Event Security: Tips for Event Planning

When an event is planned, there will always be a need for security. Unfortunately, the events that have occurred over the last few years at concerts and large public gatherings have shown that a robust security team is necessary. When it comes to having a security team manage an event, these are the things that you should look out for.

Know Your Space

There are any number of ways that a person could get in and out of a building undetected. The amount of possible entries is what makes the building porous. All entries and exits should be located and identified, and it is important that all of the security staff on site are aware of these points. However, if your event is outside, you will need to establish a perimeter in order to mark out the venue.

Because people will be coming in and out of the event space, it is important to identify who these people are. Some people will be staff and they should have an ID clearly identifying them. Members of the public should not have access to behind the scenes or the back of the stage. Anyone who does not have a clearly visible ID should be challenged and removed from the area until their identity can be confirmed. Sometimes it can be a simple case of a misplaced ID card, other times it can be more sinister.

What is The Risk?

Certain speakers and performers will attract more trouble than others. For example, a political speaker may attract people who would be interested in disrupting the event. There may also be a possibility that they attract protestors that will attempt to block the building. On the other hand, if you have very famous people arriving, there is a chance that they will attract a crowd of fans who will need to be managed.

Crowd Control

However, the risk is not just about the people in attendance. Many big concerts have an abundance of equipment that can cost hundreds or thousands of pounds. The risk of theft should not be taken lightly. Many people would pay a lot of money for a stolen instrument from their favourite singer, or sound equipment can be sold on for a lot of money. Security needs to be tight at the front and the back of the venue.

Crowd Control

The more people that are in the venue, ther more chance there is for something to go wrong. One of the first tasks that needs to be dealt with is ensuring that the crowd does not go over the maximum occupancy limit. The aim of crowd control is to ensure that everyone stays safe. You may need to put barriers in place to ensure that people stay in the area that they are supposed to. In the event of an emergency, the building will need to be evacuated, so it is important that exits remain clear.

Is There Potential for an Attack?

When it comes to large scale events, there is a good chance that there may be a terror attack. This is the unfortunate reality that we live in, and it has happened too many times in the past. Everyone should have their bags checked on the way in. If necessary, you may need to consider pat down checks as well as body scanners. Depending on the local laws, you might want to consider having armed guards as part of the security detail. Dogs are another excellent member of the security team as they can sniff out possible threats and act as a detriant.

For large events, it is better to have highly experienced staff who can spot a potential threat. Threats should be dealt with outside the venue if possible. If your staff notice someone exhibiting strange behavior, your team should intervene before they are able to get inside the venue or carry out an attack on the outside.

Communication is Key

Security teams need to be able to communicate so it is important that each member has a working two way radio. This is necessary as it can help bring staff together for a potential threat. It is also necessary to keep in contact with staff if they are out of your sight line. By definition, communication is the act of exchanging information between people, so it is important that staff are giving each other the correct communication. If security staff spot something out of the ordinary, it is important that they can tell other members of the team as quickly as possible.

Communication with the venue staff is also important so make sure that you have a point of contact in the unlikely event of an issue arising.

Staff Screening

Staff Security Screening

Having the best staff is important for security companies but some places do not perform adequate background checks. In order to work in the UK, it is necessary to have completed several checks, and these checks can be performed at any time. For example, if you have a security licence but want to work with higher risk events, you might need to be screened again to ensure that you meet the requirements.

As part of the staff screening process, training should be offered to enhance the security team’s abilities. This will ensure that security staff are at their full potential. There are many different areas of security training that are available and staff should use any opportunity to diversify their skill set.

Many of the issues that we have raised here might have been presented as part of a risk assessment by the event coordinator. If they have not presented you with a risk assessment, you should request one. Event management and building management will know the building or the venue better than you, so it is always better to take their lead and use the assessment that they have provided. However, if you discover some additional risks that they have not spotted, it is always a good idea to let them know.

If you need help with security at your event, contact MEC today!

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