Organising Security for Special Events
As an event organiser, you have a legal obligation to ensure anybody attending or affected by your event remains safe. When managing the event, you’ll need to identify potential security issues, devise strategies for mitigating these risks (within budget) and determine who will be responsible for risk mitigation. Fortunately, there are many organisations that specialise in event security that can aid you in this regard. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the points you’ll need to consider when organising security systems for special events.
Before you go ahead and contact a security provider, you’ll need to ensure you have all the relevant information for your event. This includes venue location, venue type, event times, estimated crowd figures, audience demographics, type of entertainment provided, event history (where applicable) and budget.
It’s essential that a security plan is agreed upon by both security provider and event organisers before the event begins. Not only will this provide a greater chance of having a successful event, but it will also introduce a level of accountability; for example, where the security plan has failed, you will be able to determine whether the failure was a result of an inadequate plan or poor execution of the plan by the security provider.
About the Security Plan
Your security plan should answer the following questions:
- What are the objectives of the event? How can you implement a security plan without compromising these objectives?
- How will the security plan be executed? What will the rules of the staff be?
- Are the appropriate protocols in place should security issues arise?
- Are the appropriate emergency responses in place?
- What administrative processes are in place, such as briefing times, points of contact, reporting processes and so forth?
- Are the appropriate communication plans in place, such as equipment requirements, staffing details, site maps and so forth?
Pre and Post Event
The security provider and event organisers should meet with security staff at least an hour prior to the event to brief them on the event details and ensure familiarity with the venue they will be managing. A debriefing should also take place after the event where any security incidents are addressed and improvements are suggested for events that may take place in the future.
Choosing Your Event Security Provider
Your security provider should have access to a pool of staff specialising in various areas of security. In particular, you’ll want to find a security provider that has experience managing the type of event that you are holding; for example, if yours is a music event than a security provider that has experience with music events is essential.
When the appropriate security provider is found, you’ll need to work with them closely, trusting their experience and taking their suggestions on board while ensuring the core objectives of your event remain in place. Remember, event security providers will want to do everything they can to ensure a successful event, as an unsafe event is going to reflect badly on them.
You should check the security provider is fully compliant with all relevant legislation, that their track record is successful (you may wish to seek references in this regard), that all security guards have the appropriate qualifications and that you are comfortable with the chain of responsibility presented by the security provider.