Trade Show Security: 5 Tips to Keep Your Event Safe
Trade shows can be incredible opportunities to network, market new and existing businesses and learn about the latest trends in an industry. These events attract thousands of people, including some high-profile individuals such as celebrities, executives and politicians. With this amount of exposure, trade shows can be magnets for serious security concerns that could put thousands of attendees in harm’s way.
All too often, we see violence carried out against innocent people like concertgoers, runners and commuters, to name a few. We never know when or where a horrific attack will occur. With this uncertainty, event managers must take the security of their events seriously. Making security a priority will not only show attendees that the event producers care about their safety, but it will demonstrate the professionalism of the event itself.
Unfortunately, many trade show producers put security on the bottom of their lists. In the world we live in today, a lack of attention to event security is no longer an option. If you are planning a trade show or large event, consider the following five guidelines for successful trade show security in our modern world.
5 Guidelines for Trade Show Security
Hire security experts.
Event producers are not necessarily security experts. It is essential to hire a professional security company that has experience handling an event of your size and the types of security threats that you might expect. Allow the security experts to assess your event beforehand to determine appropriate staffing for the venue, number of attendees and type of event.
Many event producers leave security preparations for the end of the planning process, once all of the event arrangements and logistics have been set. Unfortunately, this can be problematic. The security experts will be forced to make do with the logistics that have already been determined, and these might not be best from a security standpoint. To avoid costly changes or weaknesses in your security plan, bring in security experts at the beginning of the planning process.
Make a budget for security.
After consulting with a professional security company, you will have a better idea of what needs to be done to ensure the safety and security of your event. It is important to set aside the appropriate amount of money in your budget for security personnel and other security measures.
With the threats of terrorism and active shooter events regularly on the news, your security measures should not be bare bones. This may mean cutting back in other areas like catering or marketing. However, when people’s lives and your reputation are on the line, no amount of money should be spared.
Screen all guests and staff.
The largest trade shows may have thousands of people coming in and out of the venue each day, including exhibitors, guests, vendors and staff. Due to these high volumes, it is critical to have a robust screening process for all who enter the building.
The first step is to have clear credentials for all guests, including staff. Proper identification will allow you to monitor access to the event and manage access to restricted areas. Trade show producers can take other steps to screen visitors such as:
- Installing walk-through metal detectors
- Requiring visual inspections of bags
- Metal-detecting wands to inspect bags and other items brought into the venue
- Limiting the number of entrances to the site
- Utilizing K-9 security sweeps
Consider the use of cameras and other technology.
Security measures like those mentioned above are effective. However, it will not be possible for security personnel to monitor all areas of the venue at all times. Security cameras and other security technology can help fill in those gaps.
The mere presence of cameras throughout the venue can deter would-be criminals from perpetrating crimes like theft or vandalism. When cameras capture a crime or attack taking place, event producers have a better chance of identifying and catching the perpetrator.
Prepare for medical emergencies.
Crime and violence are not the only emergencies that can occur at a large trade show or event. With thousands of people in one place, there is always a chance that a serious medical emergency could occur. Smart event producers will always have a medical crew on site and ready to respond to medical events such as falls, heart attacks, allergy attacks or other medical conditions.
All staff should know what to do and who to contact in the event of a medical emergency. Telephone numbers for the nearest hospital, police department and fire department should be easily accessible to all staff and security personnel.
Prepare Your Trade Show for Success
Although it isn’t possible to predict a medical or security emergency at a big trade show or event, the most successful event producers recognize the importance of preparation. If you are planning a trade show, be sure that your security plan is number one on your list. Not only will having proper security measures in place give you peace of mind, it will also ensure the best possible experience for all who attend.
When you need security personnel who aim higher
Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.
Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant