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Attending a training/education class on a specific segment of nightclub operations and receiving a certificate of completion provides a number of benefits to club owners and their key staff members who attend the class—but the two primary benefits can be summed up with just two words:

Education.

Protection.

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A certification class will educate you and your staff about the latest developments in a particular area of club operation, providing you with up-to-date tools and technical strategies. The more informed you are, the better the decisions you will make. And a certification class will also offer you a level of legal protection because it shows you took preemptive steps to train yourself and your staff about the most current approved procedures for that particular area of club operations. It won’t stop a lawsuit, but it puts more evidence in your corner that you have taken every step to be compliant with rules and regulations and knowledgeable about industry protocol.

At EXPO 2019 (August 11-14, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas) ED Publications will introduce the first-ever ED University Certification Series. This series will include five certification courses on very specific areas of club operation, where all of those who attend will receive a Certificate of Completion. There will be Certification Classes on:

Security and proper use of force
Liquor liability and over-serving
Credit card chargeback prevention
Leadership/management training

There will also be a “bonus” training seminar for DJs, titled, The “S.M.I.L.E.” training program for DJs.”

“We’re calling it the ‘ED University’ Certification Series because by using the word ‘university’ we send the message that these are educational classes where attendees will actually be students in a sense,” says ED Publisher Don Waitt. “Attendees will leave those classes educated about the latest developments in club operations and they will receive a certificate of completion—a diploma, if you will—for having attended those classes.”

The concept has met with very favorable response from industry leaders, who have suggested that, after 25 years of operation, the EXPO add a new component to the show to encourage club owners to send their key personnel to the convention.

“This Certification Series is an excellent addition to the EXPO,” says RCI Management President Ed Anakar. “I believe it will add great value to club owners and employees. The certification in most cases can help with litigation and insurance costs, and the training is invaluable.”

Says Jim St. John of the Spearmint Rhino club chain, “If you want to stay in business and be successful, you have to be knowledgeable on all the key issues surrounding the industry. That’s legal decisions like Dynamex, or the many pole taxes being introduced around the country right now, or the key areas of club operation being addressed by this year’s Certification Series. The EXPO puts the industry’s experts on that seminar stage every year to help this industry. What is that worth? It’s worth a hell of a lot! You should be sending as much of your staff as you can to learn, because you won’t get this information anywhere else.”

“There are certain areas of training that are expected by the companies who underwrite insurance to the gentlemen’s club industry. Formal training for your staff in the areas of alcohol service and club security isn’t ‘preferred,’ it’s ‘expected.’” — Grant Veitch of Associated Underwriters.

The EXPO has provided attendees with professional advice for years at its panel sessions. But a certification course is different than simply attending a panel session, for several reasons:

• A certification course is much more target-specific. For example, the Club Security Certification Class being offered at EXPO 2019 will focus exclusively on proper use of force. There are many viable topics to address when it comes to club security—from proper search procedures to active shooter drills—but allotting an entire certification class to just one topic allows attendees the maximum education on that topic.

Says Robert Smith of Nightclub Security Consultants, which is presenting the Security Certification Class at EXPO 2019, “Eighteen years ago, I told a reporter, ‘Employee excessive force losses are the most preventable losses in the hospitality industry.’ It was true then and it is true now. The reason it was and remains true: the lack of real, honest and practical training. No more, though. Attend our upcoming Use of Force Basics Certification course and you will be immediately able to lower premise liability, calls for police, injuries and more.”

• Unlike a panel session, you receive a certificate of completion for attending a certification class. It’s proof that you received training in a specific area of club operations that you can offer into evidence in case of governmental fines or charges, insurance claims, or lawsuits. (It’s also proof that club personnel who attend the course can show their club owner in case the owner thinks they spent the entire EXPO at the blackjack tables.)

“There are certain areas of training that are expected by the companies who underwrite insurance to the gentlemen’s club industry. Formal training for your staff in the areas of alcohol service and club security isn’t ‘preferred,’ it’s ‘expected,’” says Grant Veitch of Associated Underwriters.

“The question we are being asked constantly by insurance underwriters is: ‘Does the staff at the club have formal training in these critical areas?’ If not, there’s a good chance you will not have a policy written. Underwriters are less and less apt to take that risk. Because the bottom line is, claims happen when people are not trained properly,” says Veitch. “Right now, the main concern from insurance underwriters is whether or not there’s been training in the area of ‘use of force.’ More specifically, is the club’s security staff and management being trained in restraint, in ways to avoid using force and de-escalation. Today, eight out of ten insurance claims are related to club security.”

Adds Pike Barber of Hospitality Insurance Agency, “The industry needs this type of certification training because on my end, I deal with claims. So, what are my claims? Assault and battery, and liquor liability. Are they severe? Are people dying? Yeah. I mean, goodness gracious, we’ve paid out millions of dollars with people dying.”

• Certification courses will give you working tools and improve the perception of the industry at large. By acquiring new and updated industry information and techniques, you can hone current work habits that may be causing inefficiencies or quality issues with your output while increasing your competencies. This can help give you the skills and confidence to try something new such as establishing the groundwork to implement a more sophisticated working environment.

“The EXPO puts the industry’s experts on that seminar stage every year to help this industry. What is that worth? It’s worth a hell of a lot! You should be sending as much of your staff as you can to learn, because you won’t get this information anywhere else.” – Industry veteran Jim St. John of the Spearmint Rhino club chain

The experts presenting these certification classes will give you hands-on tools that you can use when you return to your club. It’s not a subjective discussion; it’s actual step-by-step, proven methods of handling situations at your club in the most economical, most safe, and most successful manner possible. And their classes will include the latest new developments in their fields.

Proper training in key areas also helps to improve the way our industry is perceived, especially by insurance underwriters who can be hesitant to write policies for a business that’s considered to be high-risk.

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“When we work with underwriters, we present each client’s approach and operational culture in order to obtain the best insurance pricing possible,” says John Jacquat of industry insurance provider Pure Risk Solutions.  “A strong culture that includes proper training and certification of employees, shows ownership integrity and creates a better risk profile.  There really isn’t a long line of insurance carriers wanting to cover our industry but if we can communicate our clients’ professional culture and approach, it absolutely helps with pricing and coverage options.”

“These training certification seminars help the industry in general,” echoes Associated’s Veitch. “Offering this type of training helps fight the misinformation out there about adult nightclubs. When we go to underwriters, we’re able to tell them all of the training that’s offered at the EXPO; this, in turn, helps us gain policies for clubs with the underwriters. There are only a handful of companies who write policies for this industry, and that number has shrunk over the years. That number is five right now, but with some of the recent multi-million-dollar insurance claims against the industry over the past few years, that number may easily shrink to three. The truth is, these huge insurance claims against one club can still affect the entire industry. That’s why everyone should be getting this type of training and certification because it helps the entire industry when they do.”

See details on the certification classes being offered online at the official convention website, www.theEDexpo.com. And don’t forget to register for Expo today and save big!

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