The UK threat level is currently set to severe, meaning that the government believes the event of a terror-related attack is highly likely. Extra precautionary measures are in place across the UK as a result and the events industry must also take action. Although worst-case scenarios are not pleasant to think about, we must. It is important we are prepared, for any eventuality.
All event organisers should take the following measures into consideration in order to increase awareness of security and minimise the risk to their attendees.
There has never been a more important time for events and venues to update current security strategies and ensure that all teams regularly test and exercise their security measures. All staff should have a complete understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Testing the resilience of your venue is all about planning for the worst-case scenario. Enlist the services of a resilience expert who can review current security methods and give a frank summary of how prepared venues are for a number of security breaches. A good resilience tester will challenge assumptions and help security teams question whether their practices are truly up-to-date.
When it comes to security, there is no room for complacency. Event teams need to be resilient and open to change.
Speaking of complacency, there is real reluctance within the industry to embrace technology when it comes to safety and security. We utilise technology in all aspects of events and safety and security should be no different. Whereas previously pen and paper would have sufficed, today when better, more efficient technology is available to us, relying on outdated methods is just not good enough. Technology now enables real-time logging and reporting which allows for better data analysis, giving an insight into incident trends and therefore how to prevent them. Importantly, it also enables a much faster response time, as incident scale and severity is clear at a quicker rate.
Embracing technology is the only way to modernise security practices – those venues who still resist security tech are not doing enough to protect their attendees.
There has been a noticeable change in public awareness surrounding event safety following recent incidents, with an increase in the amount of security-related questions now asked. Aside from standard questions, surrounding bag size and liquids, event-goers now want to know what precautions venues are taking to ensure their safety. Venues can easily convey information about their security precautions by including a detailed FAQ section on their website, sending out emails in the buildup to an event or by posting on social media. This will provide comfort to event-goers who will be eager to know that venues are doing all they can to reduce risk to their safety.
Although the events industry is due a change in mind-set, and we are making headway, more must be done to highlight the severity of the problem in the industry. We should not wait for another preventable tragedy before we take action.