Author Barbara Peterson discusses how, by necessity, event security will continue to be a key concern of meeting professionals. Here she reflects on the process of researching this hard-hitting story.
Security experts shared recommend that all planners implement the following 10 measures to protect their attendees.
10 ESSENTIAL SECURITY MEASURES
Security experts recommend that planners implement the following basic security procedures before and during any event.
1. About 30 days before the event, hold a group exercise with critical personnel, including security, to run through a variety of scenarios. Draft response plans for each.
2. Ask hotels and conference venues about their security arrangements: Do they have video surveillance? If so, where?
3. Work with local authorities, including fire, police and emergency management services; ask about their security protocols.
4. Consider hiring additional security personnel for on-site.
5. Monitor news and social media for possible threats in the local area.
6. Keep detailed itineraries under wraps until the start of the meeting.
During the meeting
7. Manage and restrict access to sensitive attendee data, including personal and financial information.
8. Maintain a low profile; limit public displays of meeting agendas on lobby activity boards.
9. Transport groups in smaller vehicles, like town cars or vans, rather than large motor coaches, which tend to draw attention. Remove identifying signage from any conference buses and vans.
10. Post personnel at all entrances to check badges, and make sure attendees know to report a missing badge. n B.P.