3 Keys to effective event security
Travis Scott is facing lawsuits and a barrage of well-deserved criticism in the wake of the terrible Astroworld disaster, which claimed the lives of eight people and injured many more.
Concertgoers took to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the event’s management, claiming a lack of security and medical personnel. Others have blamed the enraged spectators for their antics.
3 key factors that are essential for implementing a successful special event security plan are:
- Pre-event site risk assessment
- Working with local officials
- Post-Event Review
1. Pre-Event Site Risk Assessment
Event venues are usually enormous spaces with complex layouts, which generally translates into numerous security risks. Therefore, a pre-event venue inspection checklist is critical for security guards to familiarize themselves with the venue and obtain a high level of security awareness.
In collaboration with event planners, security leaders should decide strategic checkpoints, guard posts, high traffic/high-risk areas, and any other particular requirements for that specific venue and event during the pre-event inspection.
At the very least, a comprehensive event security checklist should include:
- A detailed risk assessment.
- Crowd controlling measures.
- Emergency response plan.
- Communications and coordination plan.
Astroworld security challenges
Several security officers who worked at the Astroworld festival said they were unprepared for the event. According to one security guard, he was “understaffed in every sense of the word.” Eight people were killed, and several were injured due to a claimed crowd surge during the concert. Scott later stated that he was unaware of the gravity of the situation.
2. Working with local officials
Local law enforcement and first responders are usually present on the day of the event. Still, security leaders must ensure that personnel knows specific contingency plans regarding how they are to collaborate and assist in an incident.
The event’s nature will necessitate collaboration among a slew of municipal, regional, and federal authorities, each with its own set of tasks and responsibilities. Formal and informal interactions with these stakeholders are essential for creating strong relationships that will be needed throughout the event, as well as organizing crossing-cut activities in operational plans.
Lack of security guard training
To put it mildly, the requirements for becoming a qualified security guard are essential, and unless the trainee has previous military or law enforcement experience, the training does not prepare them for real-world challenges. In Texas, for example, you only need to complete a 48-hour class to be an armed security guard. Additionally, the State of Florida requires security guard training to be taught at a licensed security school and necessitates 40 hours of training to be eligible for the class D security license.
Unfortunately, most security guard training only introduces a few broad topics without reinforcing fundamental security skills.
3. Post-event review
A debrief is necessary whether there was an incident or the event was completely safe with no issues. All parties involved in the debriefing should be present, including the security personnel, event organizers, and, if possible, local officials. This allows all participants to assess their performance and, more importantly, learn how they might improve in the future.
Keys to successful event security
Event security requires much more than simply stationing security personnel across the site. Communication plays an important part and that is why at @DavidSecurity we are dedicated to helping organizations write authentic and actionable security content.
Each event presents its own unique set of challenges and requires a great deal of collaboration and communication. By taking time to conduct a pre-event assessment and collaborating with local officials, event planners won’t eliminate all risks but they will at the minimum ensure that everyone is focused on the one thing that matters most: human safety.