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From Dinosaurs to Puppy Love –
AP Security has The O2 Covered
The beginning of AP Security’s sixth year working at London’s O2 Arena has seen the company as busy as ever. From television and music celebrities, basketball superstars and motorcycle madmen to children and dinosaurs, the company’s staff ensured that exemplary charm and helpfulness were always top of the bill.
January was a particularly varied month for The O2. The high profile 18th National Television Awards and NBA London Live basketball match were both televised live, Arenacross featured high octane motorcycle racing and stunts, Ronan Keating lit the Fires of passion in women of a certain age, Donnie and Marie Osmond produced plenty of Puppy Love and Walking with Dinosaurs produced much wonder for younger generations.
With eyes of the world on the National Television Awards (NTAs) and NBA London Live, AP’s staff could have felt added pressure. But the company always strives to deliver the very best service at every event, so the staff took them in their stride.
“We cover the main entrances, the floor of The O2 and the response teams on all the levels, so our staff are effectively working throughout the venue,” says James Turner, AP operations manager. “Our focus is to keep the standard of our service really high at all times. It is vital for our staff to be in the right place at the right time, looking smart and delivering a service that helps ensure people enjoy themselves safely.”
The staff roles at all the January events were similar, although the audiences were of course very different. At the NTAs AP staff also covered the Sky backstage bar, while out front the arena floor was divided into two - the front half for the celebrities and the back half for the general public.
A complete contrast was Walking with Dinosaurs, where the vast majority of the audience were parents with children.
“This is the kind of event where the youngsters will have been looking forward to it for absolutely ages, so it’s vital that we deliver just as high a quality service as we would for the most famous celebrity,” says James. “Our staff knew that it might be a birthday for any child there - certainly it would have been a special treat - and that the day meant the world to them, so it was really important that they were given the same respect and level of service.”
AP continually tries to improve its service and, to this end, all of the company’s stewards are currently going through an NVQ Level Two in customer service, through the British Training Academy.
“Whatever the event - whether it’s highest or lowest profile - our aim is to treat every one as though it’s the highlight of the year for every person attending it,” says James. “Which, in many cases, it is.”