Event Security: Safeguarding Against a New Kind of Threat
Ensuring the safety of event-goers has always been a major concern for organisers. In the wake of devastating attacks like those in Paris, Manchester, Nice, Berlin and Las Vegas this duty is more important, and more difficult, than ever.
The devastation of these attacks is also making the general public think twice before buying tickets for a huge concert or festival. Gallup conducted a poll in 2017 which found that 38% of Americans are “less willing to attend large events due to terrorism.” Event coordinators now have an opportunity to reverse the public’s fears about safety by providing the best in class security and safety at large events.
Start at the beginning
Event organisers can implement changes that will ensure the safety of event-goers before anyone even gets through the gates. One of the newest tools available to security forces is facial recognition software which can match an attendee with the ticket purchaser. This means that no one will be able to imitate another person. Along with facial recognition technologies, metal detectors are an effective way to check that bags, backpacks and even pockets and jackets are not hiding weapons or contraband.
Traffic barriers have become increasingly useful at gatherings with high attendance as organisers can use them to prevent the entry of vehicles into crowded areas. In the last few years, there have been a series of horrific incidents in which attackers used vans or cars to plough into crowded areas. Road blockers, bollards and vehicle barrier systems can be bought or hired, allowing organisers a comfortable amount of flexibility to find the solution that works best for them.
Communication is key
In the event of an emergency or terrorist attack, being able to communicate with performers or participants and the public is of tantamount importance. Organisers should agree on a show-stop procedure and communication channel with the performers. This way, in the event of an attack, the performance can be swiftly ended and the prearranged emergency procedures can begin.
Light the way
Many attendees will be unfamiliar with the layout and organisation of a building or stadium. As a result, escape routes, exits, stairs and other features should be clearly marked with signs and lights. Emergency lighting should be powered by an independent source such as a generator so that if the venue’s power fails guests can still find their way towards an exit.
By using a combination of tactics, incorporating innovative new technologies with tried and tested security features, event organisers can fulfil their responsibility towards attendees’ safety. Meanwhile, attendees can focus on enjoying themselves and making the most of their experience.