Is Security Needed at Your Event

5 Key Event Security Requirements in 2024

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Posted on June 10, 2024

Whatever the event you’re planning, event security should be of primary concern. While only some events necessitate security, you may be surprised to learn of the diverse and essential roles even a minimal security presence can play. 

Once you’ve identified your need for security—which this article will help you to do—you’ll need to calculate your unique event security requirements. This process benefits from the careful and timely consideration of each aspect of your event, such as where the weak points in your venue lie, what you can expect from your crowd, and whether there are any pre-existing security requirements in place as venue regulations. 

Our guide to the top 5 event security requirements will explain how security may benefit you, the event organizer. It will also help you with the planning stage and select your security services.

event security

Why is Event Security Important?

It’s worth taking a moment before we discuss the main subject of this guide—your unique event security requirements—to refresh our minds on why event security is so important.

  • Attendee safety: One of the primary roles played by event security personnel is to ensure the safety of your attendees, from crowd control to safe evacuation in the event of an emergency.
  • Performer(s) safety: Event security will protect your performers by maintaining a safe and often-established distance between them and their crowd.
  • Visitor experience: One of the often overlooked aspects of event security is how it can enhance visitors’ experience. Event security might sound like a scary prospect to those organizers who have yet to employ it, but studies have shown that the presence of security personnel can enhance attendees’ feelings of safety, thus improving their overall experience at your event.
  • Compliance with venue regulations: Depending on the size, location, and type of venue you’ve hired for your event, there may be a wealth of rules necessary for you to comply with. Often, at least one of these regulations will deal with the type and ratio of security guards onsite. Hiring event security can help you meet your venue’s highest standards.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Event security personnel also tend to be trained to stop attendees (or performers!) from causing damage to themselves, the venue, and its surroundings. Reduced damage means reduced repair costs and a secured deposit.
  • Crowd control: Larger crowds can be a danger to themselves, especially when excited or agitated—as at a music concert or sports game. Moreover, your venue almost certainly has a legal capacity that surpassing would land you in hot water. Event security can ensure a clear and proper headcount on the door and crowd control during the event.
  • Door security: Finally, we reach the most well-known face of event security—the security personnel working the door. Door security plays two key roles:

1) Identifying potential trouble sources before they step inside the venue.

2) Check bags and bodies to ensure no contraband or dangerous items enter the venue.

How to know when you need security

How can you tell whether security is needed at your event? It’s a difficult question to answer, and the decision will ultimately depend on many of the factors discussed in the following section. 

At the end of the day, employing security to man your event is unlikely to be a bad choice. Even a single security guard on the door (think a bouncer at a nightclub or a ticket inspector at an intimate show) can help your event run more smoothly and safely. 

Some degree of event security will be required in most situations—other than small private gatherings or extremely low-risk public events, such as an afternoon book signing. Moreover, as soon as you step into the territory of medium-to-large public events, security becomes a must.

event security requirements

5 Key Considerations for Event Security

Many of the other guides to event security published online claim that there is a golden ratio of event security to the number of attendees, but don’t be fooled—the unique needs of your event, taking place at your chosen venue are the only metrics by which you should calculate this ratio. 

At some smaller, low-risk events, a ratio of 1 guard to every ten attendees may be applicable, while small, high-risk events may require more security personnel than there are civilians. Large sporting or music event venues may establish a precise ratio of 1:150. When calculating your unique event security requirements, you should start by considering the following five factors.

1. Event size and scope

First things first, note the number of people attending your event. Generally speaking, the more attendees there are, the more nuanced and extensive your security presence must be. 

Secondly, consider the scope of your event. Will the event occur all in one room, or will it be spread throughout multiple rooms in a larger complex? If outside, is there a clear perimeter to your event space? How far does the event spread? An outdoor music festival, for example, will present a very different set of security requirements to a small indoor political rally or, indeed, to a triathlon. 

2. Venue, location, and surroundings

The second most important set of considerations for you to make when assessing your event security needs is all to do with your chosen venue. 

Each venue will have its strengths and weaknesses, which can essentially be folded into the idea of ‘venue porosity.’ How porous a venue is refers to how many potential entry points and exits it has. These will likely need to be secured or manned throughout the event. Different venue layouts will also present distinct challenges to security coordination and management. The location of your venue and its surroundings are of equal importance. Venues located in busy, high-population areas are more likely to draw terror threats, for example, and to make door security more challenging. 

Finally, it’s important to note your venue’s surroundings. Security personnel should be familiar with the surroundings so they know in which direction your attendees will most likely approach, how to expect them, and where blind spots—if there are any—exist.

3. Nature and timing of the event

Naturally, the nature and timing of the event will also impact your security considerations. Some events, such as a matinee theatre performance, are unlikely to attract security risks and will probably require a more minimalist security presence. 

On the other hand, a trophy final of a sports league or competition—attended by passionate and often overzealous fans—taking place in the evening will require much tighter security. 

Note that the time of day is essential as crowds are more likely to be inebriated and rowdier the later in the day your event kicks off.

4. Attendee profile

While it is impossible to run background checks on every attendee at your events, it remains essential to identify potential risks. Trained security guards and personnel will know what to look for in attendees to spot potential troublemakers, from body language to group behavior. 

5. Risk assessment and mitigation

Finally, when determining your unique event security requirements, it is paramount that you conduct a thorough risk assessment well in advance. By reconsidering the nature of your event, you can pre-emptively assess potential security risks. 

For example, a controversial political or cultural speaker is at risk of attracting protestors, while other people can make for a volatile mix. 

Additionally, the presence of high-profile VIPs—such as political leaders—will require some of the tightest security measures that are actionable.

Exploring the four types of Event Security available to you

Just as each event will require its unique number and placement of security personnel, so will each event require its own type of security. Reputable security firms tend to offer a range of security services, each with its own benefits. Below, we take a look at four of the most common and popular types of event security.

  1. Regular security: Highly-trained security personnel capable of conducting bag and body searches, controlling crowds, and protecting entrance and exit ways. This is the most common security type you’ll need at your event.
  2. Armed security: As above, though, with the addition of arms—from riot gear to firearms. Armed security may also be better equipped to deal with counterterrorism. 
  3. Detector dogs: Dependable and highly trained, specialist detector dogs protect your event, site, or any other location from explosives and prohibited items such as narcotics—which in turn can help to protect the health of your attendees better.
  4. Manned guards: Manned security officers are specialized event security officers capable of defusing potentially volatile situations, confronting and deterring criminals, and stopping trespassers from accessing the event. Manned guards are not, however, personal bodyguards.

Conclusion

No matter the size, scope, nature, or time of your event, you should consider hiring security. The question is, how much and what type? We hope that this InEvent guide to calculating your unique event security requirements has given you all the insight and understanding you need to make an informed decision, thus keeping your attendees safe and all of your future events running as smoothly as possible.

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