Special Event Security Planning Checklist for Any Business

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If you’re planning a Special Event, you must do several things to secure your event. This Special event security planning checklist for any business will help you get started.

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Special Event Security Planning Checklist

If you’re involved with a significant event (conference, trade show, festival), chances are you’ll be involved in some way or another with security planning. But you may not have thought about this until now.

Hire a professional security company Is A Great Choice.

Exceptional event security is essential for every business, but it is crucial for larger, more complex events such as the Super Bowl, NBA All-Star Game, or World Cup. A local police department can provide security services to prevent criminal activity at smaller events.

The National Association of Professional Organizers has found that an average of 70% of attendees felt stress during their special event planning. That’s why you need to plan for the worst. It is an opportunity to get help and advice from an experienced security company specializing in providing security services for significant events.

Professional security services are not inexpensive. However, hiring a company specializing in event security can be very cost-effective. Companies with specialized training, experience, and equipment can provide a higher level of protection than those lacking that knowledge.

You don’t want a contractor who doesn’t understand the importance of particular event security planning for your event.

If your next special event involves hosting some high-profile guests or celebrities, you should consider hiring a professional security company to help with the planning and execution.

These companies have special training to handle such events. They will be able to assist in determining which security measures are needed, including setting up checkpoints, hiring security guards, creating an evacuation plan, ensuring guests are adequately screened and verified, and much more.

Establish Boundaries For Security.

Establishing boundaries to secure your special event is just one aspect of planning security measures. 

When it comes to special event security planning, you should create boundaries for security and the site to keep everything under control. One common scenario is to ensure there are no boundaries between the area you’re controlling and the areas where you are going to hold the event. It could mean a fence or a perimeter road.

Another option is to give yourself a buffer zone to allow access to the venue. For example, you can have an extra two feet of space around you and another group of people. It can keep unwanted guests and people out of the area.

Before you start planning your event, establish the boundaries of where you are holding the event. It will allow your security personnel to keep people who don’t belong there and make the event safer for everyone involved.

Fencing is an effective way to separate your event from the surrounding areas. If you’re going to host your event outside, it’ll help to set up a fence.

You want your event to be accessible for guests to find. It is essential to display signs that will help people find your event as soon as they arrive. A conference center or hotel can have many events at once, and guests might not know where yours is.

Set up access control

Setting up a security system is easy. But setting up access controls can be tricky. Access control is one of the basic tenets of building any kind of security. It’s how systems prevent people from getting into places they shouldn’t be.

You need to ensure that the right people can access your event. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing! The police will keep people from entering the venue and checking their IDs.

If your business event is open to the public, your security team must ensure no one brings items that are not allowed into the event.

You’ll need a threat detection system to ensure no bad guys are stealing data or doing other harm to your business.

The threat detection platform uses artificial intelligence to detect threats through sensors and cameras. The ability to detect weapons in this way would be helpful to security guards.

Fireproof the event venue

As I mentioned before, fire prevention is essential, but it doesn’t stop with just the venue. There’s an old saying, “You can’t stop bad things from happening, but you can make sure they don’t start.” This concept translates well into a business, where you can prevent bad experiences from happening for your clients or customers.

We tend to put off making changes until it’s too late. But, in our quest for perfection, we tend to avoid taking even simple steps that could save us from a disaster, such as not having a fire evacuation plan or not installing fire extinguishers in the venue. Fire safety is a huge priority.

The good news is that you can hire a professional company to provide such services—or you can do it yourself. Exit routes should be marked and clear of obstacles. You’ll want to make sure that there are safe exits and emergency escape routes.

Hire event security personnel

Security officers work for special events in two ways: They monitor activities outside the event venue and check credentials for admittance into the event itself. In some cases, they act as personal protection for the VIP attendees inside the event.

Security institutes should train these individuals to handle safely and control firearms. In addition to the responsibilities and duties listed above, security officers are responsible for planning for potential disasters.

One of the most common disasters that security officers plan for is the possibility of an active shooter. Active shooters are people who want to harm others for their gain.

An event security company is a third-party vendor specializing in event security services and expertise. Event security companies are trained in planning and executing special events such as weddings, conferences, meetings, exhibitions, parties, corporate events, festivals, concerts, and private parties.

They handle several tasks such as traffic control, crowd management, access control, parking, event design, catering, entertainment, venue setup and breakdown, food preparation, and cleaning. Event organizers and venue owners hire event security companies to provide professional services to protect their event attendees and the surrounding environment from potential safety hazards and disruptions.

Event security companies typically specialize in one area of event security. You should use their expertise in that specific area to secure any event.

Hire someone trained in first aid procedures

When planning an event, whether it’s a big business conference or a small family reunion, the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not your attendees will have access to medical care in case something happens. Unfortunately, even when they are available, emergency rooms aren’t always prepared to handle every possible scenario.

That’s why you should consider getting professional medical training for your security personnel. Not only will this help ensure your attendees’ safety in an accident or emergency, but it will also keep your company’s liability to a minimum if something goes wrong.

Anticipate event threats and protestors

You’ll need the help of a planner, organizer, or event security expert who knows what it takes to keep a special event free from significant problems or security threats. They can anticipate how events are likely to unfold, from the timing and location of critical events to the behavior of protestors or individuals whose actions could damage an event.

For instance, they can anticipate the presence of protestors and potential security threats, including those who may be protesting the event and others who may be there for the wrong reasons.

However, other events are not uncommon to include these potential threats. In some cases, the danger is a high-profile celebrity who is in attendance and may cause a significant security incident.

A protest or demonstration may occur at the same time as the event. As event security professionals, we must anticipate events and potential scenarios and be ready to respond quickly if a situation arises.

Event Planning Checklist

We understand that planning can feel overwhelming when preparing for your company’s annual event. That’s why we’ve put together this list of essential tasks that will ensure the success of your event.

Here is a checklist for event planning:

Set Event Purpose, Date, and Venue

Determine the goals and purpose of the event

  • What are your target audiences for the event?
  • What are your most important measurements?
  • How will you judge effectiveness?
  • How does this event fit in with the strategic plan?

Select date and time

  • Make sure hosts, speakers, or guests are available for specified dates.
  • It’s a good idea to consult campus calendars/ religious calendars.
  • When choosing times, think of the campus culture or workdays schedule.

Set budget

  • Consider potential funding sources, like partnering with other departments.
  • To plan and track expenses, use the Budget Planning and template.

Select and reserve the venue

  • A/V capabilities
  • Parking availability and costs
  • Maximum capacities
  • Accessibility accommodations
  • Access times to space
  • Load-in/delivery capabilities
  • Check whether the equipment was with the room rental.

If there is a rain plan, schedule it.

  • Speak to the vendors about the costs and deadlines for refunds and cancelations.
  • Who will make the rain plan call when you make your final decision?
  • How will you inform your guests about the rain location?
  • Consider if there are additional needs such as other staff, rental equipment, and more.

Find out the guest list.

  • The target audience and key messages are things to consider.
  • It is possible to determine RSVP melt by researching similar past events.

Ensure inclusivity, accessibility, and sustainability

  • Have a diverse planning committee
  • You can use the ADA’s guide to make temporary events accessible to people with disabilities.

There are special permits, licenses, insurance, and other things that you need to investigate.

  • Risk Management may be able to help with any special needs.

Find out the meeting schedule for your committee.

  • You can create a recurring appointment.
  • Schedule any necessary meetings with your stakeholders.

Find Out About Your Vendors and Campus Partners

Research potential vendors

  • Use only approved caterers.
  • Review policies regarding contracts, procurement, and RFPs

Contact (or schedule) Police Department

  • No matter the event’s size, you should complete a Request for Special Event Security Form.
  • We need to confirm any necessary walkthroughs and security needs.

Find out if you will live to stream your event.

  • Who is coordinating?
  • Where will the live streaming on the website go?
  • Who will be writing copy for the site?
  • How soon will the site go live?
  • What will be the location of the video’s archives afterward?
  • Who will caption the live stream?
  • Are you able to see the number of viewers or analytics later?

Secure A/V needs for the event

  • Lighting
  • Supplemental video needs
  • Sound for music and speakers
  • You need a projector, screen, and wireless advancer for a presentation.
  • If you need additional mics in the audience, coordinate it.
  • Don’t forget to have on-site A/V tech.
  • Confidence checks for speakers.

Be sure to book a caterer.

  • Do any of your guests have restrictions on what they can eat?
  • Determine the preferences of the VIP.
  • Do you need the linens from the rental company caterers to arrange this?
  • For the podium and additional speakers/guests, remember the waters.
  • Local/ sustainable options are worth considering.
  • When do you expect tables to get clear tables? Discuss service expectations. How many servers per table?

Request Tech spirit aspects

  • Buzz
  • Ramblin’ Wreck
  • Cheerleaders
  • Band

Order plants/flowers

  • For staging and all floral needs, remember rental plants.

Determine parking for visitors

  • Examine options and resources on the Parking and Transportation site
  • Guests can take the campus map for directions.
  • If necessary, arrange for additional transportation such as buses and shuttles.

Determine different kinds of drinks available

Find out about all kinds of drinks which you can serve at the event. You need to know an excellent available list of drinks.

Order additional decorations

  • Balloons
  • Pipe and Drape

Reserve additional setup materials

  • Rental chairs
  • Stage
  • Podiums
  • Tables
  • Easels
  • Coat racks
  • Heat lamps

Coordinate meeting with the fire marshal

  • Take a look at information about safety and emergency preparation.
  • The Fire Safety specialist can register your event.
  • You require an inspection of the stage or tent if involved in the event.
  • It would help if you approved the layout of outside events by the fire marshal.

Schedule supplemental staffing

  • Ushers, crowd management, etc.

Secure entertainment/musicians

  • Look into student music groups
  • Determine if any sound checks are necessary

Order extra trash receptacles

  • You need to order extra trash receptacles.

Order extra recycling bins

  • You need to order extra recycling bins to avoid any kind of garbage in the event.

Schedule a photographer, if needed

  • Request a photographer to take your picture.
  • Include information about the event and any essential shots required.

Schedule a videographer, if needed

  • Request a videographer to make the video of the event.
  • Provide information about the event and any crucial shots required.

Begin researching travel arrangements and hotel options

  • You should start researching travel arrangements and hotel choices.

Schedule a meeting with the Event Logistics Committee if you plan to have an outdoor event.

  • If there is an outdoor event, have a meeting with the Event Logistics Committee.

Find Out Your Design and Marketing Needs

Prepare a communications plan.

  • What is the primary message of your event?
  • Find out what and when you will send communications.

Define a production schedule for any design elements.

  • You should include items like your program, flyers, website graphics, and signage
  • To receive materials on time, you should set the deadlines to send items.

Discuss internal promotion opportunities and add an event to the campus calendar.

  • You should review the information about the promotion of your event.
  • You can get ideas from your unit communicator.

Select designer/printer

  • Creates invites, programs, signage, print pieces, etc.

Update material on your website

  • Include and update common guest questions such as dress code, parking, and program schedule
  • There should be alt text in images, and proper color contrast is an accessible feature on the website.

Design invitations and RSVP form

  • If this is a print or digital invite, you should determine it.
  • Do you need contact information, pronouns, or guest information from guests?
  • It would help if you created a facility for guests to share their accommodation requests, such as ADA access or dietary needs, with you.

Manage Guest Needs, Communications, and Speakers

If applicable, reserve hotel, plane, and travel accommodations for speakers/VIPs and staff.

  • If a large portion of your attendees is traveling, it’s a good idea to request a hotel block.

Create an RSVP tracking system

  • If you want to track ADA accommodations, please confirm away.

Find out if you will need save-the-dates cards or emails.

  • Determine how to raise awareness.
  • If you have a bigger VIP crowd, you’ll want to send these earlier.

Find out any press announcements needed.

  • You’ll want to send these earlier if you have a bigger crowd.

Request and receive speaker/VIP bios

  • If included in the program, ask for a high-quality photo.

Request additional speakers to participate.

  • Presentations, Emcees, and other people. Having someone introduce the president or guest of honor is the best way to do it.

Write a script for yourself or VIPs/presenters.

  • Work with the Organization, Academic, and Research Communications in Institute Communications for any talking points for the president or executive leadership team.
  • Check and make sure the script book has dividers for speaker change.
  • To keep the meeting short, request all participants with speaking roles to have one of their scripts in their book.
  • It is a good idea to include spellings for names that might be difficult to pronounce.

Send invitations

  • When determining the RSVP deadline, check with your caterer when your final headcount is due.
  • To avoid overbooking, set a form limit for online RSVPs.
  • Make sure the website has information about RSVPs.

There should be welcome packets/materials for attendees.

  • Guests can receive these at check-in or online.

Review Event and Program Elements

Ask your designer to review printed materials.

  • Consistency in design and color usage is essential for print and digital materials.
  • Take a look at the list of items needed and deadlines.

The menu needs to be set by the caterer.

  • When your final headcount is due, be sure to confirm.
  • Ask about the options for common dietary requests like vegetarian, nut allergies, and gluten-free.
  • Ask about a surcharge for late additions.

Secure permits and insurance

  • Submit any required certificate of insurance (COI) forms to Risk Management

Review security and safety needs

  • Make a safety and emergency preparedness plan
  • Plan a walkthrough of the site if your VIP has security details

Confirm accessibility resources

  • Check if required and submits certificate of insurance (COI) forms to Risk Management.

Ensure all needs are met by holding walk-throughs with significant stakeholders.

  • You may select to send the run of the show to promote email conversation. It depends on schedules.

Recommend an A/V run-through the day before the event. Schedule it.

  • Schedule speakers and musicians, as well as any social media testing, if live streaming or captioned, such as live on Facebook.

Determine volunteer need

  • Determine roles and needs with a volunteer plan.
  • If you need student ambassadors, request them.
  • Schedule volunteer training

Look at RSVP numbers.

  • Do you need to add guests to your list?
  • As necessary, change your marketing plan.

Take a look at print and signage needs.

  • You must confirm that you have volunteers or significant turn signs to direct guests.
  • There should be a map for guests at larger venues.

You can buy event supplies and prizes.

Order any giveaways

  • You can visit Licensing and Trademarks to see official policies.
  • Think about sharing costs with others.
  • If possible, don’t include a date so that you can use items again.

Find out if there is any need for awards, trophies, or research companies.

  •  Do you require USG approval for the staff and faculty awards?

Order gifts for speakers.

  • You may need gift bags or wrapping paper, depending on the presentation.

Order liquor

  • Try to avoid alcohol and make sure you have approval before purchase if required.

Purchase all of the decorations you need.

  • Allow plenty of time for shipping delays and any assembly.

It is possible to make parking and directional signs in-house.

  • Try to prepare in-house all the directional signs or parking signage. It will be cost-effective and can reuse again.

Make Sure To Advertise Your Event

Give out flyers or emails advertising the event.

  • Distribution of flyers/emails for an advertising event.

Release press announcements

  • You can consult with the communication director or Institute communication of your unit.
  • You can watch for media hits related to the event.

Get in touch with your target audience on the campus departments.

  • Get in touch with the campus departments with your audience.

Confirm Event Details (1-2 weeks out)

Follow-up with RSVP list: Make personalized phone calls and emails if necessary.

  • If necessary, follow up with the RSVP list. Make personalized phone calls and emails.

Send your final numbers to the caterer.

  • Make sure to include your final diet needs.

Please confirm participation with all people, for example, VIPs or presenters.

  • Send them information about the show, talking points, and event details.

Confirm all travel arrangements

  • Finalize transportation for celebrities (VIPs) and out-of-town guests.

For each facet of the event, confirm staff and volunteers.

  • Each aspect of the event should have staff and volunteers confirmed.

Assist with setup and day-of-event questions by creating seating plans and room diagrams.

  • The correct way to sit at the head table is to follow the protocol.
  • If necessary, make place cards for seating.
  • You must have backup seating options for changes to head table seating arrangements.

Create a photo shot list.

  • You need photos of the program elements, so provide a list of them.
  • Inform the photographer of any location or time changes if any changes occur.

You should arrange a meeting with vendors, managers of the venue, key committee members, volunteers, and other significant stakeholders before the event.

  • If you want to confirm the setup and breakdown times, please do.
  • Give directions to the load-in location
  • It is essential to ensure equipment, cost changes, and necessary details.
  • Ask for a day of contact information.
  • Give them your contact information, as well as any backups or co-leads.

One last walkthrough of the venue is essential.

  • You should go for the last walkthrough of the venue.

Arrange training sessions with volunteers

  • It will be an in-person or virtual walkthrough of the venue.

Make sure staff has assembled all printed materials/collateral, and it is correct.

  • Printed material or collateral assembling is essential before the event. Make sure it is correct.

Extra plain nametags/lanyards are a must for surprise guests and attendees.

  • Those who can’t use magnetic should use clip tags.
  • If disposable, suggest Avery 8395
  • The first name centered 54 pt, and the last name 48 pt is the preference for templates.
  • Use two nametags for each name variation, like Joseph and Joe.
  • Consider buying a machine for nametags.
  • Also, provide any dietary cards in the nametags.

There is an event day survival kit that you can make.

  • Pens
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Mints
  • Safety pins
  • Extra nametag inserts and holders
  • Label maker, if used for nametags

Give the essential volunteers and vendors the detailed hour-by-hour event plan and distribute it between them.

  • Vendors and important campus partners should receive it.

Provide final information to participants, such as directions, maps, last-minute details, etc.

  • You can find templates on the website.

You can make a volunteer form.

Make a volunteer duty form.

Wrap gifts

  • Make sure to wrap all gifts.

Provide parking passes.

  • Check the distribution of parking passes.

Provide completed Run of Show and RSVP list to your VIPs

  • Send completed Run of Show and RSVP list to people you care about.

1-2 Days Prior

Make a final to-do list to make sure everything is complete.

  • It’s possible to save trips back to the office with a supply list and locations.

If you want to retrieve the contacts’ information quickly, list them so you can retrieve them whenever you want.

  • It is a good idea to add them to your phone for manageable texting on the event day.

You should check all equipment and materials to ensure they are undamaged, quantity is correct, and so on.

  • If you gather materials together, it will be easier to transport them.

Reconfirm schedule with the caterer

  • Alert them if there is a change in headcount or new requests.

If possible, set up a registration area to ensure you are prepared for the next day.

  • The registration area is very crucial to organize.

If you can, add some color to the room for decoration.

  • If not, get supplies together and label them for a quicker setup.

Now you can deliver materials and equipment to the site.

  • Make sure to settle materials and equipment in the right way.

Test web streaming

  • You should include the captioner in the test.

Prepare yourself to deal with changes day in.

  • Bring along a three-hole punch so the president can input his revised script, have extra chairs if another person asks to join the stage party, and so on.

Discuss backup plans

  • Rain plan
  • Safety Plan
  • Emergency plans

Day of Event

Arrive before the time of starting so you can do one last walkthrough.

  • Early arrive before guests to supervise.

The vendor setup needs to be overseen.

  • Oversee vendor setup.

Check all VIP materials. Are they correctly labeled and in place?

  • Provide a program for the president and other high-ranking people, so they know speaking order
  • Have more scripts printed for speakers assessment.

Check all setups

  • Make sure to check all the setups.

Make sure to check all the setups.

  • Look at all the setups.

Display parking and directional signs

  • Check signage placement is correct.

After the Event

Provide a written thank you note.

  • Provide a note of thanks.

Handle invoices

  • Take care of the invoices.

Key players should have post-event meetings.

  • If you want to record your ideas and lessons learned, complete a post-event evaluation.

Send pictures to high-ranking guests.

  • You should send the pictures/souvenirs to the guests of your choice.

Inventory all materials and pack them up.

  • Now packing up is one of the critical last steps.

Update website

Donot forget to update the website with all information of event activities.

Book next year’s venue if you want to host an annual event.

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