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7 Event Security Measures and How to Empower Your Event TeamBlog
In an era of global natural disasters, political unrest and other alarming headlines, many event professionals are left wondering how to best prepare for the unknown.
Your event team can play one of the biggest roles in event security – if they’re prepared.
To get up to speed on event security best practices and how to empower your event team to maintain safe and secure events, Prismm welcomed Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of DAHLIA+ and tech evangelist, and Mark Herrera, Director of Education with the IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers).
Here are seven event security measures from their conversation. If you’d like additional details and other event security tips, watch the full webinar.
Empowering Event Teams to Say Something If They See Something
After 9/11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established. The primary role of DHS is to closely monitor attacks on public gatherings and public places in order to constantly enhance national security.
Unfortunately, DHS continues to assess that “mass gatherings venues” (i.e. those used for events and meetings) “remain a potential target for terrorists or homegrown violent extremists.”
Because there has been a shift from centrally coordinated and planned attacks to “lone wolves”, DHS has also indicated that early signs are “likely to be difficult to detect” – meaning the private sector and local communities have a critical role in identifying and reporting suspicious activities.
Because there has been a shift in the kinds of threats, more than ever event teams are a critical link to event security. Whether that’s attendees and front-line staff to volunteers and venue workers, each and every person can be the “eyes and ears” of the event. Along with that comes the responsibility to do something if they see something suspicious or unusual – to speak out and alert the proper authorities.
If your event venue hasn’t already done so, DHS has made it easy for event venues to adopt the Department’s “If You See Something, Say Something™” mantra with numerous materials and resources all available online.
Essential Security Measures for Every Event
In addition to establishing the mentality that each and every team member supports creating and maintaining a safe and secure event, it’s important for all staff to be aware of and understand the specific security measures in place for that particular event. This can be done through a combination of communications including briefing documents, webinars, in-person or immersive virtual walkthroughs.
The goal is to make sure the entire event team is familiar with the security protocols and procedures so they are equipped with answers as to what to do if an issue were to arise.
Use this list to get started developing your event’s security measures:
1. Risk assessment
What potential threats or vulnerabilities exist at the venue, and how are those risks being mitigated?
For some event types, the risk assessment may include K-9 sweeps before and after events.
2. Evacuation plans
What are the plans to evacuate in case of an emergency? Is there a central rally/meeting point outside the venue? Where are all of the emergency exits and stairwells located?
The venue’s evacuation plans should also include instructions for rapid implementation of procedures for isolation, decontamination, and notification of appropriate authorities if necessary.
3. Crowd management
In the case of large scale events, what crowd control measures are in place? And if there is a situation that requires evacuation, how and where should attendees evacuate?
4. Access points
What are the various ways to enter the venue, including delivery doors, loading docks, and storage areas? This helps to keep staff alert and report attempts to access any restricted areas.
In the case of an emergency, is there a designated location for EMS and first responders to enter?
5. Contingency plans
What is the back-up or “what if” plan in case something doesn’t go as expected—whether it’s an inconvenience like a power outage to a serious concern like a bomb threat? Remember, security is all about the “just in case.”
6. Medical service plan
What are the protocols in case of an unexpected medical emergency? How and where will emergency responders maintain privacy and keep disruption to a minimum?
7. Event credentials
What identification is needed in order to access the event venue? What is the policy if attendees don’t have the correct credentials?
It’s impossible to eliminate every possible and potential security issue. However, with these security measures in place and a well-prepared team, there is a strong groundwork for an organized and safe event.
To see how 3D floorplans and Virtual Reality can be used to better prepare your staff for any unexpected emergencies, contact Prismm for a demo.