Is Your Event Safe? Questions to Ask When Planning Event Security
How do you know who’s attending your event? Do you have a system in place to identify every guest, and ensure each one is who they say they are? It may almost seem unreasonably pessimistic to think that there is a possibility that nefarious strangers are going to infiltrate your event, but there is a real concern that the wrong people could invade a space that’s meant to be reserved for invited guests and like-minded professionals.
In our previous blog we highlighted the need to keep private data secure: the same principle applies to physical security and, indeed, your guests. Making sure your environment is secure is an invisible part of event logistics. When most attendees come to share their feedback, they’re not likely to highlight this aspect of your event. This doesn’t make it any less important: you could have the most exciting, groundbreaking ideas for your event, but if your guests aren’t being kept safe, it could all go terribly wrong.
Do you have a check-in system?
Particularly for a large event, you will need to be able to keep track of who’s coming in and out of your event. To make this easy, there should be a process for checking each guest in and out of the event, making sure everyone trying to enter has been properly checked and verified. The simplest way of doing this is with old fashion pen and paper, cross referencing with the appropriate invitations and identifications.
Nonetheless, technology can streamline this process. Event technology solutions like Eventogy’s check-in app can make it much simpler for events planners to manage their guest list, by providing each guest with a unique QR code that can be scanned by staff at the door, ensuring that only invited attendees will be allowed in. You can also add an extra layer of human insurance by having a member of staff intimately familiar with the guest list who can visually cross-check with the system.
However, in order for this security measure to be effective, you need to make sure that your guest list is safe from prying eyes. It’s important to keep paper copies of your guest list in the hands of trusted members of staff, and ensure you’re using a technology solution that emphasises data security.
Can you easily identify your guests?
Name badges are a really useful tool for every event. They serve an important role in networking, which is, after all, one of the most important parts of a corporate event. Being able to immediately identify other guests makes meeting and exchanging ideas far easier. Having personalised and branded name badges adds a professional touch to an event.
ID badges also serves a pretty obvious function in terms of event security. Visibly identifying everyone at your conference or event ensures that the only people in attendance undergone the necessary checks and verification. Having photo IDs is especially useful, but as long as guests authenticate their name badge with some form of identification during the check in process, it shouldn’t be necessary. Ultimately, badges work only as long as they are visible at all times, so it’s important to keep on top of this.
If there are different types of attendees — i.e. VIPs, temporary guests, one-day attendees — then having colour-coded badges would make it easier to identify everyone, and also makes it easier to identify if any unauthorised guests happen to be in the wrong area of your venue. It’s a simple change that can make a big difference.
Unsurprisingly, technology has been used to improve name badges. Some event professionals have started added scannable barcodes or QR codes to their badges to give connectivity a boost. Meanwhile Eventogy’s own badge printing function adds some much-needed efficiency to the process of creating badges, by allowing planners to print directly from Eventogy’s check-in app within seconds after your attendee has checked in.
Are your guests informed?
No matter how well prepared you are, there’s always the potential for a situation to arise that slips out of your control. One thing you can control, however, is how you react to this kind of situations. With regard to this, it’s important to keep your guests informed of the emergency procedures in your event venue.
You should make sure they’re aware of fire exits and safety procedures, and that your staff are identifiable, on hand, easy to communicate with and — most importantly — trained in handling emergency situations. Having a visible security procedure can stop unwanted guests disrupting event, and keep your attendees safe from harm. This can make all the difference, particularly during a large event.
In a very large event you might consider employing x-ray machines, turnstiles, or even sniffer dogs. In such a scenario, it’s necessary to communicate the reason to your guests, to make sure they won’t be alarmed with the heightened security. All of this security measures should be done in as non intrusive as possible, but guests are nonetheless likely to appreciate the extra commitment to ensure their safety and security.