Planning a large-scale event is no easy task.
Between the budgeting and marketing plans, venue options, and volunteer confirmations, there are many things to handle. At the end of the day, these all come together to create a memorable experience for the event’s guests.
Part of their experience depends largely on one thing, though: safety.
Safety matters for every kind of event from tradeshows to concerts to political rallies.
You never know how much you need it until you realize you haven’t planned for it and something goes wrong. Avoid such a situation with the help of a short-term event security contract.
But, don’t just sign any contract to take care of this planning initiative.
There are many things to consider to ensure your event is as best protected as possible.
Here’s a list of the top criteria to look for when searching for an event security provider.
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1. Licensing and Certifications
Licensing is the first thing you should look for when getting a list of possible security services agencies together.
Any team that is not licensed is not worth your time.
The basic requirements to look for include CPR and First Aid certifications among employees. But, let’s be honest – a teenage lifeguard can do that.
Your event needs to hold safety to a much higher standard.
On an organizational level, professional safety vendors will be members of local and national boards.
Security agencies must have multiple areas of expertise to provide the best security across all kinds of events and venues. Some companies will even offer courses and training materials to share the knowledge they have.
More so, each individual should have a set of clear, comprehensive criteria to meet. Don’t be afraid to ask about these when making contact with different security services.
2. Experience Providing Event Security
Although licensing is a valid starting point, it doesn’t tell you everything.
Experience providing security for events will give you a better understanding of what to expect.
It may not be the best decision to sign a security contract with a provider that is just starting out.
Chances are, this team is still figuring out how to best handle event safety. They don’t yet have a system for responding to possible emergencies or the wisdom that comes with dealing with such situations in real-time.
But, a security provider that has been around for a while will have this established and more.
These are teams who know the ins and outs of venues in your area. They have seen local buildings, like convention centers and arenas, set up in many forms.
Such a history allows a team to keep improving for the next event. Should their next short-term security contract be yours, this group of safety personnel will be more than ready for the job.
3. A Range of Services and Specialties
Speaking of experience, don’t just ask a security provider how long the company has been around.
Go into the details about the kinds of events they work on average.
Some might have a diverse history of past security contracts with anything from private parties to large, crowd-driving festivals. Others might have a focus on trade shows or fundraising events.
Try to find a security team that is well-versed in your event style.
Not only does this pay off for your first security contract with them, it helps establish a sense of consistency for similar events in the future.
Beyond the style of what you’re planning, see if a security provider has a specialty in something other than event safety.
You may not need someone with weaponry experience or high-priority experience. But, knowing that these are the kind of employees that make up your event security staff doesn’t hurt.
4. The Right Communication Policy
As important as extensive training and experience are, communication matters just as much.
On the day-of-show, this is what keeps all the safety measures in sync. But, communication also plays a big role in your planning process leading up to the event.
Here are three different ways to think about event security communication.
Each security provider will have their own set of protocols for handling safety.
They may not disclose everything to you, but you should be able to have a good understanding of how they will approach your event security.
Ask about how they assess risk and share information. Bring up different safety scenarios to get a detailed response.
Communication with Other Teams On-Site
Keep in mind the event safety staff you hire will be working with local authorities if a serious safety concern does happen. They will have to keep you updated as well.
Discuss this before you set up a security contract.
See if they have prior experience with this kind of situation and how they handled it. Or, ask for them to describe how such a situation would be taken care of at your event.
Be sure to establish all internal and external communication expectations in your security contract.
This is where you can lay out everything in detail. The contract also serves as a point of reference for you and your security personnel.
Not to mention, it comes in handy even after the event is over.
Do you want a full report on the level of security maintained at your event? Would you like to know how to improve safety in the future?
A report can provide such insights and more. Make sure to ask for one while setting up your contract.
5. Strong Reviews
Another important piece of communication to take into consideration is a company’s reviews.
Don’t commit to a contract until looking at what past clients have to say.
Remember, it’s one thing to talk about possibilities and hypothetical situations. It’s another to read first-hand accounts from events that have already taken place.
Reviews and testimonials help you understand what to really expect from a security provider.
You could end up finding many previous clients have had a provider go above and beyond for them. This is a good sign that you’re headed in the right direction.
But, you’ll be even more glad to know if clients are saying a provider is not exactly what they seem. This gives you the signal to keep looking for other security contracts, rather than locking yourself into one that may not follow through.
Reviews can often be found on a provider’s website.
Check their social media as well. You may also be inclined to look at industry forums or ask around for more references.
6. An Impressive Consultation
The best way to see if a review is accurate is to hire a security staff and see for yourself.
But, what if you find a few different providers with good reviews?
Call them and set up a consultation.
A consultation is your time to talk about all the criteria you’ve been considering thus far.
The Basics of a Security Consultation
Ask about the kind of certifications and licensing a team has. See if they have been formally recognized or won any awards, too.
This is a great segue into the next topic: experience.
Once you’ve covered how long a security provider has been around, dive into the service specifics. These offerings and the communication style should take up most of your consultation.
The Details of a Thorough Consultation
The basics are what begin to set apart one security team from another.
But, there are a few more questions you may want to ask in order to get all the details you’re looking for. These include:
- What kind of training does your staff go through?
- How often do you train them?
- What resources does your team use while securing an event?
- Are you familiar with the venue I plan to use? How so?
- Have you worked closely with local first responders?
- How do you check bags and people who come through the gates?
- Are you prepared to deny entry and/or remove guests?
Some of these questions might seem obvious. Many of them have to do with what you’ve likely seen various security people do at events you’ve attended over the years.
The thing is, you can never be too careful when you are the one putting on the event for others.
These questions help you account for every possibility that might happen. They allow you to understand how problematic guests will be removed, and how all guests will be able to enjoy a safe experience.
It’s worth getting such details up-front.
Set Up Your Next Event’s Security Contract
Have you already had a security nightmare happen before?
Don’t let it happen again.
Make sure you have the right security personnel on your side. This is your team of eyes and ears at all parts of the event. They are everywhere your guests and coordinators are from the start of set-up to the final breakdown.
But, you need to first sign a security contract to ensure you have this support!
Contact us today to talk about our event security services and short-term contract options.