Given the increasing vulnerability of event venues and events that involve large gatherings, it is only a matter of time before corporate event planners will have to grapple with issues of safety and security. How can corporate event organizers go about planning and managing event security?
Organizers of concerts, sporting events and political events like rallies, G20 summits, and events for the United Nations are strong in this area. There are also valuable lessons to be learned from airlines that are decades ahead of most industries when it comes to safety and security.
1. Conduct a thorough risk assessment.
All decisions about event security need to begin with a thorough risk assessment.
“Tragically, the global security climate is changing considerably. Event organizers have a ‘duty of care’ to their customers and should review security plans. Event organizers and Venue owners should consider their exposure to risk through a comprehensive evaluation of threats and vulnerabilities.”
-Peter Murphy, Director, Priavo Security Ltd.
When a risk assessment identifies the need for heightened vigilance, technology can play a vital role in ensuring the safety of participants and security of venues, and soft targets.
2. Brief attendees.
At the airport, there are regular announcements for passengers to be on the look-out for suspicious packages and unattended luggage. And passengers receive emergency briefings before take-off.
Similarly, event and meeting planners should also brief participants about the location of fire exits and emergency procedures in the event of fire or the need for quick evacuation. Stadiums already use videos and simulation software for participant briefings. These can be incorporated into your event app:
How Event Apps Can Help
- You can use your event app to make security information available to all attendees, include emergency procedures, information about safety and security directly in the event app. e.g. fire exit locations, first aid stations, contact information for police, ambulances, fire departments and other first responders.
- Include a separate password protected module for event staff with more detailed information about emergency procedures including evacuation routes, how to spot suspicious packages, and individuals.
- Use push notifications for emergency bulletins.
3. Provide emergency procedures training for event and venue staff.
Flight crews receive extensive training such as practice drills to handle emergencies. Airlines have clearly laid out emergency procedures that are reviewed before each flight for flight attendants and cockpit crew to follow incase of an emergency.
The event, meeting and hospitality industries needs to become equally adept at preparing event staff and participants to handle emergencies, especially for festivals, large conferences, and trade shows.
Simulation Software: For training event personnel, simulation software like SportEvac by INCONTROL can be helpful. Simulations can incorporate scenarios like evacuations, fires, bomb threats, and more. They can be made accessible through apps.
4. Secure confidential and proprietary information through event apps.
It is extremely important to ensure that participant lists, personal data about attendees, proprietary information or confidential content is accessible only to authorized parties. Binders and printed handouts can fall into the wrong hands. By providing information through an app, there can be an enhanced level of security.
Before purchasing an event app, review the security options in full. You should be able to:
- Gate app access with a passcode to be distributed to attendees
- Gate app access by only enabling registered attendee or speakers to login with their email address
- Enable HTTPS data encryption to guard against onsite information inception
5. Control and secure access points.
Passengers, airport staff, and crew all pass through security checkpoints. Stadiums and other large venues use bag searches and canine units to secure entrances. Handheld and walkthrough metal detectors can screen people as they enter for concerts and sporting events. Here is a mobile walkthrough metal detector.
6. Monitor the Location.
Especially for large events, it is important to monitor what is taking place and deal with any threats on a timely basis.
Security Cameras: Security personnel can now monitor security camera footage, even from remote locations, from laptops, iPads and other mobile devices. Some are now equipped with facial recognition technology that can trigger remote silent alarms.
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