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3 Tips For Planning Your Event's Security

Oct 25, 2018

How to Ensure the Security of Your Next Event


Every venue comes with unique safety and security concerns. Security officers must be ready for anything from inclement weather to malfunctioning equipment, not to mention internal or external threats. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to prepare for any event and mitigate risks at multiple levels. Complete this checklist in preparation for your next big event:


Identify Risks in the Planning Stages


In order to effectively plan security, security partners must have a thorough understanding of the goals and objectives of a large event. This starts with an assessment of what the organizers are trying to convey and the types of participants who are attending an event. For example, you might identify a different set of risks for a peace rally than you would a pregame event that serves alcohol. Based on the nature of the event, security professionals must create a comprehensive risk assessment that encompasses several levels, including:


  • Social or Political Risks. Identifying social and political risks might not stem from the event itself, but the circumstances surrounding it. Events regarding a minority or LGBTQ cause might require additional protections, for example. Planning for social and political risks requires an understanding of the social and political climate, even at the regional level.
  • Inherent Venue Risks. All venues have vulnerabilities. Security officers must respond in kind by identifying all entry and exit points, as well as any additional weak or “porous” points. For example, could a threat gain entry by hopping a fence or sneaking in through a loading dock? What is your contingency plan for emergency responders, should they become necessary? How will you coordinate between your team, any onsite security teams, and law enforcement? These are all aspects that belong in the planning process.
  • Attendee risks. Security teams must not only assess risks to attendees, but from them, as well. Understanding your participants is an essential aspect of threat identification and mitigation. An executive serving as a keynote speaker following a company merger or round of layoffs could be a red flag for trouble. How will you respond to and plan for these types of threats?


Create a Credentialing Process


Credentialing is one of the biggest aspects in risk mitigation. Planners must work with security teams and decide how to credential participants – for example, will they simply provide name badges to attendees, or will you employ more technological solutions like radio-frequency identification (RFID)? RFID technology can provide an extra layer of protection for your event, but it does not replace or minimize the need for visual control.


Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities


Lastly, recognize that your event’s success is a culmination of multiple efforts – you will be coordinating teams of venue security officers, workers, volunteers, and your own staff. Plan a meeting to review logistics and ensure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities during the event. This will help reduce redundancies and prevent any cracks in your process that a threat could slip through.


Mitigating risks at your next event is a systemic process that involves comprehensive assessment and streamlined communication. Apply these tips to your next event to help it go off without a hitch.