It’s your job to ensure the safety of your guests as an event host. Yet, security is often overlooked by most organizers. Remember, any incident can lead to severe liability issues, plus a disrupted event can have a lasting impact on reputation. Thus, safety needs to be a top priority for event planners, no matter the size of an event. It’s crucial to have the appropriate security measures in place to protect your guests, their belongings, the venue and control the crowds. Security measures put in place depend on a couple of factors. For instance, the number of guests expected to attend, the type of event you are throwing and the type of guests attending. If your event is high profile, extra attention needs to be placed on security. You will need a documented safety plan for every event detailing the hazards and ways to reduce or eliminate them. Below are some core tips to help you prepare for a safe and successful event.
Have a Back-Up Plan
In any event, anything can go wrong at any time. It is good to be prepared and ready to act accordingly in a worst-case scenario. For example, in the event of a bomb threat or a natural disaster such as fire. Do you have a contingency plan? In case of a possible evacuation, will you be able to organize it and keep the attendees calm as they exit?
It is essential to create a strategic plan that outlines the steps to take in case of an emergency. For instance, if a guest is injured, the plan should involve steps like calling an ambulance, locating a room for tending to the guest while awaiting paramedics to arrive. The plan should also include safe rooms, signage and notifications for guests regarding how to respond to attacks, where to assemble during an emergency, different ways to evacuate, how staff should communicate and so on. The purpose of developing an emergency plan is to come up with a procedure that will be followed should things go south.
Screen Your Staff and Guests
It is crucial to carefully vet anyone who’s attending the event and those who work for you as well. Many security risks come from inside. It would be best if you treated everyone the same in matters of security. Guests should be prepared to have their bags searched besides undergoing a metal scanning. Inform your guests beforehand that all attendees will be subject to an inspection of their belongings.
Create an area for restoring and tagging contraband items where guests can retrieve them back once they leave. Scans and searches can be done by your qualified staff or you can hire security personnel for this. Introduce your team to one another before the event, if they don’t work together often. Go ahead and instruct them to look out for unusual behavior. Give them a unique identifier such as a t-shirt or wristband to help coordinate security better. Don’t let anyone access the identifier beforehand. Hire competent staff if need be and rely on them to help keep your guests safe.
Hire a Security Firm
Some organizers might have their staff acting as security detail. In some instances, this is good enough. Higher profile events are better protected by security personnel from a top security firm. Well, an experienced security team’s trained eye can go a long way in helping during a crowded high-risk event. Trained security personnel can quickly identify holes in your security plan that you or your staff may not see. They are experienced in the field. They know how troublemakers and agitators think. They can help you prioritize your security resources better. In other words, hire experts who know how to cope with large numbers of people if you can.
Train your Staff
You should train staff on their specific roles and safety procedures as part of the event planning phase. Let them know what they will be doing, when and which risks they will be exposed to. Let them know how to follow a straightforward safety procedure if required. Be sure to provide the right tools, equipment, safety measures and training where need be.
It is almost impossible to track every single attendee at every corner of the venue manually. CCTV cameras and drone surveillance can help you protect your guests. Drones are a particularly suitable option for large events-they might be used for coverage and keep an eye on every facet of your event. So, go ahead and instill confidence in your guests by going for top-grade surveillance systems.
The security team should ensure no uninvited guests enter during the actual event. Your security team should handle simple tasks such as keeping entry points guarded and limited. Go ahead and station security personnel at all entrances and exits, whether operational or not. Also, submit anyone re-entering the event to the same security procedures as when they arrived and seal off superfluous entrances and exits.
Establish boundaries where the event perimeter begins and ends if the venue is outdoors. Also, consider temporary fencing and barricades. Safety can easily be compromised where there are large crowds of people. Thus, it is essential to include a way of controlling the crowd in your event safety plan.
You must verify anyone who enters the venue. Have a list of all attendees and cross them off as they register. To make sure the people who attend the event belong there, collect multiple data points such as an address, name, date of birth, etc. this will make it hard for intruders to impersonate others. You can ask your guests to send a copy of their ID before the event so that you can double check with the one presented at the gate. Don’t forget to do the same for third-party vendors and security staff. Stress on the importance of having credentials at all times to your attendees.
There is always a risk of something going wrong whenever in any event. You have to be prepared with your team for an organized and safe event. It may be challenging to eliminate all security risks, but you can minimize the chances of harming your guests. Go ahead and host a safe event for your guests by investing in resources and planning better.