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Getting the staffing right for an event is crucial to its success. Underestimate the needs and you risk not only a poor delivery but open yourself to a very real security threat. But put too many staff in place and this becomes an unnecessary expense.

The following details the steps to follow to determine the right amount of personnel to successfully staff events of any size or type.

How to Staff an Event: the planning

  •     Define your needs
  •     Know the venue
  •     Gauge attendee risk
  •     Determine levels of security

Define your needs

Goals will be dependent on the type of event, its location (indoors, outdoors, level of risk, etc.), and the expected attendance levels. The staff and security needs for a family wedding will be very different from that of a trade fair spanning multiple days, for example.

Once you have an estimated attendance figure you can determine the number of personnel you need for various security-related duties. Depending on the nature of the event there are many roles to be covered.  These include but aren’t limited to:

      Crowd control

      Car park attendants

      Door staff

      Bag checkpoints

      Security guards

      Tactical response

      Armed security operatives

Other aspects to consider include:

      Public space surveillance with CCTV

      Communication

      Emergency planning

      First aid/medical 

      Consider the potential for large scale attacks

Know the venue

Every location has its weaknesses, making it essential to determine how porous it is (spots where people could gain access outside of the regulated entry points). In addition, consider:

      Boundaries (either physical or manned with security personnel)

      Pinch points should be defined—places where access/egress is impeded and bottlenecks occur

      Difficult to visualize areas around the location

      The ease in which people can arrive and exit the venue. For example, are the roads likely to become clogged with traffic? Will pathways become congested, etc?

      Location and number of emergency exits.

Gauge attendee risk

Of course, it’s not possible to know the background of every attendee, but it is possible to identify potential and likely risks. For example:

      Are a large number of elderly guests expected? This might necessitate a higher number of first aid/medical personnel. Mobility might be slower for many, so this should be taken into account in the planning of emergency evacuation, the speed of footfall during entry, exit, and around the venue, etc

      The attendance of any controversial figures. For example, a crowd gathering to listen to such a guest speaker will represent a higher risk of volatility and security staffing will need to account for this

      Events that serve alcohol represent a higher security risk. Gatherings of people likely to use illegal drugs will also increase the number of security needed 

Determine levels of security

Once the needs of an individual event have been determined you can plan the finer details. In many cases, security personnel will be able to double up on tasks, such as first aiders and first responders working crowd control or gate guards, only using their other skills as and when needed.

The number of personnel needed to guarantee the right security element will be dependent on the size and nature of the event. This planning and implementation of security needs should be carried out by a professional and experienced source.

Fast Guard Service: Your trusted provider for how to staff an event

The leading security company, Fast Guard Service, delivers the ultimate in event security services the world over. From intimate VIP gatherings to the largest of concert, festival, and expos, their expertise in all aspects of security gives event organizers the peace of mind that they’ve met their legal and moral security obligations.

To find out how Fast Guard can assist with staffing your event, visit   //fastguardservice.com