Why is event security so important?
Good event security can be far more complex than simply dotting the venue with security officers. The process requires extensive coordination and communication to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.
With the right security practices, you will be able to guarantee the safety of your guests and staff — as well as avoiding any damage to the venue and related property, or unwanted disruptions from any gate crashers.
Security at events is important because it ensures you are covered in the case of:
- An injury to a guest.
- Damage to the venue or property.
- Crowd control.
- Troublesome guests.
- Any other unexpected incidents.
Therefore, it is crucial that organisers consider their security strategy during the planning stage of an event. The types of security that are required will depend on the size, scope, location, and type of event.
NVC Security will work with you from the earliest stages, in order to understand your show or event and formulate a security strategy suitable for both your needs and budget.
1. Know your venue.
It is important to have a good understanding of your venue, and how ‘porous’ it is. This refers to any way in which someone could get inside the venue without using the established entry points. For example, a back door designated for staff use or an unfenced area.
You should identify all entry points to the venue and ensure that all staff are aware of them.
If your event is being held outdoors, you should establish where the perimeter begins and ends. Fencing and barricades can help with this, as well as having static guards positioned at points around the perimeter to deter any unwanted intruders and prevent them from gaining access.
2. High-risk guests.
It is important with some events to consider whether there are any attendees or guests who could pose a heightened security risk. Whilst it is not feasible to carry out background checks on every ticket buyer, any potentially high-risk visitors should be brought to the attention of security personnel. This will enable the security team to put extra measures in place, if necessary, to protect your guest, and also provide additional crowd control measures.
For example, if a guest speaker or performer is associated with a company with a controversial history, that may increase the risk of protestors or attendees who want to cause trouble. NVC Security can formulate a strategy with you to counter these risks, such as directing an increased security presence around areas where protests are likely, or providing Close Protection for your guest.
3. Crime and suspicious activity.
Unfortunately, big crowds can be an easy target for anyone wanting to cause trouble, so good security measures are a must-have for any public or private event.
All guests at major events should have their bags checked by a professional security team who are trained to look for weapons or other prohibited items. At NVC Security, our fully vetted and SIA Licenced guards have the experience and knowledge of how to safely and efficiently search attendees to prevent any forbidden or illegal items from entering your event.
Ahead of your event you should make attendees aware that all personal bags will be inspected as a safety precaution. You should also publish a list of the items which will not be allowed into the event.
As well as performing bag checks and possibly using body scanners, staff and security personnel should also be on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour.
According to the UK Government ACT Campaign, if you witness any suspicious behaviour you should ask the following questions:
- Is an individual loitering in restricted or non-public areas?
- Are they paying significant interest to entrances, exits, CCTV cameras or security features or staff?
- Are they asking unusual questions?
- Are they concealing their faces or in disguise?
It is not just people on foot; vehicles are often used by hostiles planning attacks. Be aware of vehicles parked out of place, abandoned, or a vehicle retracing the same route.
Any suspicious activity should be reported as quickly as possible to security personnel so that fast action can be taken and if necessary, the authorities can be contacted. By employing NVC Security to provide your security staff, you can guarantee that every guard on site will have the necessary skills and training to handle the situation in an appropriate and professional way.
4. Crowd control.
The more people there are in attendance, the more likely it is that something may go wrong.
Your staff should be comfortable with managing large groups and exerting authority when needed. At NVC Security we can help with this, providing SIA Licenced security officers with years of experience who know how to handle difficult situations in a calm and professional manner, ensuring minimal disruption to your event.
In terms of crowd management, the security team may need to perform the following duties:
- Ask guests to move away from exit points.
- Monitor the queues in and out of the event to prevent anyone from cutting in and to minimise disruption. Using fencing or roped off areas can also help to keep your entry points organised.
- Ensuring ‘staff only’ or VIP/backstage areas remain exclusive, and no unauthorised persons can gain access.
- Keeping the area around a stage clear and ensuring the safety of people in the crowd.
It is also important that the crowd in attendance never grows beyond the capacity limit of the venue. When keeping track of total numbers, remember to count all staff and security personnel as well as attendees. As well as being dangerous in the event of a fire or other incident, going over maximum capacity can potentially result in fines from the venue administrator.
It is important that your team of staff stay in constant communication, both with one another and with your security team.
Company staff and private security might not always communicate; however, this can result in serious gaps in your security approach as staff may not report suspicious behaviour to the right people or be aware of the strategies in place. This is why at NVC Security we will work with you from the earliest stages of event planning in order to make sure that our team can liaise closely with your own staff members to provide comprehensive security and ensure the event remains organised and safe for everyone involved.
It can be useful to create a visual map/diagram of your event which can be shared with all the staff working on site, including the security team. This will ensure that everyone has access to the layout of your event and will make it easier for everyone to communicate across the site.