Important Tips for Planning Special Event Security Measures
Planning a great event is tough and if you’re like 91 percent of event hosts, your first priority is making sure your attendees have a great time.
Though fantastic entertainment and engaging speakers will help, they’re not the only things you need to worry about. The most important concern for every event should always be the safety and security of your attendees, staff, and guests.
Special event security involves a lot of coordination and communication between different teams. If you’re not prepared, it can be difficult to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.
Here are a few simple tips to help you keep your event safe and secure at all times.
Consider the Venue
Every venue will have different and unique risks. This means you’ll want to think about how the venue will impact the safety of your team, your attendees, and your speakers.
Take the time to map out the emergency exits and note possible hazards that could become an issue. These can be anything from unmonitored back doors to tripping hazards caused by old carpet.
Work with a security company that will help you analyze the venue and compile a list of all possible issues before the big day. Once you have that list, you can make a plan to address those hazards and keep everyone safe.
Understand the Types of Risks Associated with Your Event
Think about the type of event you’re hosting. Are there going to be controversial speakers or controversial topics discussed? Could the event attract people that might try to disrupt things?
If so, you’ll need to plan for those types of activities.
Starting with an honest assessment of your event can help you determine the level of risk involved.
Look at previous events that happened in your area and events where your speakers participated in the past. Did they attract specific types of disturbances? If so, find out what happened so you can protect your event against those specific disturbances.
Work with an Experienced Special Event Security Team
An experienced events security team should always oversee the security efforts at your event. Think of it this way: you understand what your attendees want to see and experience at the event. You specialize in your industry.
Security teams specialize in keeping venues and event attendees safe. They know what threats to look for and can assess the building for possible issues quickly and easily.
This allows them to prepare the venue for the event more easily and improves the effectiveness of their security efforts.
Have a Clear Chain of Command
Prior to the event, you need to establish a chain of command and communicate that information to everyone involved with the event.
Make sure your security team and event staff is aware of their role and their responsibilities throughout the event and share the list of people in charge with each person involved in the event setup. This way, everyone can stay on the same page throughout your event.
Make Communication a Priority
Communication is key in all successful events. Issues happen when you least expect them and that means you’ll need to be able to deal with them as soon as they pop up.
The easier it is for your team to communicate with one another, the faster those issues will get fixed.
If possible, headsets or two-way radios to facilitate communication and encourage everyone to ask questions as they come up. This will help keep confusion to a minimum throughout the event and makes it easier for your team to stay in touch with each other the entire time.
You’ll also want to coordinate communication between your security team and your staff. Remember, they’re there to protect all people at the event. Encourage your staff to report all safety and security issues to the security team and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Communication will also help avoid potential PR issues. As OPS expert Robert McGowan stated in our the OPS Protecting the Best Podcast Episode 2:
With good communication, you’re not going to have those issues, you’re not going to have that PR black eye so to speak. You’re going to have a smoother flow, a smoother ingress of people into your event.
Walk the Venue Before the Event Starts
It’s always easier to keep everyone at the event safe if you know the venue inside and out. Walk the venue before the event with your security team.
Map out all entrances and exits and provide that information to your staff. Go over the security team’s plan and know where they’ll station team members to monitor the event.
If you and your security professionals notice areas of concern, make the necessary changes before the event starts.
Print and Display Any Rules for the Venue or Event
People can’t obey the rules if they don’t know what they are. Before the event starts, print out regulations and rules for the venue and your event and display them by the entrances.
These rules can include things like weapons bans, refusal of outside food or drink, and anything else relevant to your event and your security concerns. If you have the rules displayed, it makes it easier for the security team to deal with any violations.
According to OPS Security Expert Ian Poush, setting expectations is key to ensuring there are no last-minute upsets.
A lot of times people may not like to be told that they can’t bring something in, or can’t have this item or that item, but if you’ve told them well in advance they’ll accept it.
Be Ready for Medical Issues
Medical emergencies happen and you can never predict them. Though they rarely involve more than one or two people, you still want to have a system in place to help those people when they need it.
If possible, have a medical response team on-hand to address injuries as soon as they happen. If you can’t find a medical response team that can stay for the duration of the event, put someone in charge of medical emergencies.
This person should be able to administer basic first aid and should have a current CPR certificate. This way, they can help the injured person until the EMTs arrive. If no one on your team has a certificate, consider hosting a CPR training class at your workplace for anyone interested.
Should a staff member or security professional notice someone dealing with a medical emergency, they can radio your medical emergency point person for help.
Get Your Event Ready
Planning an event is both exciting and stressful. These tips should help you get your special event security efforts in place quickly. The sooner you get security dialed in, the easier it will be to prepare for the rest of your event.
If you’re looking for an experienced security team to help keep your staff and guests safe, reach out today. Our experienced team understands that every event is unique and will tailor a security solution for your venue and your budget.
OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at https://opssecuritygroup.com/contact/