If your school is interested in real-world insight on how to extend critical communications to temporary visitors, listen to our webinar, From Graduations to Summer Camps: how to Notify Your Temporary Visitors on Campus
There is a double benefit here, temporary visitors are now in the communication loop and everyone who opts-in to receive information about the event is automatically put into a unique list associated with the keyword. This means everyone who opts-in can be targeted to receive event notifications and those on campus who are not participating will not be inundated with notifications that aren’t relevant to them. Meanwhile, nobody is left out of communications that impact the entire campus, like warnings about severe weather or an active assailant.
We Are Here to Help
Pulling off a big event on campus is a dynamic challenge. By integrating community reporting; mass notification and targeted alerting; and temporary visitor management features into the operational and security workflows being managed with the Rave Platform, schools have everything they need in one place to host safe events, communicate with the campus community and strategically adjust plans when required so you are never caught off guard.
Do all you can today with The Rave Platform for Higher Education.