Outdoor events have security concerns that indoor events don’t. The largest difference is that it’s an open space and more accessible. Safety is a must, whether it is a corporate event, charity event, sports event, concern, or similar outside gathering. A security team must be well-versed in identifying and handling all threats. It all begins with planning a safe outdoor event.
For an outdoor event, understand the venue and logistics. There may be little infrastructure in place but get to know it. Walk the grounds, and understand first-hand how the atmosphere feels and what security requirements may be needed.
Have a smart layout for your outdoor event. Ensure it’s never overcrowded. Exits should be marked. Consider what you can do to control crowds. Identify additional risks, such as if there could be a protest, a different event that impacts your event, and whether the crowd could become agitated by something during the event.
Let’s learn how to plan an outdoor event safely.
AI Security Technology
Artificial intelligence in outdoor event security can play a central role in identifying threats before humans. AI security can spot weapons via concealed weapon detection technology and identify suspicious behaviour. In addition, it can monitor an increased number of cameras and square footage than any single individual.
Ensure Regulations Are Met
Outdoor event regulations are in place for a reason. From noise ordinances to fire and safety codes and other local restrictions, ensure they are adhered to.
If your outdoor event has anything that could encounter some pushback and require additional security – such as having live animals, using special equipment, having a bonfire, etc. – ensure accommodations are made for safety.
Cool-Off & Warm-Up Spaces
Summer outdoor events get extremely hot. When planning the event, consider whether you need somewhere for guests to cool off or warm up. Plan for the weather and keep shelters in place. You want security personnel for the day focused on servicing security for the event rather than necessarily looking after guests who are experiencing heatstroke.
Have Security Personnel On-Site
You need a security team ready to act if a threat is detected, particularly at large outdoor events. Security personnel should be appropriately numbered for the number of people at the event. They should also be visible. Security measures and personnel may deter criminals or agitators from pursuing a plan.
Plan Necessary Food Safety Precautions
If food is served, ensure hot foods are kept hot and cold foods are kept cold. Any uncooked meat must be carefully looked after and cooked at the right temperature before serving. This is another aspect of safety an event planner should consider when planning an outdoor event.
Screen Workers and Volunteers During Hiring
Every outdoor event has workers and volunteers with lots of access that regular attendees do not have. While you may not be able to screen guests and attendees beyond registering them, more in-depth checks can be performed on those working and volunteering at the event. They carry an increased risk if revealed to be a threat and must be treated as such during the initial hiring stage.
Plan for Fire Hazards and Mitigate Risks
Fire hazards can be a major security risk outdoors. Burn bans, site safety, removing nearby debris before lighting a fire or firing a BBQ, and carefully monitoring all bonfires or grills. You also want fire extinguishers nearby and handy.
Have a First Aid Medical Emergency Plan
Outdoor events are risky for medical emergencies and individuals requiring First Aid. Ensure there’s a stocked First Aid kit at the event. In addition, there’s a communication system to arrange medical emergency treatment if/when necessary, and a way to contact first responders. This is a necessary element of any event safety and security plan.
Set Up a Perimeter with Entrance & Exit Points
Set up an event perimeter for large outdoor events and have an entry/exit point for attendees. A perimeter is easily established with a fenced area, barriers, metal detectors, or AI security scanners. This is the only way to control access in a high-risk environment.
This way, security personnel can observe attendees entering and exiting, count how many people are inside, and identify any potential security threats.
Have Emergency Plans in Place
There are a multitude of threats or unexpected events that could occur at an outdoor event that security teams must be ready for. Multiple emergency plans should be drafted outlining a security response for each event.
Some plans include mass evacuation, an active shooter, a place where staff can meet and communicate during an emergency, and how guests or attendees are to be directed to move and respond during an emergency.