Security is absolutely essential at your event. Although it is impossible to eradicate 100% of risks, if you apply the following set of security measures at your event, you will reduce the likelihood of something happening that could negatively impact the day.
Event security: risk evaluation
It goes without saying that, in terms of security, different types of events have different types of requirements. A speech that is part of a political campaign has a much higher risk level than a birthday party. The first step in putting together a security plan for large-scale events is therefore to determine what type and level of risk you face. Start by considering the following questions:
- Who is planning the event? Are they a target for an individual or group?
- Who is attending the event?
- What is the context of the event? Does the topic raise any security issues?
- Who is talking or performing at the event? Do they attract agitators or protestors or present any specific security risk?
- Will the media be there? (The press sometimes motivates agitators.)
- Does the venue present any difficulties in terms of security? For example, an outdoor space is harder to control, but an indoor space has fewer escape routes.
- Other security threats: a nearby motorway, the likelihood of flooding, wild animals nearby, etc.
Make the security at your event visible
The main goal of event security is not to respond to threats, but rather to prevent threats from occurring. The best way to stop something from happening is to make the security measures at your event visible, i.e. the equipment, cameras, metal detectors, etc. This serves to dissuade any potential agitators.
Set up security points
A key way to protect your event is to set up control points some distance from where the event is taking place. Attendees will need to pass through security to access the event. Any potential troublemakers will therefore have to come face-to-face with the event staff before they can do any harm.
Ask to see ID at the entrance
When attendees are accessing the event, ask to see their passport or identity card and check the information against the data provided during registration. This will stop people from sneaking in who are not on the list or who have provided fake data.
Keep private events private
Though it may seem obvious, sometimes companies are so proud of their event that they announce it before it takes place, even when it is a private event. If an event is not open to the public (such as a dinner for the board of directors, for example), the best way to avoid security risks is not to make the public aware of it.
Remember cyber threats
Not all event security risks are physical. As an event planner, you need to take steps to protect your attendees’ data, identity and devices. Measures include protecting the wifi connection with a password and implementing security measures for the connection. If the event venue offers wifi, check its security.
Create an emergency plan
Before the event, sit down with the security team to make an emergency plan. The aim is to create a protocol that everyone at the event can follow in the event of a disaster. The plan must include:
- Large-scale evacuation of the event
- What to do if there is an attack or natural disaster
- The location of safe areas
- Where the staff must meet during an emergency
- How the staff will communicate during an emergency
- Where the attendees will be guided to during an emergency
- Signposting for attendees in the event of an emergency
Screen all event staff
Unfortunately, many security risks come from inside the organisation. It is therefore important to take care when hiring staff to work at the event. Take a look at their record and introduce all members of the team before the event. In this way, if somebody is trying to pose as a member of staff, the team will be able to identify them and raise the alarm.
Hire external security staff
If your event has a high security risk, the best thing to do is allocate part of the budget to hiring additional security staff. The reason for this is that, although you trust your event staff, having a professional security team keep an eye on everything can be a great help at a busy and high risk event.
Event security is fundamental, as all the players in the MICE sector in the Costa del Sol know. Having been a leading destination in business tourism for a number of decades, the province of Malaga is home to a large variety of companies and professionals that will help make your event a resounding success while, of course, keeping a keen eye on security.