Recent incidents of public violence such as the Mandalay Bay and Sutherland Springs shootings have placed a heavy responsibility on companies to strengthen security for high-profile company events, NBC reports. Risk management firm Pinkerton says event hosts will have to think carefully before hosting events that are in the shadow of nearby buildings. Bag checks and magnetometers will probably become standard in the future to prevent such incidents.
But Echelon Protection and Surveillance emphasizes that such dramatic threats only add one layer to more basic security issues that are always present at major events. To keep your event safe, it’s vital to follow some fundamental security procedures. Here are four tips for controlling crowds and keeping your attendees safe at your next high-profile event.
Screen Your Guests and Guards
Prevention is the best security solution, and an effective way to prevent problems is to carefully screen your guests and security personnel to avoid allowing problem individuals in. The more high-profile your event, the more you should implement admittance protocols to screen your guests. On your invitations, specify exactly what your admittance protocols are, such as RSVPing ahead of time or bringing the invitation to the event. If your guests are allowed to bring guests, you can require them to add them ahead of time as well. Use some form of ID or validation to verify qualified attendees.
Control Crowd Flow
Managing the direction of crowd flow is another key to keeping your event securely under control. Having clear entrance and exit points so that you can control how many people are entering and leaving at a time forms a foundation for good crowd flow. This applies to your parking area and other areas outside your event as well as inside your event. Have clear directions posted and placed in event handouts so attendees know where to go. Use effective procedures for managing lines to keep crowds moving and avoid congestion. A professional security provider can help you plan and optimize your crowd flow.
Set Up Strategic Surveillance
Strategic use of surveillance should be another element of your security plan. Setting up video surveillance cameras can serve both to deter violent incidents and theft, and also to help you identify suspicious individuals and crime suspects. Place cameras at strategic spots such as entrance and exit areas and near high-activity and high-value booths. Placing visible and undercover security guards in crowds can also form part of your surveillance plan.
Have an Emergency Plan
Having an emergency plan is an essential part of crowd control planning. Send an advance security team to your event location ahead of time to map out the venue and identify potential vulnerabilities. Identify exit paths that crowds can use in the event you need to do an emergency evacuation. Create emergency evacuation plans for guests as well as VIPs. Create response plans for theft and violent incidents as well, as well as medical emergencies.
Screening guests and guards, controlling crowd flow, using strategic surveillance, and doing emergency planning form the foundation of an effective crowd-control plan. Following these steps will help you reduce the risk of incidents of violence and theft, keep your attendees safe, and ensure that your event is a success for your company.