Book A Call
Call us: 020 7183 5129

How Do Event Planners Work with Security Teams?

Last updated January 28th, 2013

In order to run a successful event, security is a key consideration. Take the summer’s London Olympic Games as an example: the strategic planning that went into organising the infrastructure (building the Olympic Park, advertising, accommodation and transport) was matched in full-force by security provisions. Planning for would-be terror attacks, with surface-to-air missiles atop high-rises;  air-traffic lock-down;  soldiers as marshals; crowd-stewards; scanners and site plans. The event was a success because everything was planned for.
Whilst you’re probably not planning on re-creating the Olympics, you will need to take into consideration the security measures you need to implement as a VIP event coordinator: your key responsibility as an event planner is to ensure the safety of guests (celebrity and civilian) as well as their entertainment.
Festival or VIP event, event coordinators, it’s essential to hire security staff. Think about it – even pubs have doormen. Your event should be no different. If you have a VIP guest, they’ll have a security team too – ensure your security manager and your VIP’s security manager communicate with each other.  Discuss what type of security measures need to be in place to ensure the crowd is controlled properly e.g. barriers for crowd traffic management. Emergency plans showing fire exits and access routes should be circulated, and a secondary exit should be provided for the exclusive use of your VIP guests so they may enter and exit away from the paparazzi (and where appropriate, non-VIP guests).
Communicate with your VIP’s manager and find out what they provisions they want in order to feel safe and appreciated. Provide them with a private room (with no street-facing windows) that they may use before, after and during the event should they wish. Again, ensure there’s security (and a member of your events team) maintaining your guests’ privacy. Similarly, make all of your staff (stewards, caterers and organisers) aware of your VIPs. Your staff should be easily discernible in a crowd – whether they realise it or not, it automatically puts your guests at ease seeing a security presence in the venue.
Celebrity security is more elaborate: developing a trusting relationship with your client is difficult, and can only be done through transparency. Address any concerns they have prior to your event – be on hand to ensure that they feel comfortable during, and maintain a steady stream of dialogue between.
A final – though major – consideration is making sure that your building or site itself is safe. All temporary structures within the area (stages, platforms, sets etc) must be safe. A friend of mine organised a press conference, to unveil the new (celebrity) face of their cancer campaign. Their stage was only designed  for four people, standing: the speakers – the VIP and two experts – decided to sit down on the tiny stage. As one of the speakers began talking animatedly, his chair began moving closer to the edge: mid-speech he fell. Lesson? If it’s not safe then say “no”.
Other basics: tape down cables to avoid injuring staff and guests; ensure fire exits are kept clear at all times (and are monitored by stewards and security staff so they don’t become congested). Observe other details too – distance from the street, sound levels, first aiders etc: discuss these at length when planning the event. Your local council will have it’s own set of regulations that must be observed, ensure that you meet them.
Finally – have a contingency plan in place: imagine the worst and put a system into place to deal with it. You can’t plan for every eventually, but you can plan for most.  Event management courses run entire modules on VIP events management and implementing security – here we’ve just covered (some of) the basics.

By Betty Wood

Careers, News,
What Is The Certificate Course Experience Like?
Read More
Careers, News,
What Is The Part-Time Diploma Experience Like?
Read More
Careers, News,
What Is The Online Foundation Certificate Experience Like?
Read More
Event Planning, Event Resources,
How To Use AI In Events
Read More
Careers, News,
What Is The Certificate Course Experience Like?
Read More
Careers, News,
What Is The Part-Time Diploma Experience Like?
Read More