Security Challenges at Special Events
Special events—whether at public or private venues—pose unique and demanding security challenges. Security plans must strike a careful balance between providing the appropriate level of security to fully protect the event, while avoiding unnecessary restrictions on attendee movement or causing them to feel uncomfortable.
Planning security for a special event should begin well in advance. This gives security personnel the opportunity to analyze potential threats and safety concerns, determine optimal responses, and conduct practice drills. Developing a plan that addresses the unique demands of the venue is the first, crucial step toward ensuring a safe atmosphere that leads to a safe, enjoyable event.
The presence of celebrities, popular musicians, performers, politicians or controversial individuals may result in large numbers of people attempting to attend the event, watching from outside or even protesting the event itself or specific attendees. Security planning should takes these possibilities into account. Will there need to be bag-checks or metal detectors? Is the event likely to draw enough people to require access or crowd control? Security planning should also encompass which attendees will arrive at and navigate the venue. Will there be parking areas that need to be patrolled? Or a secured arrival location for celebrities?
For events in which there are heightened security concerns, the security plan should take into account any third parties who are involved in the event: caterers, sound and light technicians, serving staff, etc. Have they undergone background checks? Will they be searched for illicit or dangerous materials when they arrive at the event?
Prior to the actual event, and once the security plan has been created, all assigned security personnel should receive special training designed to orient them to the specific security concerns facing the event, how to observe and report suspicious behavior and any evacuation plan for the venue. Performing practice drills allows security managers to assess the quality of their planning and the responses and training of security personnel assigned to the event.
Special events at public venues are a Summit core competency—one that we have provided and refined for many years. Security services for special events have included executive/VIP protection, crowd control and access control, CCTV monitoring, parking management and traffic control, perimeter checkpoint security, emergency response, First Aid/CPR/automatic external defibrillation, mobile and vehicle patrols, and fire/life safety services. Summit has provided special event security for large public events, including the 2016 & 2017 Bethpage Air Show and 4th of July Fireworks Show at Jones Beach State Park, which drew hundreds of thousands of people, as well as for sporting events, college and university commencements, and popular concert series.
For more information about Summit’s special event security services, please contact us.