Tuesday Trendspotting Forums

Join in peer-to-peer small group discussions on emerging challenges in the social economy. Unlike a webinar, there is no presenter. Everyone is an expert! The collective experiences of participants will guide development of future solutions.

Tuesday | 10-11 AM PDT

SEPTEMBER 10, 2024

Don't Take Your Guns to Town

Today, 31 states allow the open carrying of firearms without a license or permit, with restrictions on entering an alcohol-serving establishment. Gun violence occurs more often in public space after problem patrons are evicted from venues and weapons are retrieved from parking lots. Although shootings inside venues are rare, risk can be greatly reduced through trained door security and venue safety procedures. Incidents of gun violence that take place in social districts can send shockwaves through the community with sensational media reports sparking fear among patrons and employees alike. This forum will explore how social venues and public safety agencies can work together to make social districts safer.

Discussion Topics

  • What are requirements for venue security for businesses licensed to serve alcohol?
  • What are other public safety challenges in your social districts?
  • What training can be provided to prevent and respond to active shooters?
  • How does your community combat media stories that perpetuate negative perceptions of safety ?

Tuesday | 10-11 AM PDT

October 8, 2024

Women in Policing and Venue Security

More cities recognize the value of having women involved in nighttime district police units and venue security. The image of a “burly bouncer” is being replaced by a new standard for excellent communication skills and de-escalation. The "30x30 Initiative" reports women police officers use less excessive force and are named in fewer lawsuits. This forum will discuss the benefits of recruiting more women in safety.

Discussion Topics

  • Making the case for women in security for social venues and policing.
  • Is your nightlife experience an increase in "spiking" and other threats to women's safety?
  • How has your city expanded the role of women in public safety? Venue safety?
  • What is your city doing to increase the representation of women in social venue management and security?

Tuesday | 10-11 AM PDT

November 12, 2024

Are You Keeping Up with Festivals?

Events and festivals have helped drive a return to Downtowns post-COVID. Yet some cities are struggling to keep up with multiple events that occur simultaneously or on consecutive weekends. Unlicensed "Pop-up" events are a new trend creating impacts and demands on services. Event planners are challenged to meet security requirements, insurance, and work through the permit process. There are some who claim there is "festival fatigue" or insufficient public space for events.

Discussion Topics

  • How can cities balance the economic benefits of events with the impacts to residents?
  • How does your city ensure sufficient safety resources for day and night events?
  • Does resource allocation for events conflict with traditional “nightlife”?
  • How can cities include local food and beverage business operators in events?
  • How can social venues draw patrons in the off-peak event season?

Tuesday | 10-11 AM PDT

December 10, 2024

Building Better State-Local Relations

State alcohol regulatory agencies carry the responsibility of issuing licenses to sell alcohol, but have dwindling resources to enforce at the local level. Some cities report they are a mere pass through to the state on licensing, without the authority to review applications or place conditions to ensure safe business operation. State regulators note the cities have more power than they realize. Improved communication and collaboration is required to breakdown barriers to build a safer and more vibrant nighttime social economy, facilitate a more efficient process to assist at-risk venues, or coordinate enforcement if required.

Discussion Topics

  • What authority do cities have to review, deny or approve state-issued alcohol licenses?
  • How complicated is the state administrative process to address at-risk businesses?
  • How can state alcohol enforcement agents work more collaboratively with local law enforcement?
  • What are ways to regulate business operations for social venues that don’t involve the state alcohol license?

Tuesday | 10-11 AM PDT

January 14, 2025

Adapting Mobility for Day and Night

Mobility systems are changing almost as rapidly as AI technology. Competition for public space access on curbs, sidewalks, or roads for pedestrians, bikes, scooters, public transit, and automobiles is only the beginning—autonomous vehicles, whether for personal service or product deliveries and expanded use of package drones create a multi-dimensional matrix for planners. Compounding the challenge is the growing demand for nighttime mobility options for workers and business patrons.

DISCUSSION TOPICS

  • What mobility systems are planned for your city?
  • How engaged are the various stakeholders to prevent conflicting interests?
  • What policies are needed for efficiency and safety?
  • Are there improvements in nighttime mobility to reduce impaired driving?
  • Who makes decisions about public space access?

Managing Drugs in Social Venues

It’s no secret that drug use, legal and illegal, is part ofdaytime festivals and nighttime socializing. Although “zero tolerance” is stillthe default in many places, drug policy in the U.S. is shifting. What would ittake for cities to adopt a harm-reduction approach in their nightlife venues?Can licensing officials recognize that the role of security and staff at venuesis better spent on harm reduction than apprehension? Should training focus onmedical intervention for opioid overdose rather than trying to catch patronswith cannabis, coke, and MDMA?

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Women’s Safety in Social Spaces

Women experience going out at night differently from men. While women represent half the population, they are the majority of recipients of sexual harassment and violence. Most perpetrators are men, as are security staff, indicating a need for training and education of the other half of the population. However, many campaigns are solely directed at women or encourage changes to women’s behavior. Bring your ideas on making public spaces and social venues safer for female patrons and employees who work and play at night.

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The Future of Music and Music Venues

They were the first to close and the last to open. Live music and live music venues were greatly impacted by COVID era restrictions. As public demand increases, the music industry faces challenges from  rent, security staff shortages, insurance and competition from festivals and events.

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The Best Closing Time for Sociability

The lighting of the street with gas in the early 1800s created a safer life at night. The lamplighter became the foundation for modern-day policing. Yet as late-night problems emerged, police and policymakers debated closing hours for alcohol service.  Today, this debate continues throughout the world, attempting to balance the social needs of adults and impacts on public safety and residential quality of life. Closing hours are the focal point without a definitive formula to achieve the desired outcome.

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Local Control of Alcohol Policy

With the repeal of prohibition, states were given the authority to regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages. For almost a century, some systems have still governed the regulatory process, often hindering local authorities to determine how to best distribute licenses and address at-risk businesses in a timely manner.

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Cannabis Lounges as New Social Venues

Cannabis lounges are a hot new trend where you can consume on-site. But, you still can’t legally buy a drink and consume cannabis in the same space. This session will explore the role of cannabis in social districts and implications when you separate out spaces to consume different recreational substances.

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Building a Safety Alliance

Police are typically the catch-all for public safety challenges in nightlife settings. But other city, county and state agencies also play a critical role in nighttime safety. Learn how an inter-agency alliance can facilitate collaboration among code compliance, alcohol enforcement, fire and health departments. Benefits included data sharing, compliance training for businesses, and educational support prior to enforcement.

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Does your City Need a Night Manager?

More cities are creating an office on nightlife with dedicated staff and advisory boards. It is an evolving field and job descriptions and structure vary considerably from city to city. The early pioneers have navigated the ambiguity of what a “night manager/night mayor” does on a day-to-day basis, and in some cities, resources are expanding to support additional staff and data analysis. Would a dedicated office on nightlife and staff be useful to enhancing sociability and controlling chaos?

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Managing the Street as a Venue

Public space vibrancy offers a continuum of outdoor activities such as sidewalk dining, outdoor seating, street performers, markets, food vendors, festivals and art walks. Truly vibrant cities maintain social activity during day and night. COVID also introduced expanded parklets and streeteries, taking over parking and closing streets. Take-out and delivery, scooters and bikes, pedicabs, food trucks and deliveries all compete for reduced parking and infrastructure. Is it time for a nighttime “Street Venue Manager” to coordinate and manage the impacts?

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Gun Violence and Nightlife

Every week, there is another shooting in nightlife districts. The issue is complex, and various approaches are being tried, from metal screening at venue entrances to controlled access points in social districts. Social venues have been focused on training security on active shooters and conflict resolution. Cities are developing strategies to manage public space activity that contributes to personal conflicts and mass attacks.

Eighty-nine participants from 35 cities and four countries grappled with two open forums on gun violence hosted by RHI.

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