As the city of Philadelphia prepared for Pope Francis’ historic 2015 visit to the United States, the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management faced a number of challenges. With over 1.5 million visitors expected to flood the city, and more than 70 local, state and federal agencies involved in the event management efforts, how would Philadelphia effectively prepare for, and manage, emergency activities? Moreover, how could the city effectively engage with both residents and the anonymous visitors that would embark on the trip to ensure they were safe and informed?

Case Study Problem

The City of Philadelphia faced a unique challenge from an event management perspective when the Pope visited. There had to be an effective and reliable method for city officials to contact city residents to alert them to closed roads, event locations, etc. There also had to be a way for travelers who came from out of town to see the Pope to easily opt-in to also receive this information.

Case Study Solution For Improving Event Management

As an Everbridge customer, the Southeast Pennsylvania Task Force was able to ensure the Philadelphia OEM had access to this critical communication solution for event management to prepare and deliver messages on a large scale in the event of an emergency. Most importantly, the department deployed the Nixle Community Engagement solution to improve their database of both resident and visitor opt-ins to improve communication reach throughout the event. Community Engagement proved particularly successful, providing the city with a solution to easily identify and attract opt-ins via SMS. Philadelphia was able to provide these individuals with real-time notifications and alerts related to weekend logistics, traffic, weather and more.







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“For Pope Francis’ historic visit to Philadelphia, the Community Engagement platform was successful in helping us obtain many resident and visitor opt-ins in a very short amount of time. We were able to generate over 11k opt-in’s in just a few days—by comparison, it took almost 8 years for us to amass 15k Twitter followers! Clearly, this is a powerful and highly visible tool that helps us reach citizens quickly and effectively.”

Learn how the City of New Orleans used Everbridge to improve their major event and project safety notifications. Read the case study here.

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