Any event can become a target for someone’s bad intentions: terrorism, political protests, unhealthy competition, etc. A gathering of a large number of people, possibly even VIPs, becomes an easily vulnerable target. How do you create an effective event security system, and how do you reduce potential risks to zero through the use of thorough event security planning? Let’s find out.
The importance of security at events
The safety of your guests and staff is your number one concern, so the importance of proper event safety and security planning, as well as the value of an effective emergency response, cannot be underestimated. Poor event planning, management, crowd control, and security, as well as an ineffective emergency response, all increase the likelihood of injuries, property damage, and even catastrophic attacks.
Common risks you may face
In addition to external threats to event security, there are internal, less obvious threats. A meeting of people is always fraught with potential danger. The probability of conflict increases, and even a small emergency can lead to panic, traffic jams, queues, crowds, and casualties. In the most uncontrollable situations, an event audience with their survival instinct in control turns into a crowd and gets out of control, causing more harm than even the original source of panic. That’s why both external and internal risk assessment is vital.
Phases of security planning
Event incident management is not a direct skill of the event manager. However, the event organiser is responsible for the safety of the guests. Therefore, if security is not provided properly, all other elements of the event automatically depreciate. Here are the steps to take to properly plan for security:
Conduct an assessment of the threat, vulnerability, and risk faced by the event.
All facilities face a certain level of risk associated with various threats. These threats may be the result of natural events, accidents, or intentional acts to cause harm. The first step in a risk management program is always a threat assessment.
Develop an operations plan.
What is an operations plan? In short, it lays out the who, what, when, and how of your daily operations over the course of the next year. It is used to define how human, financial, and physical resources will be allocated to achieve short-term goals that support your larger strategic objectives.
Conduct an After Action Review (AAR).
The After Action Review is useful for reflecting upon a project during and after its completion. Organisational learning requires that teams continuously assess their performance to identify and learn from both successes and failures. The After Action Review (AAR) is a simple but powerful tool to help you do this, especially with security.
How to plan an event’s security
When planning event security, you should define the security types you’re going to use. The types of security you need will depend on the size, scope, location, and type of event you’re planning. Research the venue inside and out. You should also know how open the venue is.
Things to think about
Your security strategy demands some thought regarding the following issues:
What are you protecting?
The objects should be clearly distributed among the staff, and they should all have their own areas of responsibility where they are aware that protecting their area is an essential expression of event organisation competences.
Why are you protecting it?
Set clear reasons for the staff as to why they are involved in event venue security or certain parts of it. Even if you’re not convinced that your data is worth protecting, there are certain measures to take.
How will you protect it?
Choosing security types and their allocation is an important part of competent security and event management.
What is the likelihood that something will happen?
How can something that has an exactly 50% chance of happening ever occur? The truth is that when preparing for events, event planners use analytics and risk assessment metrics to predict the likelihood of something going wrong.
What is the plan if something does happen?
Once you have a plan that you can execute, you can create systems to get the things in that plan accomplished. You should also include unpredictable circumstances and risks in the plan.
Things to provide for event security
The larger the crowd, the more likely it is that something can go wrong, so there are numerous things to include in your event security plan. If you host mega-events, ensure you have a security company for your VIP guests, brief staff on the site layout, and make a plan for major and minor issues, such as accommodating attendees, medical assistance, etc. Have a backup plan as well.
What is event security? Training helps employees learn the very specific knowledge or skills to improve their performance in their current roles, ensuring event security. Training is essential for a successful event, but often staff just aren’t interested. Require your employees to follow the risk management directions.
Practice your plan
To succeed with your venue security, you should practice your plan many times to gauge attendee risk, control the crowd, assess the potential for large-scale attacks, and keep communication tight between your staff, vendors, and everyone else involved.
How to plan online cyber security
Cyber security threats are on the rise, and now more than ever, businesses need to organise online security for events. So if you plan to organise online check-in and ticketing, take some measures to prevent fraud, data breaches, long queues, and other risk situations with your cyber security. When looking at how to plan your website, picking the right domain name and so on may be crucial.
Among the best event security practices you will find the following:
- Creating dedicated insider security for an event threat role
- Conducting phishing simulations
- Education of employees on cyber security policies for remote work and business travel
- Prioritising employee privacy
- Creating a cyber security and security at event awareness training program.
- Informing third-party contractors of the cyber security policy, etc.
Event security checklist
Summing up the abovementioned, we can conclude that the modern event security services for large-scale events should be as follows:
- Representative event security staff: Guests should be sure that the organiser is concerned about their safety, and potential attackers should have a reason to change their mind and abandon their plans.
- High-tech: You should be one step ahead of potential attackers.
- Verified: Security services should have experience in guarding such events and should be tested and proven.
- Adequate to the scale and level of the event in terms of the number of personnel and technical equipment, etc.
Tips to improve your event security
There are many ways to improve your event security checklist. Here are some ways to improve both your indoor or outdoor event’s security:
Know the venue inside and out.
Establish a perimeter. Whether your event is indoors or outside, a secure perimeter is essential.
Gauge attendee risk.
Be accommodating to your attendees. Remember that often they can become the source of risk all of a sudden, even though this is completely unintentional.
Control the crowd.
Establish flawless check-in procedures and tracking to control your crowd. Provide medical assistance when needed.
Assess the potential for large-scale attacks.
Key parts of the Internet infrastructure face large-scale attacks. You should assess all potentials in advance if you are involved in online registration or any data processing.
Train your staff.
Brief your staff on the site layout, and make sure they understand their responsibilities for each perimeter.
Remember, the larger the event, the higher the risk.
Make a plan for both major and minor issues. Include their risks and risk management as well as the timing for solving the issues.
If royalty, celebrities, or dignitaries are attending or speaking, extra security measures are essential.
Learn from other destinations and venues.
To learn security skills, the basics of cyber security, and so on, check out these other places to learn more about what can be done for event security on site.
Examine practices in other sectors of the event industry.
Others may consider an event-specific approach more suitable. How event managers approach event security practices is something that is related to other business areas.
Determine which safety and security staff to have on site.
Prepare a list of emergency contacts. Security areas must be determined in advance and provided to the staff for consideration at the event security training.
Establish your event goals and objectives, identify the venue perimeters, and inform event participants of possible risks.
Call to action
Improve your event security with the help of keen and proven online event technology providers.
There are specialists that can set up a security and event management system; they will gladly do it and have the necessary experience. Also, you may ask for help with the venue risks, cyber security protection, and other onsite issues and event security management. Feel free to contact us. Good luck!