Security is a hot topic within the events industry. Increased globalisation, evolving technology, growing security threats and political instability are bringing new challenges. Yet, despite a deteriorating security climate, most organisations remain unprepared and reactive. Safeguarding your event, protecting your travellers, and optimising your guest experience is crucial.
Already this reporting period has been dominated by several attacks in crowded and public places, demonstrating the power of ideology to motivate "lone actors" to commit acts of terrorism. In the current security climate, the main focus seems to be on terrorism. but organisations should be reviewing all threats and hazards they face in specific regions. These include medical, environmental, political and many other factors that could cause widespread travel disruption.
There are many variations in approach when determining appropriate security and safety measures for your event and we have outlined a robust methodology below:
Regardless of size or complexity, all tasks should be intelligence-led and grounded on a detailed understanding of the operational environment. We carry out a thorough analysis to evaluate the threats, risks and vulnerabilities specific to your event; the location, venue and key stakeholders.
Threats could include:
- Terrorists, insurgents, extremists, criminals, hackers, civil or community unrest or protests, petty and organised crime and corrupt officials.
- Hazards such as earthquakes, floods, weather, viruses and pandemics.
- The impact of threats and hazards can include death or injury, destruction of assets, travel disruption, and cyber attack.
Only once we have a clear understanding of the threats or hazards you face, appropriate and effective security measures can be adopted in order to mitigate risk to you and your critical assets.
Event planners should coordinate with security at the earliest possible stage as detailed planning is paramount when tailoring a security suite. An effective operational plan works best when security and event personnel work closely together from the earliest opportunity. Robust operational planning includes actionable and tested contingencies and key fundamentals covering everything from travel risk management and crisis response to communications plans and journey management. Security awareness and travel risk training can be tailored and delivered to your key stakeholders. Securing an event does not just include the venue, but travel, accommodation, and surrounding areas. Reassessment of key locations should include security audits to assess existing control measures, procedures and policies. A layered approach must be adopted covering all angles in the most cost-effective manner possible.
A robust operational plan will include appropriate and realistic control measures that can be implemented to safeguard your event, guests and travellers. These measures must work for your event, your team and budget in order that security is embedded and achievable. A variety of control measures are listed below:
- Physical security: executive protection, venue security and manned guarding
- Technical security: trackers, drones, surveillance, cameras, access control, thermal imaging, motion sensors
- Technical surveillance counter measures (TSCM)
- Secure ground transportation: vetted security drivers and journey tracking
- Journey management: chaperones, meet and greets, fast tracking, route reconnaissance
- Medical support: registered paramedics, on site clinic, governance and response equipment, identify nearest medical facilities
- Canine units: an excellent visual deterrent, drug and explosion detection
- Crisis management
There will be many moving parts to the security task and our role will be to ensure all technical, manpower, local authorities and other resources are coordinated to maximize security and efficiencies inside and outside the venue. We need to achieve a balance between visual and undetectable security measures to enhance the event experience. Finally, monitoring trends in the threat environment will highlight any significant developments in the build-up to your event, giving you time to utilise contingencies if required.
Listen to Pete Murphy in this webinar recording as he speaks on security challenges facing the events industry with advice on safeguarding your event and travellers.
About the AuthorPete Murphy is operations director of Priavo Security, based in London. Pete has extensive operational experience having organised and led high-profile security tasks for private, corporate and government clients across the globe. Pete personally ensures every project is meticulously planned from start to finish. He has 20 years’ experience working with various international military and civilian agencies after a commendable service within the Special Boat Service and Royal Marines.
Pete is a true leader in the security and close protection field. His extensive global network of contacts and liaisons allows us to be continually resourceful wherever we operate.