“Woefully deficient.” That’s how Damon Zumwalt of event security company Contemporary Services describes the attack-prevention knowledge within his industry. In fact, 23 states allow you to become a security guard without any form of training. Who, then, should you hire for your team? First, make sure that the company you are vetting has comprehensive licensing for your state and niche knowledge related to your type of event. Then get references and confirm that the company is insured.
Events are often huge undertakings that have many different facets, so it’s understandable that security often does not get the attention it deserves. However, the hiring of guards is just one element of the security stance you may need for an event to ensure the safety of attendees and staff. Here are 3 additional tips for strong event security:
1. Pay attention to admittance. Think about mode of entry, especially if your event is highly sensitive. That information should be included on invitations so your guests are prepared. Whatever your parameters are, state them all explicitly; for instance, you may want to receive RSVPs a minimum of 24 hours in advance and for all attendees to have the invite with them for admittance. If you are doing plus-ones, to maintain event security, add those individuals’ names to your guest list. To make sure that the name matches the person, you can ask for ID; bracelets or stamps can be used to validate their identification (assuming it is not a formal event).
2. Make sure your staff and vendors are screened. There should be a secondary system in place to admit vendors and other personnel. It should be easier for them to go in and out, but there should be a protocol in place for them as well (which should be sent to them prior to the event).
3. Prepare for the worst. Request both the venue’s and event security firm’s active shooter response plans. Ask about how emergency responders will be given access to the space. Check if the facility has safe rooms and evacuation rally points (the locations of which should not be published). Develop a crisis communication plan. You can also get emergency contact information from each guest if that seems appropriate.
As a final note, the advantage of hiring experts with knowledge related to professionally mitigating threats within crowds is that you can draw on their advice to further bolster your event security. Safety must be fundamental to planning a successful event, but you also need a great atmosphere. At Tent Renters Supply, our products have been used for national amusement parks, large trade shows, outdoor events, weddings, and even the Super Bowl. View our catalog.