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Happy New Year and welcome to our first blog of 2021!

 

What will events look like in 2021?
 

It’s safe to say that most of us will be relieved to see the back of 2020. Sadly, COVID-19 has refused to do us all a favour and stay last year’s news, regrettably following us into 2021 and resulting in the third (but hopefully last) national lockdown. Despite this less than favourable start to the new year, we here at Churchill Security are feeling, dare we say it, hopeful! Why you ask?  Well, thanks to the wonders of modern science, the UK not only has one but two COVID-19 vaccines currently being rolled out across the country and we’re one step closer to getting this virus under control.

Whilst we’re certainly hopeful about the vaccine, we’re also realistic. Many experts have stressed that a successful vaccination programme will take time and patience to take effect- and that masks, social distancing and COVID- secure measures will need to be maintained in the meantime.

The good news? Experts from SAGE estimate that with a successful immunisation programme (one that vaccinates 70-80% of the population), ‘normality’ could be on the horizon by summer 2021. Just in time for music festival season!

While we still face uncertainty and insecurity in 2021, the coronavirus vaccine rollout is the good news we’ve all been waiting for. And we’re certainly looking forward to slowly returning to normal and once again enjoying some much-needed socialising and entertainment.  With this in mind, we’re looking at Churchill’s top event security tips for when life gets back to normal.

Whatever sort of event you’re planning, you have a duty to ensure the safety of your guests. But small private events – such as weddings and work parties – demand very different safety procedures to festivals and other large events. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Concerts and Festivals

Everyone loves a great concert. But concerts and festivals present a variety of hazards. With hundreds or even thousands of people in attendance, crushing between people or against fixed structures, trampling, surging, aggressive behaviour and even dangerous behaviour from the artist (e.g., climbing on equipment and throwing objects) can all pose very real threats.

Additionally, your choice of venue will create risks of its own – especially if your event takes place outdoors, where there’s a number of things to consider: Slipping or tripping due to poorly lit areas, damaged flooring or a build-up of rubbish. Moving vehicles sharing the same routes as pedestrians. Collapsing structures such as fences or barriers. Hot cooking equipment. Equipment failure (e.g., turnstiles). The possibility of fire. All these things can be a danger to attendees.

Unless you’re organising a very small private concert (10-30 people), hiring private event security is a must for concert and festival organisers. A good security contractor will assist with health and safety auditing and planning, erecting barriers, legislative compliance, crowd control, the provision of first-aiders, emergency service liaison, evacuation mapping and more. This will ensure that no one gets hurt, that you remain on the right side of the law and that your event remains memorable for all the right reasons.

 

Weddings

No one likes to see a punch-up at a wedding. But, whether we like it or not, wedding receptions are infamous for their potential to turn nasty. With emotions running high, booze flowing, and far-flung family members brought together, it’s important you do everything in your power to ensure your wedding reception runs smoothly.

If you’re hiring a venue, it will be their responsibility to make sure that your event is properly licensed, compliant and safe. If you’re planning a reception on your own, you will need to hire safe food handling trained servers and bar staff, keep your buffet fresh, apply for necessary permits, serve alcohol safely and even consider insurance.

When you rent event security, security officers will keep an eye on children, prevent and remove uninvited or disruptive guests, provide an effective first-response to emergency situations (including first aid and emergency service liaison), safeguard gifts and valuables and help with evacuation planning. For those organising high-profile weddings (such as celebrity weddings), wedding security is an absolute must. For smaller receptions, hiring security can help ease nerves and keep things on track.

 

Party Security

From birthday blowouts to stag dos and hen nights, we all know that private parties can get a little wild. You’ll probably be looking at hiring catering staff, a DJ and renting some tables. But, depending on the size of your party, you may want to add security to the list.

When you hire security for your party, you will help maintain a safe environment for you and your guests as well as protect your property. If you’re hiring a party venue, the staff there will likely help you with health and safety and evacuation procedures. But, if you’re looking to host the party on private property (or at a venue that doesn’t typically host parties), a good security firm will help you plan escape routes, evacuation procedures and ensure general health and safety compliance.

Remember: if your party is taking place close to a residential area, keep the noise down after 11 pm. Else you may face a noise complaint!

 

Corporate Events and Conferences

While incidents are rare, hiring professional security for your corporate event will ensure that your event remains safe and that you give your guests peace of mind – which is especially important if your guest list includes high-profile businesspeople or politicians.

Security guards will guide attendees to where they need to be, keep out uninvited guests, help plan evacuation procedures and liaise with the emergency services if necessary. It is also possible to hire first-aid trained guards should you wish.

One of the most serious causes of disruption at corporate events are protests and demonstrations. If a company has recently been embroiled in controversy, activists may target events to get their voices heard. Though in most cases these activities pose little physical threat to your delegates, renting professional security on hand can help diffuse the situation and keep things running efficiently.

 

Sporting Events

Whether it’s a marathon or a football game, with masses of excited fans in attendance, any large sporting event needs adequate security procedures in place. Unfortunately, tragedies have occurred at big sporting events in the past – and many of these were avoidable.

To make sure your event stays safe, it’s important to have comprehensive incident management strategies, risk management practices, health and safety policies and other protective measures in place. Additionally, there is a litany of legislation that major sporting events organisers must adhere to.

Professional Security Officers can assist with crowd control, crime deterrence, diffusion and detainment of violent individuals (such as hooligans), static security, CCTV surveillance and emergency service liaison. Security firms can also provide advice and assistance regarding emergency planning procedures as well as emergency mapping and method.

Sports events should be fun for everyone. To stop things getting out of hand, it’s essential that those organising large events can deploy effective security officers. Even small sports events – such as local football games and fun-runs – may benefit from the presence of security guards.

 

Top 5 Things to Consider When Planning an Event

  • Alcohol

Nine times out of ten, alcohol is served at events. It’s a cause to celebrate, so why not indulge a little? Well, unfortunately it’s not those that indulge a little that become the problem – it’s those that over consume then all of a sudden, they think they are Batman and can scale a wall. Well, they’re not Batman and guess what? Now you’ve got a lawsuit on your hands. Proving you took the necessary security measures to prevent such occasions will heavily swing in your favour legally speaking, should anyone spontaneously decide that after five gin and tonics they are now, in fact, a superhero.

 

  • Crowds

A successful event can often be judged by how many people showed up, however a large attendance can also be your downfall. Who is in charge of crowd control? How do they know where to go when the event is over? Are there areas guests can’t enter? These are all really simple considerations – that is, if you have a security team on hand who know the drill. Otherwise, you’re personally looking after a sea of drunken lemmings bouncing off each other not knowing where to go. Not ideal.

 

  • Valuables

The general rule is the more valuable things you need to protect, the more security you need. Whether it’s someone guarding the cloakroom, watching over a no access door or protecting expensive equipment, you don’t want to be left heartbroken because you just couldn’t foresee someone you knew would nick a laptop. Sadly, this can happen. Ensuring you’ve got trained event security officers in place will make sure that opportunities for theft do not arise.

 

  • First Aid

If you’re the event organiser, it’s up to you to ensure that all attendees are adequately safeguarded. Equipping your event and venue with a first aid station is the best and easiest way to ensure that emergencies can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently by those qualified to do so.  Your first aid provision will naturally depend on the size, nature and risk assessment of the event. Bigger events such as festivals or sporting events may need ambulances present, whilst smaller events should be fine with one or two first aiders on site. Thankfully, the UK has some wonderful volunteer-driven first aid providers such as St. John’s ambulance and the Red Cross which offer first aid cover for both small and larger events.

 

  • The Paperwork

Whilst people think organising an event will be all fun and games, there’s actually a lot of serious paperwork that goes into safeguarding guests and attendees, risk assessments, emergency plans, health and safety forms. Properly assessing all the risks with a rating of 1-5 will allow you to devise safety measures to mitigate threats whilst ensuring that you’re fully prepared should the worst happen.  Of course, carrying out paperwork for a simple family BBQ is certainly overkill, but any public event, no matter how small, will have to take this into consideration.

 

So, What do I need?

OK, now we’ve identified the many reasons you need to hire professional event security, how do you know what measures you need? Statistically speaking, guard to guest ratios typically indicate a 1:50 balance but it’s not always that simple. When it comes to event security in the UK, static guards are without a doubt your best choice every time. They’re on the ground, they’re at the door, they’re managing crowd control and you can bet they’re preventing challenges you didn’t even know had arisen.

If you want to throw a successful and safe event in 2021, call Churchill today and let us take care of your security needs. With our highly qualified and experience guards on the case, you can have the peace of mind that your event is safe and compliant.

Best case scenario, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Worst case scenario, if you neglect to consider security requirements, it’s not even worth thinking about the risks you’re exposing your guests to and the potential legal ramifications you may face.

So, what events are you most looking forward to in 2021 once we’ve conquered COVID?

Churchill Security is a leading cross-industry security company supplying professional and comprehensive security solutions to organisations seeking expert Security Guards, CCTV & Event Security, Key Holding & Alarm Response, Mobile Patrols and Thermal Imaging & People Flow.

To find out more about how Churchill Security can protect your business, contact us today.

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operations director

Andy is an experienced operations and sales professional with over 20 years’ experience. As Churchill Security’s Operations Director, Andy is responsible for service delivery to new and existing clients throughout the UK, managing the 24 hour control room, the supervisory team and Operations Managers, and for driving efficiencies and best practice standards within the organisation.