January 9, 2021

Tisch Center Course Spotlight: Permitting for Events

Permitting for Events is an elective course in the MS in Event Management program. Professor Evan Korn, the instructor, tells us more about his background and the course in this post.

What is your background?

After graduating with a degree in psychology and working in social work at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, I had the opportunity to join the NYC Government during the Giuliani Administration. I was working in the Community Assistance Unit, serving the residents of Queens, NY where I was born and raised. I was given a unique opportunity to learn so much about the inner workings of municipal government, and about how to make lasting and meaningful impact to the residents of NYC. Following the change of administration into the Bloomberg years, I served as the Deputy Manhattan Borough Commissioner and Citywide Assistant Commissioner for the NYC Department of Transportation, where I served as the Chief Logistics Official for all NYC Special Events. In 2007, I was selected by Mayor Bloomberg to start a new department, Citywide Event Coordination and Management for the City of New York.  In this capacity I served as the primary advisor to the Mayor on all special events permitting and operations activity across the Five Boroughs of New York City. In addition, my office directly controlled the issuance of permits from the Street Activity Permit Office, covering all commercial activity, street fairs, farmer’s markets and other temporary commercial use of public space. I am currently the founder and CEO of an Experiential Production Agency, IDEKO, based out of NYC.

At the Tisch Center, you teach the Permitting for Events course. What are the objectives of the course?

Through 20 years of working both in the public and private sectors of the events industry, I have determined that while cutting edge creative and technical production are key components to delivering value to your client, the one key ingredient almost always overlooked is the complexity of permitting and receiving approvals for your activities. Almost all event-related components inclusive of venue, build, site plan, safety, health and wellness, amplified sound, special effects, COVID-19 protocols etc., require an extensive permitting application and review process. In the Event Permitting Course students learn about the broad array of skills and requirements necessary to produce a special event in a variety of different venues. Students will learn the key components to a site plan, requirements for building structures, what is needed in a safety plan (including weather contingencies), and, most importantly, how to approach seeking approvals and receiving the necessary permits required - all while keeping within set timelines and budgets.

Why are you interested in this specific topic?

Spending a large portion of my adult life working in the events field, and specifically the permitting and logistics space, has reinforced to me over and over the importance of the permitting process and its impact on the success of an event. In order to have a strong handle on the approval process you must be fluent in all the other aspects of the event process, so you can ensure that what is being designed and built can actually receive the appropriate permits to comply with established rules and regulations.

What impact do you hope to have on your students through this course?

My intent is to create a standardized knowledge base of the core requirements in any municipal permitting process, and familiarize students with how these components all tie back to creating a safe and enjoyable event experience. Regulatory compliance and permitting are ultimately in place to ensure that your guests, attendees and consumers are able to enjoy what it is you are delivering in a safe and organized manner.  I hope to leave a lasting impression coupled with real life examples of how to achieve government approvals while preserving the needs of your client.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I am thrilled that the Tisch Center of Hospitality established the Masters in Event Management degree and included the Permitting for Events course. Our industry, more now than ever, requires a deeper respect and understanding of the ever-changing requirements for live events, and this program teaches the necessary skills to continue delivering value to brands, agencies and not-for-profits in a creative, technologically advanced and safe manner.


Related Articles