In the organization of congresses, fairs, corporate events or social ceremonies, security is a key issue.
Regardless of the magnitude of the event, security is one of the main aspects that must be taken into account in the first phases of the event. Its importance lies in the fact that the prevention of risks and incidents of any kind depends on it.
The physical integrity of organizers, staff, guests, celebrities, speakers, participants and hosts must be coordinated and protected; and why not also, of the facilities where the event takes place.
When we talk about security, we refer to geographic, terrorist, criminal, physical and health issues.
Opting for an agency or company that is dedicated to security is a recommended option, since they already have the necessary knowledge to act in any emergency.
To develop and control an efficient security plan, these relevant aspects must be considered:
Identify and assess a threat
First of all, the security team must objectively analyze all the circumstances surrounding the event. Possible risks must be evaluated, and the information must be verified and analyzed based on its relevance.
The possible proximity to neighborhoods with high levels of insecurity, places with difficult access, or poor lighting, among others, is examined.
It must be evaluated if the place where the event is held has all the necessary infrastructure to provide the public with a safe stay; be it equipment for fires, access control, etc. or if it has trained security personnel and evacuation and self-protection plans in case of an emergency.
The climatic conditions of the area
Intense storms, earthquakes, floods, can be factors that affect the duration of an event, or even its cancellation, and can become great generators of disturbances if the eventual situation is not handled properly and quickly.
Everyone aware and well informed
Host, organizers, eventual members of the staff, together with their private security personnel, and all the personnel involved in an event, must be prepared for special situations that may arise, hence the importance of a professional group and leader in the subject of security, to inform and indoctrinate them in your plan.
You must be prepared to quickly and effectively handle any risk situation, and minimize the impacts that these situations generate to the possible victims.
It is vital for this to have a list of emergency contacts and to know who to contact in the event of a problem or incident, small or serious that arises during the course of the event.
They are the measures or operational plans, to avoid any type of disturbance that involves a large number of people. Factors that can lead to a mass riot are imitation, the benefit of anonymity, emotional contagion, and panic.
A more effective plan to prevent disturbances is one that eliminates or minimizes the possibility of collective groups forming. Continuous flow, separation and dispersion are key to successful crowd control; maintain continuous, intentional, and controlled movement over crowd-prone areas.
The simplest way to ensure a steady flow is to station security personnel or elements in these sensitive areas and provide instruction and guidance. Clear signage of the correct destination, and even alternative routes, can be included.
Management of emotional contagion and panic
Emotional contagion and panic can be precursors to a potential disaster that requires extreme security measures. To minimize the possibility of these factors reaching a group, immediate response measures are necessary.
The frenzy and irrational response to the perception of a danger that these factors represent, require correct and rapid management, and must be included in the training of the personnel in charge of control and response operations.
By maintaining a strong presence in and around the event, there is a perception of security, of a certain authority present that serves to maintain order, and prevent minor disturbances, or even break into eventual large-scale disturbances.
Contingency and evacuation plans
The mass control plan can be affected by different circumstances, in which case adequate contingency plans must be implemented, and accompany the actions carried out by the security forces, in the deployment of a rapid response force.
Delaying a positive action for several minutes is the difference between dealing with an unfortunate accident and sustaining an irremediably tragic situation.
The most relevant and important thing is that contingency plans must be flexible. A critical element of any of these measures is, for example, allowing the crowd to exit.
In contingency and response plans, the influence and effect of emotional contagion and panic is of great care and can be very counterproductive in crisis management.
An effective security plan should not only focus on physical security and crowd control, but also on a good contingency plan and prevention management, to minimize any risk that may arise before, during and after the event, intelligently managing firefighting, evacuation systems and procedures, first aid support, reaction to emergencies, among others.
When it comes to events with the assistance of a great figure from the political, artistic or business world, additional security is required and a special security operation is usually established, which is based on rings, with steps and routines to follow, making filter, and establishing security circles.
It is a coordinated action between the organizers, their security personnel, and the team involved in safeguarding the character, without neglecting the rest of those present at any time.
The First ring is the space closest to the celebrity, it covers the physical space between him and the other attendees, and the evacuation measures that the team will have in case of a possible incident, escape route, emergency exit, etc.
In the Second Ring, those who make it up are responsible for monitoring and controlling access to the special zone, and being aware of what happens inside the enclosure, anticipating any situation, and keeping in mind that their first priority is the figure public.
In the Third Ring, the security teams together with the local authorities are in charge of guarding the surrounding streets, controlling the entry of guests and suppliers. It is the first filter, and where possible manifestations can be foreseen.
In addition to the 3 rings, there must be a very clear contingency plan to guarantee the protection of the rest of those present at the event, and in the immediate vicinity as well.