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Large events: top tips for keeping your guests safe

With the World Cup in full swing, thoughts have turned to the logistics of keeping the teams, support staff and fans safe at such a large-scale and world-renowned event. Though the majority of us won’t ever be involved in an event of this size, there are other sizeable events taking place in stadiums, conferences venues and arenas up and down the country every day that also need to consider the security and safety of attendees and workers whilst ensuring the event runs smoothly.

The Atalian Servest team are lucky enough to have been involved with a number of high profile events, such as the London 2012 Olympics and the Duxford Air Shows and have utilised this experience to compile some tips on how to ensure attendees and your team are safe so that your event is a success.

Implement a plan

As part of the planning process for your event, you should invest some time in creating a security plan and working out where each of your resources are best deployed, rather than relying on your intuition.

When compiling your security plan, you should consider the type of event and its format, as well as who you can expect to attend. Then you can use this information to look at the potential risks and how you can mitigate them, or deal with them if an incident occurs. For example, making sure that there is a first aid kit are strategically placed so you are never a minute or two away in case of an emergency, or stationing security team members so that between them they can see and cover the whole of the venue.

You can never be too prepared when you are responsible for the safety of others, so always make time for planning your approach.

Stay alert and remain vigilant

At an event where attendees are all arriving at the same time and are sitting for an extended period, such as a football game or concert, it is important that crowds are contained, and that entry is controlled. Staggering entry and allowing attendees into the venue in batches can minimise disruption and mitigate the risk.

However, only implementing crowd control measures when attendees first arrive is a mistake and one that is often made on event safety plans. Crowds should be monitored from the moment the first attendee arrives until the last one leaves, even during moments that appear calm and low risk. Though an incident is less likely at these times, in some ways, they can be some of the most vulnerable because people are less likely to be thinking about their own safety and they are also furthest away from emergency exits.

In the unlikely event of a fire, for example, having thousands of seated people leave their rows in an orderly fashion could be a challenge. By keeping an eye on your guests and ensuring that comprehensive security considerations are built into decisions about layout, you can minimise risk and act to keep all attendees safe.

Reducing tension and preventing fights

When it comes to planning the right safety measures for your big event, you should already have a list of possible issues, and for events where emotions are running high and alcohol is being served, the risk of fights breaking out should be on that list.

While you can’t ever fully prevent a fight from happening, you can take some steps to lower the risk and to ensure they don’t escalate. At some venues, the solution may be to prohibit or limit alcohol intake, however it is always helpful to ensure that you have another trained, visible security officers on hand to act not only as a deterrent but to be on hand to defuse and tension, before it leads to violence.

Those responsible for safety at the World Cup are no doubt aware that although the vast majority of football fans are good-natured and don’t come to matches to start fights, there is sadly a small minority who do. By being proactive and making your security staff visible, safety at the event can be managed in the interests of all attendees.

Additional support

For some event organisers, the best solution is to outsource all security requirements to a team of fully trained experts that are experienced in handling security threats. Servest’s security team can apply its knowledge from working with a range of customers at a variety of venues to your event or business. Putting proactive measures in place to safeguard your team and event attendees, no matter the circumstances.

For more information on Servest’s security services, please click here.

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