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Creating a Dynamic and Effective Event Security Risk Plan

Creating an effective security risk plan for events is becoming more complex, but taking a few vital steps can help keep everyone safe.

Event security risk is evolving dynamically, as evidenced by the recent surge in complex, unpredictable incidents at major event venues. Minimizing risk and having an effective incident response is demanding more sophisticated and, unfortunately, more obtrusive measures. Event managers can maximize attendee safety and still deliver an optimal experience by embracing three event security strategies:   

Assessing the risk

Use a macro-level risk assessment model: risk = likelihood x consequence. Your risk assessment should consider risk probability, based on location, political stability, climate volatility, societal tension, and crime profile; along with risk impact —  thepotential harm topeople, property, and the brand.

Planning ahead of time

Create a standardized, repeatable event response plan. Your incident preparedness and response framework should be integrated into the overall event planning and execution. Pre-event planning should include:

  • Mapping the venue’s physical layout: access, fire detection, surveillance, and communications systems.
  • Identifying available law enforcement, fire and rescue, and medical/EMS support, and establishing clear processes for communicating with each.
  • Establishing a dedicated response team who have studied and practiced response procedures and escalation protocols.
  • Defining channels, protocols and roles for both internal and public communications, including spokesperson training and execution processes for web, social, mobile, and media channels.
  • Conducting a mock incident response drill.

At the event the response team should establish an incident response command center.  Post event, the team should conduct a thorough evaluation and recommend plan improvements.

Working together

Collaborate to determine the right security layers. Based on the risk assessment, event planners, incident response leads, hotel event managers, and security leads should work together to determine the appropriate mix and level of security measures to ensure strong security with minimal attendee disruption. Emphasis should be on the areas of highest attendee presence and interaction.  For example: if a security check at the event entry is necessary, will a simple bag check suffice, or do you need metal detectors? 

Event managers can navigate the dynamic threat landscape and deliver a superb attendee experience with a thorough risk assessment, comprehensive response planning and venue-appropriate execution.

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