Corporate Event Security Guidelines: How to Keep Your Employees Safe

Corporate Event Security Guidelines: How to Keep Your Business & Employees Safe

Security is important for any event, but it can be especially critical for corporate events. At a meeting, a retreat, or another corporate event, many high-level company executives may be present, and trade secrets might be discussed. Without corporate event security, C-suite personnel and proprietary information might be at risk.

Instead of leaving the safety of your corporate event to chance, take precautions to protect your people and your information through careful planning and top-level security services. To help you properly plan your next event, I've compiled this list of corporate event security guidelines.

Select Security First

Some event planners consider security as almost an afterthought. For example, although the video "Corporate Event Planning | Corporate Event Ideas and Advice" has a good mix of event-planning tips, security is not mentioned.

Most planners turn their attention to selecting a security team once all of the other details have been lined up, which forces security personnel to take the already-made plans and do their best to shape their services to those plans.

Savvy event planners know to flip that approach around. They understand that among corporate event security best practices, this is number one: Select your security team before making any major plans.

Bringing the security team on board from the outset allows them to help guide every major decision.

For example, security personnel can weigh in on venue selection. Protecting the event is easier when it is held is a safe city, and the facility is set up for accommodating security protocols. A venue with obvious security features and a staff trained in safety is preferable.

Throughout the planning process, the security team can help establish guidelines for the event. This might include transportation arrangements and policies for interacting with VIP guests.

Organizers and the security team can work together to determine whether security personnel should wear plain clothes or be in uniform during the program.

Determine the Risks

Unless you know what might go wrong during your corporate event, you can't prepare for those situations. When working with a corporate event security team, make a list of potential scenarios that you might have to deal with. Then create a plan of response for each one.

Chances are, you won't need to use most of those protocols. In the best case scenario, none of them will be necessary. But if something were to happen, the plans that you set in advance could mean the difference between an averted crisis or a complete disaster.

In particular, pay careful consideration to the following scenarios when planning a high-profile corporate event:

Terrorist Acts

Unfortunately, terrorist acts have become a fact of life. Particularly in some countries around the world, repeated instances of attacks have reduced the appeal of holding a corporate event there.

When planning an overseas event, your best bet may be to steer clear of high-risk countries, no matter how beautiful or affordable they are. If you still want to hold your event in one of these countries, consider doing so in a less high-profile city than one that has been the target of multiple attacks.

No matter where you hold your event, it is wise to enforce protocols that can be helpful just in case an attack occurs. You might require attendees--especially top-level executives--to travel separately or use a few different hotels to house the group.

Protests and Rallies

Some companies attract unwanted attention for their practices or policies.

Sometimes a group that takes issue with the business that the company conducts will use the corporate event as an opportunity to express their ideas and gain attention for their cause. This can not only be disruptive to the event, but it may also be the source of unsafe situations.

Before the event, evaluate whether there is any controversy surrounding the company or its industry. Try to identify particular groups that might use the event as an opportunity for protest. Then put extra measures in place to keep the event secure.

Monitor Access to the Event

For many events, it is critical that the security team controls who enters the venue. This is to keep the area safe and to protect trade secrets that are discussed during the program.

This may be a simple matter of issuing name badges to invited guests or checking IDs at the door. Although multiple exit paths are essential in case of an emergency, entry points should be limited, and security personnel should be posted at each.

One twist that is sometimes added to the issue of access for corporate events is that C-suite executives may show up with high-profile friends, such as celebrities, who aren't on the guest list. In preparation for corporate event security, develop a plan for handling last-minute invitees.

Appoint a Point Person

Once the big day arrives, the work is not over. The security team will have their hands full throughout the event. At times, questions or situations may arise that require consultation with one of the event organizers. It can create confusing or unclear situations if multiple people are consulted about the same issues.

To streamline this process, select one point person before the event. Not only will you avoid the situation of multiple people providing conflicting answers, but it can also speed up the decision-making process when time is of the essence.

Furthermore, this one person can also carry the responsibility of providing necessary information and updates to the security team throughout the event.

When planning a corporate event, consider security one of your top priorities.

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    Appoint a security team early in the process.
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    Evaluate potential risks, including extreme threats like terrorism and protests, and formulate a plan for handling each.
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    Control access points and who enters the venue.
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    Funnel communication through one point person.

We want to help you run a safe corporate event, so please leave a comment with your questions related to corporate event security guidelines.

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About the Author Richard Allen

Mr. Allen is the Founder & President of American Protect Bureau (APB). APB is a licensed, bonded and insured private security company. He is a well respected industry expert with extensive knowledge and over 25 years experience in all aspects of security and protection. Having personally provided security for some of the hottest nightclubs and highest profile people, he understands first-hand what it takes to ensure venues are protected and people are kept safe. Richard conveys this point to every single security guard employed by his company.