Event Security is a hot-button issue for everyone these days. The first family, the royal family, heck, even your own family has no doubt been touched by security concerns at home, school, work or on the road. Event marketers are no exception. From red carpet affairs to county fairs, trade shows to fashion shows, having the proper security measures in place can ease the minds of attendees, exhibitors, speakers and celebrity guests, and even reduce insurance costs.
Event security is the one thing that planners and production companies tend to spend the least on, however, it is one of the most important things about your event. The world security climate for the U. S. has changed. It’s unfortunate, but this is the time we live in and need to plan for.
Here are some helpful tips and resources to make your next event more secure.
Budget for Safety
Security shouldn’t be an afterthought and you should include a line item in your budget for it. Sure, your event staff and venue may be outfitted with CCTV cameras and communication devices required to stay in touch. But if the venue offers basic security, leaving room in your budget is always a good idea.
You’ll need basic security staff at a bare minimum. You need security at all entrances and exits, and maybe a few placed strategically throughout the event. Also, consider staffing a few security members to keep an eye on things during setup and takedown. The larger the event, the more you’ll need security. If more event space is required, you may need even need a room or partitioned area for your event security headquarters. Here, you can setup your CCTV cameras so they can be easily monitored.
Assess Your Event & Have An Emergency Plan of Action
After learning your way around the event venue, you should have an emergency plan of action for multiple scenarios. This should include (but is not limited to):
- Emergency evacuation for all guests.
- Emergency evacuation for VIP guests.
- A contact list and/or route to the nearest hospital.
- How to secure sensitive event products, services, electronics, and displays.
- How to lock down the facility, if needed.
- What to do with any unidentified boxes or bags.
- Making sure that the venue is prepared to control traffic at drop-off and pick-up.
- A passcode or password that will be used in the event of specific threats or concerns.
Consider Traditional Methods Of Security
As our technology becomes more advanced, it can feel like we’re going to devise away a lot of security issues through apps and machine learning. And to be sure, there’s a burgeoning market for facial recognition technology and radio-frequency-identification (RFID) technology. However, these technologies aren’t yet perfected and with recent data breaches and an increase in attacks on private citizens in public spaces, you won’t want to neglect old school boots-on-the-ground security either.
Event safety and security is a shared responsibility of suppliers and event hosts. Both should coordinate safety protocols and have written contingency plans including how to work with local agencies in case of emergency.
Take the proactive approach and use our event security tips to minimize risks at your next event. By getting ahead of potential security issues, you’ll drastically increase the likelihood of a positive outcome if a security breach or emergency arises.
Megan Van Petten
CEO & President
Van Petten Group, Inc.