Essential Event Security Tips
Essential Event Security TipsEssential Event Security Tips

Essential Event Security Tips

Event professionals like to think of the attendee experience first. Items like catering, venue location, and entertainment considerations generally get priority in the budget, adding event security much later if any money is left. In fact, event security is now just as essential a part of the attendee experience as anything else. With that said, here are nine event security tips from security professionals that will help ensure that your events and staff are prepared for the worst.

1. Assessing Risk

Not all events carry the same security risk, and so you should first assess if your event is a high, medium or low risk. The things to consider when assessing event security risk include the organization that is hosting or promoting the event; the content or context of the event; the key individuals speaking at or attending the event; and the exhibitors or sponsors related to the event.
In addition, you should assess the likelihood of protests as well as of the presence of local or national media at the event. You should also take into account potential vulnerabilities of the venue you choose. For example, outdoor venues are often harder to secure than indoor spaces, but indoor spaces may also have fewer escape routes. Extreme weather like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes must be accounted for as well.

2. Focus first on people, then on technology and tools

Getting the right people on the ground with the right training and experience is your first step, and this can include not only hiring the right event security firm but also supplementing event security guards with off-duty policemen, who are licensed to carry a firearm at events. Once you have the right people in place, giving them a complete lay of the land equips them with the knowledge they need to secure the environment properly.

3. Make your event as invisible as possible to the public

Some events like employee appreciation celebrations or board/investor meetings don’t necessarily need to be made public, but often organizations put these events on their websites, in monthly newsletters and on hotel event announcement boards where the general public can learn about them.
And if it’s not possible to hide your event from the public, you can take steps like password protecting your registration form as well as making your event check-in “will-call only” and requiring all attendees to show a valid ID.

4. Have a visible security presence

According to event security experts, hiding your security force or putting them undercover may do more harm than good, mainly because attendees now rely more than ever on event security staff to direct them in time of emergency and distress.
The reason for this is that attendees simply don’t pay as much attention to their environment as they used to. As such, they are not prepared mentally when someone instantly poses a threat to them.

5. Screen all staff

Security threats can come from places where you least expect them, including from event and venue staff. In fact, this may happen much more often than you think.
This means that anyone working on the event needs to be pre-screened and assessed thoroughly, and once they have been cleared, they should be properly credentialed to identify them as event staff. And, like attendees, you should still check their credentials at the venue and match it with a legal ID.

6. Create an emergency response plan

Planning for a disaster can mitigate risk, and so it’s important to sit down and create an event emergency response plan ahead of time. And, if your event is large enough, you can hire an event security service to help you draw one up.
Building out such a plan requires close work with your venue and speaking with them about their procedures for mass evacuations, active shooter situations and moving people into safe areas or rooms. You should also work closely with your venue to map out evacuation routes and ensure that all routes are marked clearly on event day.
The event security plan should also include a crisis communication plan that outlines how you will communicate with attendees and the general public if disaster does strike. This would include creating a list of potential crises, naming your crisis communications team/point people and identifying your communication channels in advance.

7. Widen your event’s footprint

Event security risk reduction can actually start with both expanding the physical parameters of your event and widening the radius of your event security, not reducing them. Both the Bataclan and Pulse environments were dense, concentrated areas, and even the Nice truck incident occurred on a narrow strip of densely populated sidewalk/road.

8. Collect identifying information in advance and check IDs upon entry

Asking for identifying information upfront during the registration process is a good first step in confirming the identity of your attendees, though it is hardly enough. What you can also do is require each attendee to present a valid ID prior to entering the event and, if possible, match this to the information on their registration or ticket.
You can even take this a step further and use technology like RFID-chipped wristbands that are synced with each attendee’s information.

9. Lock down the event WiFi

Not all event security threats pose a physical threat, with cyberattacks and data theft being two emerging threats that event planners need to address now and in the coming years. One way to minimize these threats is to take some basic steps with regard to the event WiFi.
First of all, your event WiFi should ALWAYS be password protected, and you should share this password discretely. This means you really should not announce the password from the stage or post it throughout the venue. Instead, share it through the registration materials and the event app if you offer one.
Usually WiFi is an additional service offered by your venue, so when in negotiations with them you should make sure of two things. First, the network must be secured by a standard security protocol called WiFi Protected Access (WPA). Second, you should make sure that the network is equipped with AP-Isolation, which blocks users from accessing other devices logged onto the network.

Have an upcoming event and need security? Pro-Secur security guards offer elite service. Call us today at 305-418-9214 to schedule service.

Comments
  • Seymour Events
    Reply

    Some very good tips. I especially like how you mentioned visible security presence, as that clearly is very important.

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