Fall is right around the corner and for a lot of Americans this means tailgating, fall festivals, outdoor corporate meetings and other large events. The recent August 26, 2018 active shooting incident during a video gaming competition in Jacksonville FL, reminds us that when a large number of people congregate together, no matter the reason, the risk of violence from outside and/or within is a realistic possibility. The burden to effectively deploy large event security to keep everyone safe is heavy.
Therefore, organizations must plan and implement security tactics to keep all attendees as safe as possible throughout the duration of the event.
Before the Event
Plan for the worst, hope for the best. A well thought-out emergency action plan (EAP) can go a long way in preventing injury and/or loss of life. It can make sure everyone knows where to go, what to do and who is in charge when a crisis occurs. A thorough EAP also accounts for natural disasters or other unforeseen incidents that have the potential to bring harm to the event’s attendees.
Emergency Command Center
Before the event it is also important to establish an emergency command center off site. There can be a centralized area for security on site, but the actual command center should be away from the venue. Why? If attacked, then the entire emergency situation is out of control from the very first moment of unrest and the number of injuries/fatalities undeniably goes up.
Plan for Violent Attendees
Before you begin checking in attendees, take time to monitor the climate/current events prior to the event. This is vital when the organization may be targeted by a terrorist or other type of volatile group(s). If the event is for a specific company/organization, it’s essential the Human Resources department alert event officials if any disgruntled employees have recently been let go or if there are any existing high risk employees with disciplinary issues planning to attend.
During the Event
Control Access Points
Security checkpoints must be established, manned and monitored throughout the event. It’s easier when an event is held inside a building or compound with designated entry and exit points. However, it’s not impossible to tighten security for outside events; it’s just more challenging. When the event venue is outside, utilize security personnel to patrol the perimeter and funnel attendees to designated security check areas for screening.
Communicate with Attendees
Avoid delays and/or slips in security by informing attendees ahead of time what is and is not allowed in the venue. Make sure what is prohibited is clear on all printed materials, electronic content and posted signs leading up to security checkpoints. This will prevent confusion and eliminate distracting discussions and long lines.
Conduct Vigilant Monitoring
A many-layered approach is best when monitoring a large event. Utilize electronic surveillance and on-site security personnel. Watching for aberrant behavior at the event’s access point is essential to stop potential violence at the door. However, security cameras (including drones if applicable) and on-site personnel must be on the lookout for suspicious activity throughout the duration of the event. There should always be “someone” watching until everyone has exited the locale.
SACS Consulting Can Help Keep Your Next Event Safe and Secure
Being prepared and planning and monitoring are essential security tactics to keep everyone safe during large events. SACS Consulting can help your organization prepare, train and implement sound security procedures for your next event. Contact or call 330-255-1101 to speak with one of our HR, training or security personnel to find out how we can help ensure all attendees at your next event are safe.