While AF specific, the following extract from Air Force Base Open House "After Action Reports" provides additional background for all events on the issue of controlling the access/abuse of the event PA system.  

 

1.   “Civilian/corporate sponsorship” issue:

a.   Lack of control of “who” was a sponsor.  There have been a few that the Chaplin would not have approved of.

 

b.   Lack of control over the scripting of the announcements.  Individual sponsors were approaching the announcer with “requests” for announcements that pushed the envelop of the DoD guidelines.  Placing announcer in position of having to “edit on the fly” and/or reject announcements in public arena.

 

2.   Lost Children (parents, uncles, friends, etc.):

 

a.   Inadequate plans to deal with lost persons. (Holding area, manning personnel, refreshments, age specific entertainment, etc.)

 

b.   Over dependence on PA system for “name specific” lost person announcements resulting in saturation of “air time” with such announcements. (Persons “getting lost” just to have name announced, etc.)

 

c.   Lack of official “Gatekeeper” limiting public access to announcer location to request such “lost person” announcements resulting in negative PR situations such as “distraught woman screaming at announcer, and open mic, about her missing baby.” 

Addendum

Institute a more detailed Lost Child plan.  To include: 

a)      Expect number of lost children to be an exponential ratio of crowd count.  As the number of people at the event grows, the increased population density of the ramp/spectator area causes the number of lost children/parents to increase out of proportion to what would normally be expected.  

b)      Highly visible Lost & Found location/booth, maybe a blimp balloon to make it easily seen from all over site.

c)      Repeated generic PA announcements for lost persons to report to the easily located Lost & Found Booth/Balloon.

d)      Establishment of Kids Corral @ Lost & Found to entertain lost children, staffed with appropriate personnel and equipment.

e)      Use of experienced uniformed Police personnel to control/filter any name specific Lost Child/Person PA announcements.  Name specific announcements can quickly get out of hand, to the point that the PA system becomes saturated with Lost Child/Person announcements to the exclusion of event narration.  It is recommended that name specific announcements be limited to only cases deemed actual emergencies by an experienced Police Officer.  (May seem hard nosed, but, been there, done that!)

    The event PA system and the associated narration is for the safety and entertainment of the total audience, not just the one's who can't stay together.  Allowing the narrator and/or PA system to be high jacked by irresponsible persons is not conducive to the total experience of most of your attendees and degrades the total value of your event.