Special events, such as sporting events, outdoor concerts, festivals, parades, and planned demonstrations, play a significant role in local economies and attract participants from outside the community. Public safety can be used to manage operations during an event to protect participants and attendees. As an event host, it’s your job to ensure the safety of your guests, yet event security is often the last component event organizers consider.
1. Determine your events risks and needs
In terms of security, different events don’t have different needs. Your first step is to decide what type of risk you’re dealing with. Check out my previous blog to learn more about how to conquer event risk management.
2. Choose a professional security company to work with
Hiring a professional security company will reduce the chances of something bad happening at your event. It is their job to mitigate the risk and solve problems before they happen.
3. Control access to the event
One of the key ways to protect people from security threats is to set up checkpoints away from the gathering that attendees must pass through to get inside. This forces people to confront security personnel (or even just your registration staff) long before they can cause any damage. For instance, instead of installing your registration desk right outside an auditorium’s doorway, you would want to place it a few hundred feet away in the facility’s lobby. This way if an uninvited person tries to enter, they’ll be stopped before they reach the crowd.
4. Keep private events private
Some organizations like to announce their events publically, even if the events aren’t open to the public. Informing the public about an event is a security risk so make sure to keep it private.
5. Develop an emergency plan
Have a meeting with your security team and the venue before the event to create an emergency response plan. The purpose of the plan is to draft a procedure that everyone will enact in the event of a disaster.
The plan should include…
- Different ways to mass evacuate the event.
- What to do when there’s an active shooter.
- The locations of safe rooms or areas.
- Where staff should meet during an emergency.
- How staff will communicate during an emergency.
- How you’ll direct guests during an emergency.
- Signage and notifications for guests regarding how to respond.
Conduct after-action briefings
Public safety staff often conduct an after-action briefing to review activities, incidents, and responses. After-action briefings provide an opportunity to learn from previous events and improve planning and operation procedures.
You can’t eliminate all event security risks, but you can reduce their likelihood, minimize the chance of harm to your guests, and discourage agitators from causing trouble. The keys to good security are preparation and vigilance. If you consider your potential threats and invest resources into countering trouble, you’ll host a safe event for your guests.
How do you implement safety operations at your events? What tips would you recommend to ensure the safety of your guests? Comment your experience and thoughts below! Check out these Tips and Best Practices for Event Security.
Thanks for reading!