When I bring up the issue of event security with my event management clients, they can get nervous. Sometimes resistant. "Security" brings to mind news headlines and politicized events that require specialized protection. But event security is actually a standard resource to consider and arrange for many kinds events.
I think of event security like event insurance. We assume we won’t have to use it and we typically don't. But if we need to call upon it, specialized help can prove invaluable.
If we're managing a high-profile event—large crowds, noteworthy guests or speakers, possible political ramifications, etc.—there is no question about hiring security. We hire a top-notch security team, experienced in the kind of event we're running. They're an integral part of planning and running the event, just like our caterers, AV specialists, and administrative team.
But what about less contentious events—a big award celebration, product introduction, or retirement party? I often suggest clients consider security for these too. A security team isn't just about protection. A security team can help make sure the event goes according to plan. These professionals help keep you aware of crowd levels, who is coming in or out, and spot potential problems before they occur.
Let's say you're hosting a big sales award ceremony at a swanky venue. You might get gate-crashers ("hey look, free food and booze. Cool!") or a guest who becomes unruly after too many celebratory drinks. Security professionals are masters at dealing with disturbances like these quietly and discretely. The guests might never know there was a confrontation at the door or that a sales rep who really likes bourbon had to be encouraged to get some fresh air.
"But won't having security on hand make my guests nervous?" you say. On the contrary. At some events, having a visible security presence makes guests feel they're being taken care of. It can be reassuring. But if evident signs of security will mar the festivities, we work to make them less visible. You might never know they're there, until you need them.
I've hired security teams for events all over the world.
In my next blog, I'll offer suggestions on how to hire and partner with a security team to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.