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Executive Protection and Venue Management

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Executive protection details are as diverse as the principals under protection. Many close protection teams require coordination with the venue management and staff. And especially if the venue already has security currently contracted on-site. One of the most popular venues that I experienced while on a protective detail was in hotels or conference centers.

The principal’s host organization would rent out space for a public appearance or meeting with the expectation that everything will, per the adage, “go off without a hitch.” Many executive protection leaders are at times reluctant to trust outside security contractors and venue management in the protective detail framework. Unfortunately, this closed-minded way of thinking is outdated and unwise.

Taking the above hotel venue as a premise, there must be clear and concise communication between four key individuals:

  • The Executive Protection Team Leader,
  • The Hotel’s Security Manager (if applicable),
  • The Hotel General Manager,
  • Liaison from the local police department, fire department, and/or emergency medical services.

The aforementioned must be involved in the advance team assessment of the property as well as a concrete understanding of the chain of command in the event of an incident or evacuation. This becomes more challenging for a new venue location because of the familiarization of layout and evacuation routes.

Local security and hotel management are imperative for this type of venue. The reason is that they are the most familiar with the layout of the hotel and the best entry and egress points in the event of an evacuation.

Target Hardening and Venue Management

Furthermore, partnering with the entities responsible for public safety in the city or town of the venue is an added force multiplier because it allocates more resources if needed. Also, consider the streets surrounding the venue while the principal(s) are escorted to and from the property. These might need to be closed off or traffic patterns altered.

Target hardening is the cornerstone of security operations, especially within the fluidity of executive protection details. The harder it is for unauthorized access to the principal(s), the more successful the detail. However, especially in a world with security services increasing, those unauthorized individuals should not be the very men and women who can assist in hardening the executive protection framework.

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