Current events around the globe show that terrorist attacks, record-breaking natural disasters and cybersecurity breaches have sadly become commonplace these days. While safety and security planning for events have always been among the industry’s primary objectives, the aforementioned tragic events prove that it’s more crucial now than ever, emphasizing how there’s always room for improvement when it comes to minimizing risks in event security.
In that regard, planning an event involves creating an environment where guests can feel safe in a well-secured venue. However, keeping an eye out for potential threats during events can be tricky. As any event usually sees a large number of people gathered in one place, it can be challenging to keep track of any security issues that may arise.
It can involve all kinds of risks, from mild scenarios like equipment problems and general emergencies to worst-case situations like terrorist attacks. No matter how small or large the problem may be, it’s best to arm yourself with enough knowledge to ensure the events you plan will be safe and secure. To that end, here’s what you need to know about minimizing risks in event security:
Tip #1: Assess All Possible Security Risks
Not all events are planned in the same manner, nor do they have the same level of risk. Any threats depend on what kind of occasion it is and who the guests are. For instance, there are higher risks in a politician’s campaign sortie compared to the average twelve-year-old’s birthday party. On that note, you should analyze the situation from every angle and consider what risks can potentially arise. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is hosting your event? Can they be targeted by any threatening individual or group?
- Who are the event’s guests? Do they attract controversy?
- What is the context of the event? Does it invite security issues?
- Will the event trigger protests or counter-protests?
- Will any media be present?
- What are the venue’s security vulnerabilities?
- Does the speaker of the event attract agitators?
Tip #2: Develop a Solid Emergency Plan
In the event that disaster strikes, it’s essential that any event organizer to create a solid emergency plan. Work with your security team as well as the managers of the venue. This should consider the possible forms of security risks mentioned in point one, and execute it in a way where a drafted procedure must be enacted when such emergencies happen. The plan should include the following:
- Multiple ways to evacuate the event, considering if it is an outdoor or indoor venue
- What to do when there’s an active shooter
- Know all the locations of safe rooms or areas
- Where the staff should meet in the event of an emergency
- How the staff will communicate during an emergency
- How to direct, guide, and protect guests during an emergency
- Clear signage posted in the area for guests regarding how to respond
Tip #3: Strictly Match IDs to Registration Information
To keep frauds or uninvited people at bay and prevent guests’ identities from being stolen, it’s vital to keep an eye on your registration form. This will come in handy once the guests start pouring in, as you will need to match it with their ID before they can get inside. In that regard, your staff will typically have to collect identifying information days before the event to ensure you will have reliable data to refer to.
Guests shouldn’t be the only ones who are required to present their ID. To ensure maximum safety, have the rest of your staff bring their IDs. That should contribute to maintaining a secure venue. In addition, requiring guests to send a copy of their ID before the event itself is an ideal situation. This covers a lot of potential loopholes where threats can arise. Of course, it’s understandable that doing so may not be feasible for all types of events.