The Importance of Security at Events and Mass Gatherings
The world is changing, and not every change is for the better. The list of potential risks that come with events and large gatherings is growing—and it isn’t just because of COVID-19. Security threats are present and the people who host events are responsible for the security of that gathering and the safety of those in attendance. In this article, we will explore potential risks and what you can do to mitigate them at an event.
Why is Event Security Important?
When you are hosting a large event, you assume a degree of responsibility for the people who attend it. As the event host, it is up to you to be able to foresee potential threats and come up with solutions to ensure the safety of your guests. Failing to do so can have a wide range of negative outcomes including impacts to your group’s reputation—or worse, a potential lawsuit. Throughout the years, countless events have had unfortunate outcomes, and the blame has been placed on the event planner in several different instances. The simple fact is that securing an event is a core part of hosting one, and that means that this must be at the forefront of your mind.
Over the years, many events have fallen victim to security breaches. These lapses have led to attendees being injured and worse.
Gilroy Garlic Festival (2019)
An active shooter killed 3, injured 15, and a lawsuit was raised against the event organizers.
Route 91 Harvest Festival (2017)
An active shooter killed 58, injured hundreds, and resulted in an $800 million dollar settlement.
Recognizing Security Threats
With a large event, the potential for risk often grows with the number of people in attendance. Unfortunately, people can be unpredictable. The more people that there are at an event, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. Being able to recognize security threats, particularly on a level that is proportionate to the size of the event and in a way that suits the various event details, is crucial for ensuring the safety of all guests.
At Valentis, “reasonable foreseeability” is a term that we frequently use when discussing risk. In general terms, reasonable foreseeability addresses the obvious likelihood of a potential risk. When discussing any concerns, the question is: how likely is it that the average person could have foreseen this risk? If a risk seems likely—or even possible—to the average person, the event planner should provide an active plan and adequate security to prevent the risk from occurring. While not every risk can be stopped, planning for them in advance can dramatically decrease the potential for damage.
Acknowledging Common Risks
In many cases, reasonable foreseeability can boil down to common threats. These common risks can vary depending on the size and nature of the event. Still, some risks should be actively considered and planned for regardless of the event type or size.
Common Risks Include:
- Active shooter situations (at or near the event)
- Anticipated natural disasters
- Drunk driving
With the right plan in place, risk mitigation becomes a fairly simple practice. Though no plan is foolproof, having a dedicated plan can drastically alter the outcome of an unfortunate event. Risk mitigation should be focused on keeping the event secure and ensuring that everyone inside is safe during their stay. This can be achieved with the right approach.
Before you can work on risk management, it is important to acknowledge the potential risks. Consider physical threats, safety threats, and common risks while planning. Think of threats that occur at gatherings, particularly during events like yours.
At the center of effective risk mitigation, there should always be a plan in place. When something goes wrong at an event, eventually someone will begin to seek out answers. As these individuals search to determine who, if anyone, is at fault, they will work to determine if the outcome was preventable and prepared for. Having an active plan in place that is clearly written out and available to everyone is imperative. This demonstrates that you have thought through the safety of your guests and made accommodations to keep them safe during and after the event if necessary.
At Valentis, we have a dedicated commitment to security. Our team strives to guarantee the safety of our clients and their guests at all costs. To achieve this, we design comprehensive security plans that are perfectly tailored to specific events. As experts in risk mitigation and threat management, we use our talents to create detailed and easy-to-follow security breakdowns. Each plan is designed to protect against all foreseeable risks in order to keep you, your company, and your guests safe. Through risk analysis and planning, we are able to ensure that your every event is secure regardless of size or type.
To discuss security solutions for your next event, feel free to contact us directly.