As event planners, we are often called upon to play the role of moving company, director, emcee, server, among many, many other roles, including security personnel. Now event planners should, by no means, take the place of a professional, hired, security team, but when we’ve worked on an event for months and months and know all the moving pieces, we tend to be the go-to people for information and anything that might just not look right.
In our e-newsletter “Better Safe Than Sorry,” we shared our preparations for a conference just outside Washington, D.C. (which included an event security briefing with the staff of the hotel well in advance of the conference, having every guest’s cell phone number in case mass texting was needed, and having back-up transportation options for attendees to travel home – hello, bus companies!), but a public, outdoor event brings new challenges. This year, we’re involved in the logistics for six walk events – one of which is in New York City – and our first priority is bringing on local police, even when the site has security personnel. The two groups, plus the client’s in-house security team, work together to address any issues that may arise. We’ve also ensured we have the appropriate channels in place get additional support as quickly as possible.
We expect up to 2,000 people at the walks in which we’re involved. The Boston Marathon garners half a million spectators, so events of that size are talking about an entirely different situation when it comes to event security. Their plan must read like a novel. There was a even a joint special event assessment conducted by the Boston Regional Intelligence Center that noted that there was “no credible, specific information indicating an imminent threat” to the race. Yet one major point remains the same: event planners have a responsibility to developing a comprehensive emergency and event security plan, whether the event is for 10 or 10,000+ people.
Does your event have an emergency plan?
For more on events security preparation, check out BizBash’s 6 Ways to Prepare for an Event Emergency.