The world can be a scary, unpredictable place, but you don’t want your meetings to feel that way. Ensuring attendees’ safety should be your top priority for any event. Here are a few do’s and dont’s when it comes to event security.
DO get acquainted with your venue long before your event.
Security should definitely be a factor when deciding on a venue, but the real work starts once it’s been booked. Get to know the ins and outs of the venue, including room capacities and exit strategies. You’ll likely be going through the venue anyways to get an idea of its flow, but it’s important to keep security top of mind from the get go.
DON’T leave your security team out of the loop.
Your venue might be able to supply enough security services for your event or you might need to hire outside help. Either way, don’t leave them out of the planning process. If you’re hiring contractors, make sure to get them involved as soon as you have the venue booked. They need time to acclimate to the venue, and should be aware of every event happening in every space for the duration of your event.
DO think medical emergencies as part of security.
The most likely unplanned incident at your event is likely to be a medical emergency. Your security team should know where the closest emergency room is to the venue and the most efficient way to get there.
DON’T put the entire burden on your security team.
While your security team should know what to do in case of an emergency, but they should not be handling smaller medical issues. Set up a medical kiosk or have a designated care desk for those smaller concerns. Your security team needs to have their plate cleared so they can focus on the broader safety issues at your event.
DO set up a security station.
Your security team should also have a station somewhere within your venue where attendees can go if they feel unsafe, have a tip about sketchy behavior or have an urgent medical emergency. Attendees will feel safer knowing that the security team is on the clock and anyone looking to misbehave may be deterred by their presence.
DON’T let attendees take their badges for granted.
It could just be that they forgot their badge in their room or that an attendee from a separate event stumbled into the wrong conference, but if your meeting has a high profile speaker or classified information, then you don’t want to take any chances. Make sure attendees know that they need to have their badges on their person in order to access events. Your security team will help enforce that rule, but make sure your coordinators help monitor as well.
DO sweep the room.
It may sound a bit paranoid, but security should sweep the room for any recording devices, or other more ominous devices, before big presentations. Remember that part of security is protecting intellectual property, not just ensuring attendees are physically safe.
DON’T forget the venue staff.
Again, if you have a high profile speaker, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Ask the host venue or hotel for a list of recently hired employees who might be working, or have access to, your event. It could just be a coincidence, but it could also be someone dangerous. Give the list to your security team to have them investigate.
DO put cyber security in place.
If a hacker is interested in your client’s private information, chances are they might see an event or meeting where that information will be discussed as their golden opportunity. Double down on firewalls and make sure that the people who absolutely need access to sensitive information are the only ones who can access it.
DON’T get paranoid.
It’s easy to start imagining the worst case scenarios when thinking over all the logistics, but the truth is it’s very unlikely to happen. However, it’s always better to prepare for the worst so that nothing takes you by surprise. Plus, if you are prepared, you’re likely to be less anxious.