Doing event security is a lot more difficult than it seems from the outside looking, no matter if you’re the coordinator or security manager. There are so many moving parts, and accounting for everything and everyone is virtually impossible. No matter how well and thought-out the planning is, there will almost always be an attendee that’s a bit overzealous and might cause problems.
However, there are certain steps you can take to mitigate the risks and reduce them to a minimum. Of course, if everything else fails, there’s also always a backup plan. Today, we’re going to dive deep into event security, see why it’s so crucial to do it right, and how exactly to accomplish that.
Why Is Event Security so Important?
Before you start creating your security strategy, you should know why you’re doing it. There’s the first obvious benefit, which includes keeping both the guests and the staff safe during an event.
However, another key factor is that proper event security can minimize any risk of damage to the venue or property. That alone will reduce costs, and help keep the budget right.
Another thing to consider is, depending on the location and type of event, there’s sometimes a high risk of terrorist activity. So in addition to preventing security breaches, a team will have to tackle the potential threats and prevent them any way they can. And when there are lives at stake, solid event security is more important than ever.
How to Properly Do Event Security
Before we get into the different methods and tactics event managers and security staff use to keep people safe, we do want to point something out. There are a ton of different approaches you can take when designing a strategy. It will depend on the size of the event, the location, the type, budget, and so much more.
Also, there’s no one way to do event security. All the best managers employ every single tactic they can to ensure everyone’s safety. However, these are just some of the most common strategies that you’ll see all over the world.
Do Risk Assessment
Risk assessment is an integral part of any executive protection job, and it doesn’t matter what your exact title or role is. Whether you’re standing guard in front, creating a security infrastructure, or creating the event strategy, you have to do a risk assessment.
There’s a lot that goes into a risk assessment, but there are the four pillars you always need to keep in mind, which involve identification, examination, establishing, and implementing. If you want to learn more about the proper ways to do one, you can check out our article on security risk assessment.
Know What You’re Working With
Here’s the thing; the only way you can truly plan and set up your strategy is if you know what (and who) you’re working with. You need to learn about the venue, and know it like the back of your hand.
Basically, you need to know how porous the place is. That involves learning all the ways someone could get inside without actually using any of the entry points. Figure out where the back doors are, as well as which windows open from the outside, and notify the staff.
It’s also a good idea to create a diagram of the venue, which you can share with your team. However, if the event is outdoors, ensure that you have proper boundaries, and know where your parameter is. You might also want to have some barricades or temporary fencing to prevent anyone from crashing the event.
Do Crowd Control
As you can imagine, with bigger crowds, there’s a higher risk that something might go wrong. That’s when you need to ensure that your staff feels comfortable dealing with such large groups of people. They should also be able to exert authority when need be.
One of the most common things you and your team will have to do as part of crowd management is asking guests to keep all exits clear. Also, your team should make sure that the registration line is organized, and people aren’t cutting.
What’s more, you should be checking whether somebody has wandered off into staff-restricted areas or places reserved for VIPs.
Lastly, it’s your job to ensure that the venue crowd doesn’t go over the capacity limit. That is a huge safety risk, and you or the organizer could face fines from the venue administrator.
Have an Emergency Plan
When you’re doing event security or any other type of security for that matter, you need to have an emergency response plan. You should outline procedures in case of a disaster that everyone can enact. Some of the potential disasters you should account for include:
- Active shooter scenario;
- Ways to do mass evacuation;
- Safe areas and meeting points for staff;
- Communication during an emergency;
- How and where the attendees will be directed;
Of course, every venue, event, and location is different, and you should tailor the emergency response to them.
With cybersecurity breaches on the rise, it’s more important than ever to cover cybersecurity in your strategy. Not all risks are going to be physical, which is why you need to take the necessary steps to protect your guests’ devices, identities, and data.
The first step toward that is having solid Wi-Fi password practices, which, in all honesty, won’t be easy to do. However, it’s a unique measure that’ll ensure no one can breach the network from the outside. Essentially, you want to have only your guest be able to access the network.
Also, you should have an IT security specialist on your team who will run security measures on the network. Their effort can prevent any malicious parties from using or stealing your guests’ data.
Doing event security involves a lot of moving parts, and sometimes it might seem it’s just one problem after the other. But if you have a solid strategy in place, communicate with your team, and have everyone on the same page, you can definitely pull it off.
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