When I look at the security manpower landscape in New Zealand, I often think the words professional and security should not be in the same sentence. The guarding industry is driven by the dollar, not quality or professionalism, the importance of winning a security contract at any cost by the security company can easily erode any margin.
Internationally owned guarding companies dominate the market. Companies focus on volume (hours and people) with little consideration for quality or service. Guarding companies often employ low paid and unskilled people, essentially a manpower or labour service. The result of not deploying security professionals can be devastating to the client, company and their brand.
You get what you pay for! This is a very accurate statement when reflecting on the poor quality and professional standards of an average security guard company.
The consumer (client) often demands the highest service possible but are not willing to pay true market value for security professionals. In New Zealand, we have a high-profile security company specialising in events, fortunately, this company is managed by a service-centric security professional who understands the importance of customer service and doesn’t cut corners with “ghosting” or other unethical behaviour (“Ghosting” is charging for security staff who are not present, e.g. an event requires 100 guards, the company deploys 90 guards but charges for 100 guards).
Mitigate & Manage Risk…
There is a heightened awareness of risk for any event manager, a risk assessment was once considered an option, but, it’s now an important element when considering the safety, security and well being of the public or invited guests.
Be it Covid-19 or a terrorist threat, the need for professional event security is more important than ever as global threat levels surge and extremists continuing to make their statements with bombings, shootings and such like.
Manage your risk, employ an independent security consultant to manage your risk assessment, including threat and vulnerability. You can also use the consultant to supervise your security provider.
Event security tips that you should keep in mind…
- Assess the security risks prior to the event – Determine the level of risk and any threats that could occur. The nature of risks would depend on the type of event you are managing.
- Security checks – It is always a better idea to decide on a few checkpoints outside of the venue and have security professionals control these areas.
- Ensure you have a guest list for private events or VIP functions – Your security professionals should greet and confirm the guests arriving at your event.
- Hand over the guest list to the hired event security professionals to tally the guests entering the event with the list of guests expected at the event.
- Have an emergency plan ready to be executed for any situation, fire, earthquake, security breach or even a medical emergency (who is first aid trained? do you have an AED?).
- Unfortunate events can occur at any time. Therefore, when managing an event, it is important to be prepared for these situations. Keep the measures to be taken handy and well-planned.
- Trust the event security service that you have employed, it is important that you trust your event security team as well as their judgments. This is because they are experts in the field.
Why is security important at events?
Planning an event involves a number of tasks. The tasks right from deciding the venue, inviting the guests and employing the right security service.
If you are doubting and thinking if there is any importance of event security, think again. Event security is one of the most crucial factors to be decided by the event manager, why?
- Having a security company present implies that unwanted people will not be able to enter your event.
- Events on a medium or large scale can get out of control in some situations. Therefore, having a security team present will also assist in having better crowd control.
- Your guests will feel valued, safe and relaxed. That is, the security professionals will be able to escort your guests, make sure they are safe. This will help the guests in having a better experience at the event.
- You will have a rapid response team of trained security professionals ready to manage any emergency if required.
Employing event security has significant benefits. In fact, it should be a mandate if you are planning to host an event.