In this era of routine terrorist attacks, devastating natural disasters and political unrest, it’s the million-dollar question plaguing the industry: How could this threat have been avoided? From eliminating foreseeable risks to being prepared for the worst, there’s never been a more critical time for event marketers to arm themselves with the intelligence and resources necessary to maintain safe and secure events.Events Security Cape Town
Here, we offer their top tips for keeping events safe and secure in 2019 and beyond.
- Document everything – You’ll hear it over and over again. In the event of an emergency, especially a medical crisis, documenting the incident is vital to keeping insurance premiums in check and staff informed. It’s key to remember, if it’s not documented, it did not happen. This is key to make sure your insurance premiums can be reduced as a result.
- Find a Venue That Prioritizes Attendee Safety – When it comes to selecting a location for your event, make sure the venue is willing to do its part to communicate key messaging to attendees. Remember: if an incident occurs, cooperation will be key. At outdoor events now, announcements are being made ahead of time that if there is an event that requires clearance, here is where you go. In some places, like an open-air field, if a weather event were to come through, the shelter might be—and this is what the venue would announce—go to your cars. That may be where the safest place is. At most venues, you’re told that now.
- Establish a Chain of Command – The key thing here is when it comes to decision-making, who is in charge? The chain of command at an event needs to filter to the overall broader chain of command in an emergency situation as it relates to the company or brand.
- Plan completion and supervision – As you meet with coordinators or planners, you should be able to complete the major muscle movements of the plan. Put it together and initiate the ‘pen to paper’ phase incorporating your findings from the reconnaissance and preparation phases. Conduct a pre-briefing with your team and key stakeholders to determine if there are any gaps or issues that have not been resolved. Consider a “walk-through-talk-through” with personnel from each area–coordination, communications, logistics, and execution–to ensure that their respective areas are addressed.
- Coordination – The coordination does not need to wait for the plan to be complete. Leaders or managers should communicate their plans and send out the people to conduct necessary coordination. As the plan evolves or things change, the leadership should communicate and instruct on course corrections. Hold people accountable, and ensure you are getting feedback in a timely manner on tasks requiring coordination.
- Pre-brief – At this stage, assemble your team, advise them on the 5 W’s you have so far, and begin to address what resources may be required. During this time you can conduct an analysis of the mission or detail, the event participants both internal and external, the personnel you have available, the planning time you expect to need and the date and time of event execution.
- When is the event occurring? – The exact date, time and duration of the event will have an effect on your planning process. In some cases, events are planned for years in advance and in a deliberate and well-documented process. In others, you may face a situation where a CEO elects to have a gathering of corporate VIP leaders for a special get together or breakaway meeting at a private function. The “when” will drive how much planning you can conduct and what resources you can bring to bear.
- Analyze – Regardless of the size and scope of the gathering, once you receive notice of an event or function, the analytic process should be initiated. Make a list of the five W’s–who, what, why, where, and when–surrounding the event. Security should involve the same level of planning and coordination for every event, whether it be internally held function or an external operation connected to a major event.
- Observation – Inspection and reconnaissance of the venue are essential to the plan. You will not be able to truly gain awareness of the location or concerns regarding safety and security without physically inspecting the scene. When possible, inspect the location at the same times of day and days of the week it will be used. A weekday morning inspection on an of a park venue that gets a massive influx of pedestrians on weekends serves no purpose if you are planning for a Saturday event. Photograph, sketch and get schematics or diagrams if possible. Include views of exits, access-ways, map routes, roadways, and streets nearby to determine any construction, detours, or other transportation concerns. Have a route plan; map distances and time to separate venues, hospitals or other emergency resources.
- Why is the event occurring? – Is the event a one-time gathering, conference, or rally, or is it reoccurring? Is there a political or religious agenda? The “why” question may determine the need for involvement or engagement from government or public safety agencies. In some cases, the “why” may lead you to relinquish certain duties to another organization, or to advise against the event taking place altogether. Although it may be easier to stop everything, restrict an event, or bow out of it completely, you should conduct the planning process so that you can explain concerns, document issues, and identify any pitfalls.
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