Event Security Checklist: How to Avoid the Risks
While planning an event every planner focuses on marketing, promotion, venue and ways to get the highest possible attendance rate. Of course, these are crucial parts of the event organizing, but there is one matter that should always be a priority: security. And that area is so complex that you might overlook some important details without a comprehensive event security checklist.
Event Security Checklist
Most of us, leaving our houses don’t wonder if we get back there safe and sound. It seems so obvious that we completely don’t pay attention to this thought. When we hear “event” we can see a happy picture of gathering. Whether it’s a conference, concert, sports festival or exhibition it awakens only nice and exciting thoughts. Yet certain incidents have changed the way the world perceives events. Today, more event planners attach big importance to security and safety during mass events.
However, It’s easy to forget about some aspects while being in organizational workload. Yet there is still a need for the organizers to walk that extra mile and ensure that the arrangements are in place. That’s why we present an Event Security Checklist. The security requirements vary depending on attendees number, event size, and its nature, but there are some points that cannot be overlooked at any of them.
1) Inspect the venue
Event planning rule of thumb says: if you organize the event in a venue which is typically used for events, there should not be a problem. If the event is held in a purpose-built event facility (like an old warehouse or fancy shed) then you must look more closely at event safety. Yet no matter which venue you choose – always take into account its security and safety matters.
Visit the place a few days in advance and look carefully, exploring the whole space used. This will allow for tracking of possible threats. Make sure that the venue is equipped with all basic stuff. Check if there are suitable fire extinguishers or fire blankets located in appropriate areas. It’s crucial to remember about if they’re tested and in date. Make sure that the first aid kits are suitably located, clearly signed and accessible.
If there is additional space arranged e.g. in a form of a tent, it’s essential to set it up properly, so if there comes a strong gust of wind the tent won’t pose any threat. Every event is accompanied by loads of electrical cables. That’s why they should be covered and secured – out of the reach of your attendees. In the case of receptions outside it may be possible to dig them into the ground, otherwise, it’s essential to hide the cables from everyone’s view. When there are blowers or electric power generators at the event it’s necessary to set a particular area unreachable for the audience.
Food and beverages
Catering and food are a great opportunity to satisfy event attendees and create an additional value. But the refreshments at the event bring additional requirements to take care about. The venue has to provide the right conditions to serve and keep food. Catering zone should be spacious enough and first of all – clean with proper temperature and airflow.
2) Apply legible signage
Proper signage is essential not only in case of emergency but also at the whole time of the event. The signs of exits, entrances, toilets or directions inform your attendees about the way and let them move smoothly around the whole venue. Take care of visibility of important points such as medical stations, fire extinguishers or alarm buttons and additional signage for any restricted areas.
When the event space is big, it’s worth showing the audience all the important points on the plan. For example via mobile event application that allows to upload the venue’s plan and mark these spots. The attendees will get the general idea about the venue’s spacing and in case of any urgent matter, they just touch the screen and get the access to interactive plan to get to the place rapidly.
3) Brief your staff
The people on-site are as important as the venue or event itself. The organizational success depends mostly on them. While planning an event in terms of safety bring your key people together and look at recent issues at similar events, then ask yourself honestly if you are equipped to manage such incidents. It’s good to cooperate with a security firm – before and during the event. They are a source of very valuable information. The crew with professional knowledge and experience not only helps you get ramped up but also provides full support in the time of the event.
The staff managing the event should be trained to handle emergency situations. Make sure they are aware of how to give first aid and know all the steps of reacting in critical situations. They are the people your attendees will approach while confused or in panic. That’s why your crew has to be perfectly informed – about the local firefighters, ambulance and police (phone numbers and addresses), the venue space with all of its emergency exits and emergency equipment.
It’s good to employ security guards who carefully watch for suspicious behavior and react if required. The best option is to find people with professions that allowed them to get the knowledge about crisis situations e.g former police officers or professional security guards.
4) Information flow
Seamless communication and flawless information flow make a key aspect of every event but are also an integral part of security and handling emergencies. When something happens it’s important to manage the crowd and guide them to the way out or give some instructions, but you have to be sure that the info reached each and every one of the participants. To do so, remember to check and test the alarming system and loudspeakers.
It’s worth using every channel of communication on-site possible, so if you employ event application at your event – send PUSH notifications with info about the emergency and steps to do. You can be sure that every attendee is alarmed and know what to do.
5) Data security
Event safety is not only the physical well-being of the participants and staff at the event. More and more event-goers pay attention to their data security – whether it’s personal information or content with copyrights presented during the meeting, it should be safe. Wherever you store the data and materials of your speakers and participants, take care of their protection.
If you consider using an event application, look closely at its encryption and additional access restrictions that protect confidential content uploaded to the app. Check how easily (or not) it is to reach the materials and chose the one that allows you to adjust the access for example through a secure access code and an additional email whitelist.
6) Safe environment
When thinking about safety and security you shouldn’t forget about the environment. It’s not so obvious, as the events don’t affect it directly and visibly. While organizing the event make sure that any of the constructions or materials used don’t harm the environment. Especially the produced rubbish can be problematic. If possible reduce the number of used materials and take advantage of reusable or eco-friendly stuff.
Promotional posters, agendas, maps or roll-ups with sponsors and partners logos – all these can be easily uploaded to the event application. This lets you reduce the number of printed materials dramatically.
You can make these efforts a part of your CSR activities, communicate them publicly, and gain some extra impact as an ecology-oriented company.
To sum up
Keep calm! Your event will probably run smoothly and turn out a significant success. But forewarned is forearmed and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Always keep in mind the security and safety issues of the people involved. It is a challenge and additional concern for the event planners but it is crucial to take care of, as it helps avoid or handle crisis situations and emergencies.