Secure From the Start: How Organizers Should Approach Event Security

This is a guest post from Dan Petrovic, a marketing and security specialist who writes articles for several blogs in his free time. He is currently working for Custom Lanyards as a consultant.

All events require some form of event security. As you start to plan your event and debate between venues and caterers, take some time to consider the following steps in thinking about the security of your event.

Explore the Possibilities

The first thing to consider with your team is type of challenge that you could face. This could be an oncoming storm, the possibility of theft, the possibility of a group making a political or social statement in a manner that disrupts the event, or controversy over some of the guests, speakers or VIPs at the event.

Take the time to brainstorm potential scenarios, and prepare your staff for how to handle them. By outlining them ahead of time, your team will be more confident and knowledgeable on event day.

Build a Team

The second point to consider is the role of the event security staff. Having the right type and right number of staff will allow them to:

  • Show a presence that would deter would-be trouble makers from making a move to disrupt the event;
  • Monitor the crowd and any unfolding situations so they can effectively intervene and stop a disruption before it is launched;
  • Respond in an appropriate manner if an incident does occur.

Just as an event organizer works with other professionals involved in putting together a successful event, so, too, should security professionals be looped in on the event planning from the beginning.

Create an Action Plan

For large events, it is vital that event organizers sit down with their event security team to discuss all potential threats and the strategies to deal with them before, during and after the event.

This process is key to formulating a risk assessment. Event security planning is most successful when it follows a tested and proven strategy to consider all possible situations that might occur.

There are five areas of consideration:

  • Identifying what or who is being protected. Are people, a physical location, equipment, activities of the event, or the public image of the sponsor being protected?
  • Considering all known and potential threats that may arise. Part of this can be accomplished by studying past events for clues about what has occurred historically, and what may occur again.
  • Determining how vulnerable the event is to the potential threats. This allows the security team to make an assessment and determine the probability that an unfavorable situation will arise.
  • Rating the impact of any loss or violence that might occur.
  • Implementing a cost benefit analysis of the amount and type of security recommended for the event.

An event security team should also consider the negative effects to a brand or client’s image. They are a valuable partner in protecting a company or institution from appearing too heavy-handed or too lenient with security, by properly assessing the amount of personnel required to ensure a safe event.

A comprehensive risk assessment should be considered for each event you host. Keep these starting points in mind as you begin planning, and you will be on a smooth track toward a successful – and safe – event.

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