Tips to maximize security during special events

Whether your team provides security for an airport, hospital, school, municipality or any other group or institution, your responsibilities and requirements will vary slightly during major events. Whenever there are additional people within the area, you will have to deal with more security concerns.

This results in the need for special considerations. Keep these security tips in mind to ensure that all your event attendees remain safe.

Base procedures on your normal ones

One of the most important things to do when planning event security is to base your unique one-time procedures on the normal ones. Since your normal procedures work well, there is no reason to dramatically change them.

After all, you do not fix something that is not broken; instead, scale up those procedures. Additionally, if you base the event procedures on the normal ones, this minimizes the learning curve for your team and prevents the need to create a new security plan completely from scratch.

Keep as many of your normal procedures in place as you can during the event to help it go off seamlessly and minimize stress for your team. This includes using software that your team is already familiar with.

This way, your team does not need to learn a new program and any incidents during the event can be seamlessly imported into the same database with other incidents.

Have a reliable system for communications

It is a given that there will be plenty of noise during an event and that there will be people separating your security team from each other. Because of this, you should ensure that there is a reliable method of communicating between the team, whether that is walkie-talkies, phones, an application or software.

Ideally, you should also have a reliable method of communicating with the event attendees in case an emergency occurs, and you need to make an important announcement, such as for evacuation.

Evaluate security risks

As the event approaches, take the time to figure out what the main security risks are. These risks will vary by event type since a fundraiser for a hospital attracts very different people than a rock concert on a college campus.

To assess the security risk, consider the organization promoting or hosting the event, the context of the event, and the key individuals present. Will high-profile individuals who require additional security have their own team with them or will you be expected to provide personal security during the event?

Depending on the event type, consider the risk of things like protesters or event crashers. This is also when you will evaluate the vulnerabilities unique to your venue. In the case of outdoor spaces, for example, it becomes harder to secure, but you will not have as many escape routes with an outdoor event.

Consider looking at records of past events to get a feel for what, if any, security incidents arose in the past.

Develop an emergency response plan and train

Do not overlook the importance of an emergency response plan during your event security planning. You want to expect everything to go smoothly but prepare for the worst-case scenario. This will require working with the venue and organizers to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Ensure event security is visible

During the event, make it a point to ensure that your security team is visible at any given moment. In the case of an emergency, attendees are more likely than in the past to rely on event security for guidance as to what to do. People simply are not aware enough of their surroundings or are unprepared for a given situation that could arise.

Additionally, having your security presence visible will help serve as a deterrent for anyone looking to instigate trouble. After all, they will be able to tell that your team is there and ready to stop incidents that arise. That can reduce the chances of something happening.

Collect information on attendees

For added security, consider collecting information on the attendees of the event. Requiring something as simple as an ID check upon entry can minimize the risk of incidents. If you keep track of the IDs, you will also have records of who was present in case an issue arises.

For certain types of events, you may also need to have an approved guest list or something similar. Do not forget to screen any special event staff as well before you hire them. Doing so will minimize the risk of someone with bad intentions gaining access to the venue where they can cause problems.

You should also consider collecting information on the vehicles that are parked at the event. If parking is limited or there are security concerns at play, require some sort of registration system for parking.

With the appropriate security measures in place and familiarity with the proper procedures across your team, you should have minimal concerns about your special event security.