You’re counting down the days to your big event. You’ve spent months agonizing over every detail — the food, the colour of the table linens, the guest list, the cocktails. You’re ready for the big day. But then you hear some tragic news about a crazed gunman storming into a crowded event and the aftermath is devastating. You think about your upcoming event and realize you’ve forgotten the most important aspect of planning your event: keeping people safe!
Terrorist Attacks Are Increasing
According to the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), 2,961 Americans have been killed in terrorist attacks from September 11, 2001 to December 31, 2014 in the United States.1 With an alarming increase in terrorist attacks on American soil from nine incidents in 2011 to 19 in 20142, protecting people has to be your number one focus when planning and holding an event. Businesses and security companies are working together to make safety a priority.
Security Planning First
Do you have a plan if a terrorist attack occurs? Can you imagine the chaos and loss of life that may occur without a plan? Developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a critical component when preparing for your event. Security company personnel need to be at the table with you when you’re planning your event as early as picking the actual venue. You may get lost in all the frilly details like talking to florists, caterers and entertainers and may overlook the importance of making security a top priority.
Security Guards Identify Risks
Security companies know where potential security breaches could take place. You might like the location of a possible site for your event because it has lots of parking or a large foyer. However, your security personnel will be assessing the perimeter of the building, access points, exits, bathrooms — areas where they’re specially trained to spot potential security problems.
Take for example the main power source for the building. Is it easily accessible by the public or is it in a locked area? If somebody throws the main breaker switch and your event is plunged into darkness, can you imagine the chaos? The same care needs to be taken with the heating and cooling systems. Security guards can watch these areas to prevent harm from happening.
Social Media Monitoring
The social media stratosphere has exploded onto the scene adding a completely different element to the way news is shared. As of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.79 billion monthly active users.3 People chat with one another or in groups on social media platforms and news is shared almost instantly after it happens. You’ve likely seen in the news that perpetrators often use social media to communicate their intentions. Monitoring social media platforms needs to be discussed with your security team and included in your EAP.
It’s all about keeping people safe at your event. Don’t leave security to chance. Your guests will thank you for it.