When hosting an event, security and safety precautions can sometimes be an afterthought – to both the planning process and the budget. However, keeping your guests safe is the foundation of a successful event. The potential for harm is too great in a large group of people to not take event security seriously. Here are 6 important tips to prepare yourself for potential disaster.
Assess Your Security Risks
In terms of security, different events have different needs. A political rally would be a much higher risk event than, say, a child’s birthday party. That’s why your first step is to determine what type of risk you’re dealing with. Here are some things to consider:
- Who is hosting your event? Are they a potential target?
- Who is attending your event? Do they attract controversy?
- What type of event is it? Does its topic invite security problems?
- Do you expect protestors?
- Will the media be present?
- Does the venue have any security vulnerabilities?
Keep Your Security Measures Visible
The main goal of event security is not to respond to threats. The main goal is to prevent threats from happening. In the ideal situation, a potential agitator sees your security measures and moves on.
That’s why hiding your security team or putting them undercover throughout the event does more harm than good. Agitators think the event is unprotected and may be more likely to start trouble.
By making your security team and devices obvious, you also make your attendees feel safer. They know you’ve enlisted the help of people and tools to protect them. They also know where to find help in the event of an emergency.
Create Security Checkpoints
Another key way to protect event attendees from security threats is to set up checkpoints away from the gathering that they must pass through to get inside. This forces agitators to confront security personnel (or even just registration staff) before they can cause any damage.
This can also provide ample opportunity to search bags and personal belongings before attendees enter the venue. Having this extra checkpoint will discourage agitators from bringing any prohibited item or substance into the event.
Develop an Emergency Plan
You’ll want to have a conversation with your security team and the venue before the event to create an emergency response plan. The purpose of this is to draft a procedure that everyone will enact in the event of a disaster. This should be presented to all employees before the event.
It should include:
- Different ways to mass evacuate the event.
- What to do when there’s an active shooter.
- The locations of safe rooms or areas.
- Where staff should meet during an emergency.
- How staff will communicate during an emergency.
- How you’ll direct guests in an emergency.
- Signage and notifications for guests regarding how to respond.
Screen Your Staff
Unfortunately, there are times when security risks come from the inside. It’s important to carefully vet anyone who works for you to make sure they don’t have malicious intentions. Run background checks on everyone who works for you.
If your staff doesn’t work together often, it can be helpful to introduce them to one another before the event. Instruct them to look out for people who don’t belong and might be posing as staff. If you can, give your team a unique identifier (like a tshirt, wristband, etc.) on the day of the event.
Consider Hiring Outside Help
If your security needs are more than you can handle on your own, consider outsourcing to a private security company. You may trust your event staff, but the trained eye of an experienced security team can be a big help during a high-risk, crowded event.
Planning your next event? Call Assured Protection Today!
Attendees at your next event need to feel safe. Assured Protection can work with you to create the proper logistics so everyone enjoys their experience. We know special event protection, and our experience and personal touch have benefitted event planners for more than a decade. If you’re ready to get started on the logistics of your next event, give us a call at (443) 281-8391.