Ready for the Big Show: Running Tabletop Exercises at Venues and Stadia

Effective tabletop exercises are a crucial piece of your venue management, joining your ongoing planning to your event-time operations - especially to follow the new Protect Duty

Take away the full guide to improve your venue and stadium operations

  • Understand the importance of testing and exercising
  • Create a well-planned, collaborative environment
  • Focus on learnings and actions

Read Now!

Introduction to Testing and Exercising

Testing and exercising programmes are designed to test operational plans for an event, venue, project or other scenario. They enable you to rigorously test and identify gaps in your people, places, plans and processes. They also let you play out incident scenarios in advance to understand whether you would respond effectively in reality.

But they come with common challenges.

Disjointed record-keeping. An inability to follow up lessons learned and remedial actions. Poor visibility over what needs to be tested, and lack of engagement from key stakeholders.

For the best exercises, you need to create a well-planned, well-executed, collaborative, no-blame environment that is focused on learning.

We hope that this guide helps you to achieve that. Read snippets below or download now for the full guide!

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The typical structure of an effective tabletop exercise

  • Map out everything that needs testing
  • Decide what will be tested in each exercise
  • Ensure the right stakeholders are in the room
  • Hold an open discussion about each scenario
  • Record any learnings
  • Assign any follow-up actions
  • Return to the learnings and actions next time

What value could your organisation get from running tabletop exercises?

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The Protect Duty

The Protect Duty, arising from Martyn's Law, is a proposed piece of legislation to better protect the British public from terrorism in any place or space to which they have access. It was headed by Figen Murray, mother of Martyn Hett who tragically died along with 22 others when a terrorist detonated a bomb at Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

The new Protect Duty will require public places to improve security measures to protect against a terrorist attack. It aims to learn lessons from 2017, achieving a coherent and proportionate approach to security at venues of any size.

The Protect Duty will place five key requirements on operators of public spaces:

  • To engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training
  • To conduct vulnerability assessments
  • To have a mitigation plan for the risks created by the vulnerabilities
  • To have a counter-terrorism plan
  • For local authorities, to plan for the threat of terrorism

Our guide picks out the key steps venues and stadia should take to follow the Protect Duty.

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How tabletop exercises support the Protect Duty for Venues and Stadia

Tabletops both boost your readiness for the expected and the unexpected on event day, and, if properly recorded, give you proof that you are prioritising safety and security at your site.

  • Carry out a readiness programme
  • Present a united front
  • Learn every time
  • Give yourself the proof!

Read our full article in the guide, downloadable at the top or bottom of the page.

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Take-aways - by Eric Solem, Commercial Director at WeTrack and formerly of PTI Smarter Venues and AS Roma

  • It's increasingly important that you have a system of record for testing and exercising, and move away from traditional MS Office tools
  • Testing your capabilities enables you to learn lessons
  • This helps to improve your risk register and focus your business-as-usual projects and tasks
  • What if one system could do all of that? Explore WeTrack below


Deliver effective and collaborative tabletops

Use purpose-built software to enable a successful, accountable testing programme

Download the full guide to improve your venue and stadium operations

  • Understand the importance of testing and exercising
  • Create a well-planned, collaborative environment
  • Focus on learnings and actions

Download Now!