Last Updated on October 7, 2021
Even if you’ve planned out the best event in the world, without proper security you’re very likely to end up running into trouble. See, there’s a lot that can go wrong with an event besides logistics. You need to take the proper steps to ensure that you, your team, and your guests are properly safeguarded against anything that might cause them harm.
In short, you need to make certain your event is secure. The first step in doing so, of course, is knowing what sort of threats you’re likely to face. Let’s get started.
This is by far the most common threat you’ll face as an event planner, and to make matters worse, it’s also among the most difficult to prevent. Take the story of Vlambeer, for example. Back in 2013, the independent developer attended E3, only to have pretty much everything involving their organization stolen right out from under their noses. They had taken from their convention booth a bag containing, among other things a laptop, two iPads, a PlayStation Vita, a Vita Test kit, and a Kindle Fire. They weren’t the only ones, either; there was a rash of equipment thefts that year.
You’re not going to prevent this sort of thing altogether. What you can do, however, is minimize the risk of it occurring. You can accomplish this by:
- Hiring a sufficient number of competent security staff.
- Limiting access to areas where critical or expensive equipment is stored.
- Setting up security cameras or otherwise establishing a security presence in areas at a high risk of theft (such as vendor booths).
- Ensuring there’s a proper process in place for when a theft is reported. Generally, volunteers aware of a theft should report it immediately to security staff or a team lead. Incident reports are a must in this case. Depending on the nature of the theft, the victim may be entitled to some form of reparation.
- Make sure you’re insured against this sort of thing.
Less common – but far more dangerous – is violence. I’m not just talking about attendee aggression, either. There are actually quite a few violent (and potentially violent) security threats you’ll need to take into account. These include:
- Terrorism or the threat of terrorism: While your event isn’t terribly likely to be targeted by a terrorist organization, you nevertheless shouldn’t ignore the possibility. Make sure you’ve security staff on-hand to do a full sweep of the venue before, during, and after an event to make sure nothing’s amiss. Depending on the likelihood and severity of the threat, you might even require armed guards or canine sweeps (again, not terribly likely).
- An Attack On A Special Guest: If you’ve a special guest attending your event – and particularly if they’re a celebrity – there may well be someone around who’s got a chip on their shoulder about said guest. Make sure you’ve arranged for them to be properly protected by your staff. If something terrible happens to them, it’s on you.
- Attendee Aggression: As a general rule, you’re not going to need to directly worry about aggressive attendees. So long as you’ve sufficient security staff, you can simply allow them to handle it. It’s their primary job, after all.
- Criminal Volunteers: Perform background and record checks of staff, guests, and vendors. You don’t want to put attendees at risk by inadvertently hiring a criminal.
Last but certainly not least, there’s the issue of compromised information. If you’re using an online ticketing or billing system, there’s a chance – albeit a small one – that you might encounter a data breach of some sort. Unfortunately, as with equipment theft, you can’t remove the risk altogether. All you can do is make sure the data’s secure and ensure that if something does go amiss, you’re properly equipped to deal with it.
Transparency is the key here. If you even suspect you’re dealing with compromised data, let everyone affected by the breach know immediately, then do everything in your power to set things right.
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