Organising an event, whether it is small and personal, big and popular, annual or just a one-off, can be a great deal of fun but also takes a great deal of planning.
There are a lot of things to consider when opening an event out to the public, particularly in a location you don’t really know. People are unpredictable creatures and they can take silly risks, so it is important that you make sure you are fully prepared when organising your event in case the worst were to occur.
For times like these, security at events is not only recommended, but essential in order for everyone to have a good time.
When you’re co-ordinating an outdoor event, such as a music festival, a concert or an outdoor art exhibition, it’s important to set up a comprehensive security plan.
The safety of all attendees is essential, but that’s not the only reason you need a proper security plan in place. Not only do you need to make sure that the wrong people don’t get in, but also that the people attending don’t spill out into the wrong areas.
If you plan on turning some sort of profit – either for charity or personally – for this event, you will need to have some way of managing the levels of attendance to the event.
This means providing attendees with tickets, wristbands or some other type of identification that shows they are there for your event.
You can have pre-sales available online, give them out on the day or have a booking system where they come and collect them using a receipt. The choice is yours, however, it is important that you use some sort of system.
If you haven’t used a ticketing system, it can be hard to know exactly who will be attending.
If it’s important for you to keep track of all attendees, there are now machines which can scan ID when people attend so you can easily keep a record of everyone entering the venue.
If it’s just the numbers you want to keep an eye on, give the person on the door a clicker so that they can count the guests in and out so that you don’t go over capacity.
One thing you will also need to do is set the boundaries of the outdoor space. This will depend on the type of event. If it’s a family friendly daytime event, some smaller, lightweight waist-height fences might be the best option.
However, if it’s an evening event which is likely to get rowdier and requires higher level security, get hold of a higher fencing system, ideally taller than human height.
This makes it harder for people to climb in and keeps your event secure.
It is important to clearly mark the site and the boundaries of the event, to help your security manage the event and to prevent people from simply wandering off.
While you may not be responsible for their personal safety, if they have access to certain areas of a building that you have hired and they are a guest at your event, there may be trouble.
If any damage to the property is incurred as a result of trespassers, you can be liable, so it is important to keep tabs on your attendees to prevent such things from happening.
Prevented Access Areas
As with normal boundaries, for all types of events there will be areas where normal guests are not able to go. For example, for catering events there is the kitchen area, where staff will prepare and cook the food.
At music events, you will need a safe and secure place for your performers, the music equipment and all the lighting and sound equipment. Such areas need to be properly cordoned off from the public.
Larger concrete barriers and temporary steel palisade fencing solutions are ideal in these situations, as they offer a clear ‘keep out’ sign to anyone trying to enter. It also helps minimise accidents and potential lawsuits for those looking for trouble.
If people ignore a ‘danger; keep out’ sign and then get injured, they are at fault, but if they got injured and no ‘keep out’ sign was present, you are more likely to have to foot the bill in a court of law.
Another important thing to consider is security staff. It may not be necessary for all events, but a good security team can be a good choice for very popular events or those with tickets.
Don’t feel as though you need to hire a full team of bodyguards for a small event, but some security guards at the entrance and stationed at various points throughout the outdoor venue can be a good way to make the guests feel more at ease and to stop any trouble.
If you’re using fencing or a temporary structure such as a marquee, make sure you have someone stationed at every entrance and make sure nobody has torn the fence panels apart or torn a hole in the marquee fabric to sneak in.
This might mean having someone patrolling the perimeter of the space to make sure everything remains secure so that nobody’s safety is compromised by anyone entering your event unauthorised.
At the end of the day, while these security measures may seem to put a dampener on things, the safety of your attendees and your guests are paramount.
If the ‘fun’ is slightly jeopardized as a result of safety measures, well unless your attendees are willing to sign a waiver, then that is just how it has to be.
Health and Safety legislations have gotten more and more complicated over the years, making it easier for organisers and businesses to be liable in the event of an accident or injury.
If you play it safe when organising such events, you can help avoid awkward or even financially damaging circumstances and still have a good time at your event.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Sussex-based specialist Maltaward Barriers, who were consulted over this post.