Security isn’t just for big concerts and festivals – it helps keep guests and staff safe at any event. A good security team will also help reduce the risk of damage to the venue, keeping those all-important costs down. How much security you’ll need depends on the type of event you’re planning. For example, a daytime conference is likely to require fewer hands on deck than an evening music gig.

Here’s everything you need to know about organising security at events, and some tips on how to put together that all-important event security planning checklist.

Put together a crowd management plan

If your event is likely to attract a big crowd, you’ll need a basic event safety plan in place to handle them. Ensure there are enough staff and toilets to limit queues, and disperse refreshment stations evenly throughout the venue to stop people cramming into small areas. You’ll also want to be comfortable keeping guests calm in any situation – so don’t forget to plan an evacuation procedure, or to provide adequate signposting to stop visitors getting lost or feeling frustrated.

Consider how much security is needed for your event

As a rule of thumb, consider hiring at least one security guard for every 10 guests. Numbers will vary depending on the type of crowd you’re expecting. For example, sports fans can be more prone to emotional outbursts than delegates at a business event. Special security firms can provide a large amount of event security staff, but they’ll need to know how many event attendees you’ll have.

Work out what type of security you need

In most cases, it’s fine to hire security at events to simply guard entrances and keep an eye on your guests. But some occasions present higher risks than others, and may require specialist security forces to protect parts of the venue. For instance, protesters might show up if you’ve invited a speaker known for having controversial views. Thinking about this beforehand will allow you to place enough security outside to keep unwanted individuals from gatecrashing your event.

Check your guests’ bags

Setting up a bag check station after the registration desk will reduce the risk of people bringing weapons into your venue. As well as looking for knives, guns, and glass bottles, ask security to check for alcohol. Inebriated guests can be a hazard to themselves and others, and it’s much easier to keep an eye on what people are drinking if they have to go to the bar.

Big or small, event security is important

Now you know why event security is important (and are armed with some vital event security tips), don’t forget to consider it in your plans – whether you’re hosting a convention for 1,000 people or a pop-up restaurant for 75.

For events that need stricter plans than others, you may require the expertise of special event security firms. Alternatively, register as an organiser with Eventbrite for assistance with on-the-day staffing and logistics.

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