In partnership with International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and in support of local, national and global efforts to continuously and consistently enhance public safety and security in an ever-changing landscape, the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) conducted an advanced Venue Safety and Security Training on Thursday, August 10, 2023 for over 325+ registered attendees from 1st responders to venue security professionals from key stakeholders, partners, event and performing arts centers, convention centers, stadiums, arenas, hotels, nightclubs, government emergency departments, including local and federal agencies and also supported by the Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor and the DHS Commercial Facilities stakeholders division. The training was led by Mark Herrera, the Director of Safety and Security IAVM & OVG360 (Oak View Group), reflecting a collaboration of the highest standard to implement best practices, protocols and procedures that create the safest and most conducive environment for our employees, guests and contract partners.


“As always, the health, safety and security of all who enter the MBCC and our Campus is our number 1 priority,” said Freddie Peterson, General Manager of the MBCC. “Ongoing training and emergency preparedness are paramount as we want to ensure that we exceed the expectations of those who interact with the MBCC’s Campus. Together with our amazing first responder community, coupled with our wonderful contract partners, we remain committed to all aspects of life safety while delivering excellence in customer service and venue management.”


The training included:

  • De-escalation training for frontline teams
  • Active threat/active shooter preparedness & response
  • Situational awareness & risk mitigation through guest service interjection
  • Building a resilient & all-inclusive security culture: best practices for developing leadership and frontline staff in or to build a resilient security culture.


Miami Beach Convention Center hosted a community wide all-inclusive security training not only to bolster their own security but to also contribute to the resilience and preparedness of the entire community. By coming together, the partners have created a safer environment for all throughout various locations and venues in South Florida


David Whitaker, President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, emphasizes the unified mission: “In the face of everything from severe weather to constant threats of cyber security, our destination and our customer’s safety and security must be at the forefront. It's about being prepared in advance, not just when an incident occurs. Our collaborative efforts with our top destination venues exemplify thought leadership and enable us to implement leading-edge safety measures and confidence across the board.”


Mark Herrera, IAVM's Director of Safety and Security, who has years of experience working in law enforcement special operations and the Department of Homeland Security, led the training. “It’s inspiring to see the dedication of the Miami Beach Convention Center to provide a safe and secure environment not only for their facility but the industry as a whole,” said Herrera. “Their commitment to the highest standards sets a precedent in the industry and is vital for the safety of the community.”


As part of its ongoing effort to ensure a secure environment, MBCC continues to work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The event follows a series of similar successful trainings across the country and stands as a testament to MBCC's commitment to safety, innovation, and excellence.


“With the training and expertise now in place, we are more prepared than ever to offer our clients a secure, world-class experience,” added Jac White, MBCC Director of Safety & Security. “We will continue to work closely together with the City of Miami Beach and our partners to innovate and adapt to future trends in safety and security, reinforcing our position as one of the leading convention centers in the nation.”


Sponsored by and in collaboration with IAVM-International Association of Venue Managers, ESCA-Exhibition Services & Contractors Association, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Smart City Networks, Sodexo Live!, Everlast Productions, A6 Security, and OVG360 - Oak View Group, MBCC has taken significant steps to enhance the security protocols and safety measures in place to protect all visitors and participants. The Miami Beach Convention Center is owned by the City of Miami Beach and managed by OVG360 (Oak View Group).



Mabel De Beunza or Amanda Batista | Deepsleep Studio | 305 877 1031 | [email protected] for high-resolution images, broll, interviews, and any additional information.


About Miami Beach Convention Center

Reimagined following a $640 million renovation, the award-winning MBCC includes a new 60,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom, four junior ballrooms, almost 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, an expanded Grand Lobby, pre-function areas that are bathed in natural light, up to 84 breakout rooms, approximately 800 roof deck parking spaces, almost 2,100 miles of cabling to support all IT communications, $10.2 million worth of art curated by the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places program and a six-acre (Pride Park) and three-acre (Collins Canal Park) public green space that can serve as incremental event space. The MBCC Campus includes two new event spaces: Venu, a space for elegant private events and upscale meetings, and Rum Room, a 1920s restaurant with an enticing tapas-style menu and local South Florida rums. The MBCC is proud to have earned Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ Facility Accreditation, and LEED® Silver Certification as part of the venue’s expansion project, which includes many environmentally friendly features.


About Mark Herrera

Mark is the Director of Safety and Security for the International Association of Venue Managers and is recognized as one of the 25 most influential leaders in the meetings and event industry. Mark represents the Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection as the current Chair for the Public Assembly Facility Sub-Sector Council. Mark is a retired law enforcement officer commander and entry team lead on a specialized unit also known as SWAT and has worked in different law enforcement roles to include: Patrol Officer, Detective for the Gangs and Narcotics Unit & Field Training Officer. Mark was a lead firearms and defense tactics instructor for the Department of Homeland Security, training 3,000 armed pilots to defend against acts of terrorism.