There is so much more to effective event security than you might think: It’s a plan that requires concise coordination and reliable, focused communication at all times.
It also requires the right equipment. So, if you’re planning a major event and you’re unsure how to proceed when it comes to arranging and planning security, we have you covered.
Know your venue
We cannot stress this enough – you need to know your venue like the back of your hand. Spend time getting to know every fire exit, every window, and every potential entrance and exit point as they can all be potential exit points in case of an emergency. Once you have a good lay of the land, create a diagram containing a top-down map of the venue and any notes that you think are relevant.
For outdoor events, establishing boundaries is the first thing you can do, which is why we’d always recommend fencing, if only for logistical reasons. The map will also be invaluable in helping you figure out where to place CCTV cameras.
Obviously, it would be impossible to do a thorough background check for every single person attending the event, but there might be some guests who pose an elevated risk. Certain speakers with controversial opinions, for example, might draw potential protestors that could represent a serious event security risk.
So, do your research and don’t be afraid to think outside the box too. For example, anyone buying tickets in bulk might be organising a protest or something even more sinister. Once your risk has been assessed, you should be able to narrow down what kind of security system will be required.
Large crowds are incredibly difficult to control, even if you’ve done everything within your power to keep them happy and contained. Ensure everyone is briefed with the right crowd control protocols, which will include asking guests to move when blocking exits, monitoring any lines to keep them organised, and ensuring the VIP and staff-only areas remain just that way.
There’s also the question of capacity to consider because if your venue reaches and surpasses its capacity it can pose a serious health and safety risk (or even worse – a fine). So keep track of numbers going in and out if you can.
Know the signs
If somebody is planning something sinister then there are certain telltale signs to watch out for that all staff should be briefed on. If they are constantly staring at people, don’t seem overly interested in the event itself or seem strangely interested in the security systems and surveillance, it’s always recommended to approach them with caution and take them to one side. It might prove to be nothing, but any suspicious or abnormal behaviour should certainly be at least monitored.
Finally, even a perfect security plan will fall apart completely without proper communication. Equip everyone with walkie talkies, as these will prove more secure and reliable than mobile phones.
Also, ensure that any third-party staff are connected in some way to the venue staff and your own staff so that everyone is in contact with everyone else.
The more people are talking and the more everybody knows; the smoother the event security plan will run. Having a connected security system in place will obviously make this that much easier to achieve.
Event security is a necessary way to make the guests and the event planners alike feel safe and secure and be able to get on with enjoying the event itself. Above all else, remember to keep calm and always put the public first and you should be ready to throw an incredible event.