One of the top priorities when organising an event is security and safety. Outdoor events tend to cover a much bigger area than indoor events, which requires more planning and depending on the type of crowd, more advanced security. Outdoor events are a particular challenge since they’re spread over a much bigger area than indoor events which in turn requires extensive planning in terms of planning, security, and crisis management.
It’s important to make sure both yourself, as the organiser and the attendees, feel confident that the event is secure. Here are some ways to improve your outdoor event’s security.
1. Establish a perimeter
Whether your event is indoors or outside a secure perimeter is essential. The problem you face when holding an outdoor event is that it’s a lot easier to gain access to the site. This is why you need to establish a clear perimeter for your security staff and make sure it’s monitored throughout the day(s) of the event.
Your perimeter can be as basic or complex as you like, it comes down to the type of area you’re dealing with and the size of the crowd that’s expected to attend. Guarding the area like Fort Knox may be a bit over the top; so as long as you have a suitable fence or barrier, and have security staff monitoring the perimeter, you’ll be off to a good start.
2. Brief staff on the site layout
No matter how big or small your event’s site is, you need to make sure staff members are aware of the layout. In the case of a fire or other emergency, attendees will look to staff members for guidance, so make sure they’re pointing them towards an exit and not a broom closet.
Security staff should be in contact whenever necessary, so they should be aware of key areas or checkpoints. This is especially useful for larger events where a member of staff may need support in a busy area.
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3. Make a plan for major and minor issues
An outdoor event is bound to attract more attendees, and with so many members of the public convening in one place, your first thought as the organiser is preventing a major security risk. Yes, it’s always good to be prepared for the worst case scenario, but you should be equally prepared for minor, more frequent security problems.
There’s a much greater likelihood that you’ll have to deal with everyday security risks than a major threat. For example, at events with lots of people, it’s very common for children to wander off and get lost. This is something security teams have to deal with on a regular basis and being ready for this sort of issue will be imperative to getting it resolved quickly and efficiently.
4. Be accommodating to attendees
An essential part of providing high-quality security is making your guests feel welcome and interacting with them in a friendly and helpful manner. Security guards may well be able to take care of anyone causing trouble, but without the right attitude towards attendees in need, they become a hindrance.
Event security needs to find a happy medium between being a figure of authority and being a friendly face who attendees can turn to for assistance. Always consider the type of audience you’ll be catering for and choose your security staff accordingly.
5. Provide medical assistance
A medical team will be an essential part of maintaining a sense of security, especially at music events and festivals where attendees will potentially be intoxicated. Your primary concern should be keeping attendees safe, and if any medical issues occur, it’s vital that you have staff on site who can take care of it.
At smaller events or conferences, you may not need a medical team but there should always be staff who are medically trained and able to provide assistance.
6. Have a backup plan
No matter how much planning you do before the day of an event, there’s bound to be something that goes wrong. It’s for this reason that you should always have alternate options to make sure that despite any unforeseen circumstances, your event is still secure at all times.
Whether there’s an issue with staff members, equipment or the venue itself – having backup plans will save you a lot of hassle and prevent any need to postpone or cancel the event.
Organising a successful event takes time, effort and plenty of thought. With so much to consider it can be quite a daunting task, and as the person in charge of the event you should always have security right at the top of your list of priorities. Your event can’t reach its full potential if the attendees, staff and guest speakers/performers don’t feel safe. These tips should be a big help to making sure your next event is secure and successful.
Ankush Gupta is the managing director of Close Circuit security services, which is based in London. With a wealth of experience, Ankush and his team have the necessary skills to provide their clientele with a range of high-quality security services.