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You can't mess around with security at an event.... by Dimitri Bertrand

29 March 2019
Vo sécurité pince à linge

Security is an essential aspect of any event. Its impact and management are based on a host of parameters and regulations. Let’s take a look at what is the most demanding criterion for a successful event.

Security is an integral part of every event. And for good reason - you need to offer participants the guarantee of having a great time without risk or apprehension. However, in organisational terms, the checklist for making an event totally secure goes on and on - and no two lists are the same. The management measures will depend on the nature and location of the event. And then there are the layers of regulations, which, by their nature, tend to be toughened up and expanded to stay in line with current events.


Rule no. 1: anticipate everything

Security is a necessary evil, but it must never be an obstacle to creativity. However, once the brainstorming has been done, the time comes for practical feasibility and risk analysis. The further upstream the issue of security is addressed, the more its quality will add to the success of the project. Furthermore, due to the terrorist threat, it is an issue that has had an increasing impact on budgets in recent years.


Rule no. 2: envisage everything

Outdoors or indoors, in public spaces or at a private venue, for 150 or 30,000 people, open to all or reserved for VIPs, with or without a stage, in a well-equipped modern venue or in the raw setting of an abandoned factory... All of these aspects lead to different specifications.

And that’s not to mention the weather conditions at an outdoor event. In this respect, the tragedy at the Pukkelpop festival has toughened the rules on prevention at outdoor public events. The terrorist threat and the attacks in Paris (November 2015) and Brussels (March 2016) have also shaken up event security. VO Event experienced this two months after the attack on Brussels, during the organisation of the outdoor Fête du Port for 25,000 people. VO Event was responsible for the complete closure of the site, the ultra-reinforced access control and, therefore, an increased use of subcontractors and security specialists.


Rule no. 3: know everything

The basis of any good understanding of security is awareness of all the laws, regulations and obligations. The problem is that, as we have said, the provisions vary according to numerous parameters. Regulations are expanding, constantly evolving, and require constant updating. In addition to mastering all these rules, you also need to be collaborating with qualified individuals:

  • the police and emergency services (keep them informed, know what part they will play in managing event-related security, and what rules they will insist on, depending on the general climate).
  • local authorities (mayors, institutions, etc. must also be consulted to obtain authorisation, possibly with specific provisions).
  • private owners (at a private venue, the owner is the central point of contact, and will also insist on his or her own rules).

In the light of this string of stakeholders and host of regulatory backgrounds, an event agency such as VO Event anticipates and knows how to protect itself from unpleasant surprises by using approved external organisations. These will validate the measures taken, or define those that need to be taken to be fully secure. Is the stage properly set up? Are the standards for access to and exiting from a site being respected? Are the electrical installations sound? Does a slightly “raw” building pose a risk? Security is about questions, all of which have to be answered....

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