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Events come in all shapes and sizes – from parties and weddings to corporate conferences and music festivals. For event organisers, however, no matter the event, one thing always remains the same – the safety of guests and delegates is paramount.

Although no two events are the same, there are some general event security principles that all event organisers should be aware of. In this article, we’re going to list some of the most important.

Assess Your Risks

Just as no two events are the same, neither are the security threats they face. As such, it’s vital to ensure that, before your event takes place, you’ve assessed exactly what risks you face.

Your security assessment should form part of your broader health and safety assessment. The idea is to figure out every possible thing that could go wrong so that you can put in place effective countermeasures and plans.

Though each event will face different security risks – and different elevations of the same risks – some of the things you absolutely must consider are:

  1. Theft prevention
  2. Access control
  3. Crowd control
  4. Emergency planning and first aid
  5. Evacuation planning

Each of these areas requires its own in-depth analysis. For example, access control for a concert may require the implementation of measures to screen for underage attendees, bag searches, manned security and crowd control fences. Whereas access control for a corporate conference may require the distribution of ID badges or wristbands and ticket checks.

In addition to these analyses, other questions to consider are:

  1. What is your primary delegate demographic – and is it associated with any particular issues (for example, is it a likely target for hate crimes or other abuses)?
  2. Does any element of the event attract controversy – for example, will controversial topics be discussed?
  3. Are any VIPs or controversial figures expected to be in attendance?
  4. Will any media be present?
  5. Does your venue have any security or safety weaknesses – for example, a lack of exits?
  6. Where is your event taking place – is it in close proximity to a busy road, for example?

It’s impossible to list every possible security threat for every event. But the key takeaway is to conduct a thorough and comprehensive security risk assessment.

Make Security Measures Visible

Security measures have two functions. As most people know, every security technique is designed to respond to a security event of some sort. However, security measures also function in another way – they can also prevent crimes and other security events from happening at all.

But they only perform this second function if they’re visible. When it comes to events of any sort, a good rule of thumb is to ensure that any security measures you have in place are visible.

For example, if you’re using event security guards, ensure they are visible outside the event as well as inside the event. If there’s CCTV on site, ensure cameras are visible and advertise their existence with signs. If bag searches are being undertaken, use signs to let people know. In short, shout about your security practices – since this is enough to put many criminals off.

Create Security Checkpoints

A security checkpoint is simply an area every delegate must pass through in order to access your event. Depending on what type of event you’re organising, exactly what happens in this area is subject to change. For example, a security checkpoint for a festival (which likely involves bag searches, ticket checks and wristband distribution) will be very different from one at a works-do (where the main concern will likely be preventing gate-crashers from entering).

Even if you’re organising an event which won’t have an “official” security checkpoint – say a birthday party – it’s still a good idea to have the concept in your mind. Even if delegates simply have to sign a register so that you know how many people are in attendance, the idea of making delegates pass through a particular area can help you keep everybody safe.

Get To Know Your Venue

Your venue will have security weaknesses; no venue is completely secure. In order to understand what these are – perhaps a backdoor for staff or a window that can be opened from the outside – you need to have a good understanding of your venue.

Before your event takes place, you need to visit your venue and have a good look around. Keep an eye out for any areas which could potentially be used to gain entry and provision adequate security measures to ensure that, on the big day, no one is able to use them to sneak in.

During your visit, it’s also vital that you familiarise yourself with escape routes and the venue’s evacuation plan.

Create Effective Communication Channels

Poor communication can make a bad situation worse. As such, all event staff need to understand how they are expected to communicate with one another (for example, using radios) as well as who is responsible for what.

It is good practice to create codewords to refer to different types of security incidents. This will allow your staff to communicate with one another without unnecessarily alarming guests. For example, “volcano” could be used to refer to a physical confrontation between guests. Before your event takes place, ensure that all of your staff understand what your codewords are and what they mean.

Professional Event Security

As the event organiser, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your delegates’ security. To do this effectively, you should consider hiring professionals. Professional event security providers have the necessary experience, expertise and equipment to keep any security risks to a minimum.

At Churchill Security, we provide a range of industry-leading event security services. This includes:

  1. Wedding security
  2. Security for corporate events
  3. Festival and concert security
  4. Security for charity events
  5. Party security
  6. And security for sporting events.

Since being founded in 1993, we have grown into one of the UK’s leading private security companies. All of our security officers are SIA-licensed, and we belong to the top five percent of all UK security companies – making us a top-tier member of the ACS Pacesetters.

In order to become who we are today our company has been through plenty of changes. However, our ambition has always been the same: to provide first-class, cross-industry security services to businesses and individuals wherever they are.

We have a 95 percent customer retention rate, maintain an average of 350 active sites and have an average alarm response time of 30 minutes.

Churchill Security is an experienced event security provider. Our highly qualified event security staff can help you plan your event safely and will implement first-class security on the big day.

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John Melling is a Director for Churchill Security Ltd. John is a highly motivated, determined and decisive security industry professional. Drawing on his extensive experience gained within the security industry whilst working on the coalface John has operated at all levels within the industry. He has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.