Hiring security is essential for any event and should be considered a basic expense. Keeping your guests and staff safe should be a top priority throughout the planning process.
Event security can require various services depending on the type of event you are planning. These include strategic planning and assessment, security guards, surveillance, crowd management and the provision of specialist security equipment.
Safety stewards and security guards should be present at any event where a crowd of people are gathering. This includes events involving high-value items (like jewellery, artworks, etc.), high profile guests, licensing requirements dictate, when the venue/event risk assessment, or lastly the event insurance liability requires strict security measures.
Benefits of having security at an event
Whether it’s a sporting event hosting thousands of spectators, a professional trade show, or a small private wedding, a carefully prepared security strategy and onsite security team comes with many benefits.
- Provide peace of mind for all involved
- Offer considerable professional training and experience
- Present a positive impression
- Act as a point of authority
- Prevent disturbances and reduce liabilities
- Manage crowd control
- Enhance the guest experience
Factors that influence the cost of hiring security for an event
There are several significant factors to consider when calculating your security costs, the type of event, the size, the location, time of day or evening, the crowd attending, perceived risk levels and what type of security is needed and / or wanted.
Type of event
Different events have different requirements, like numbers of guards, their training and experience, and deployable technologies – but all those listed below (and more) warrant a security presence.
Events can include:
- Concerts and festivals
- Entertainment (e.g., film premieres)
- Celebrity or politician appearances
- Trade shows and exhibitions
- Military parades
- Awards shows
- Grand openings and launch events
- Charity events
- Fashion and jewellery shows
- College and university events
- Personal events (e.g., weddings, VIP parties, after-parties, galas)
Size of event
The size of your event will determine what security services are required and the number of security personnel in attendance. Larger scale events will typically require a more significant security presence, ensuring you have enough security officers to control a crowd safely.
If you plan on serving alcohol at the event, you may need to review your plans and add extra security to maintain a safe environment for your guests. Your main goal in these instances should always be to minimise the risk of personal injury and property damage, whilst also complying with license-based restrictions.
Time and place of the event
Where you choose to hold the event, and the time it takes place can directly influence the cost of the security required. Evening events generally cost more than events held in the daytime, as the threat of crime tends to be higher at night.
Your venue choice will also determine what security is required, as certain establishments require a pre-determined number of security guards based on the estimated number of attendees.
Different types of crowd command different levels of staffing and security requirements. When planning the security for your event, you will need to think about the age group attending, what the male/female split of the audience is, how people will be travelling to and from the event, and if there is a precedent for incidents with the type of crowd you’re hosting.
Important note: These decisions should always be determined using evidence, like data and historical precedent. Never pass judgement based on discrimination or bias – always operate based on facts and unbiased data sources. Your hired security firm should have sufficient experience and access to these resources to help make these decisions.
Event security services
The level of risk your event poses will determine what security is required. For example, an armed security guard will cost more than an unarmed guard due to their specialist skillset, experience, intensive firearms training, and licensing requirements.
If K-9 patrols (dog units), surveillance and valuable asset protection are needed, then your security costs will increase. As part of your pre-event planning, thorough risk assessments are carried out to ensure your security strategy meets all your requirements.
Event security experience
Well trained and experienced security staff are vital to ensure your event is a success – and memorable for the right reasons. The more experienced the security guard and the more skills they have acquired, the higher the cost.
For instance, most events have a low-level threat, so unarmed security officers are a popular option. But armed security officers may be the better choice for events where the risk is higher – either due to the nature of the guest list or if there are high-value assets present.
Before hiring security for an event, it is crucial to understand the costs involved and the factors that influence what security services you require. Hiring security for an event is an excellent investment that can save you money by acting as a strong deterrent against crime – so never try to cut corners.
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