One of the best ways to ensure your large conference runs smoothly is to establish proper security. By establishing a security plan, you can reduce unforeseen negative impacts of having a large number of people from many different companies gather. Especially if the conference contains trade secrets or information that is not for the general public, a security plan is essential. The security plan should include reviewing the existing systems of the event location, comprehensive ID badges for attendees, key/card access installed for rooms where confidential information will be shared, and sharing your security plans with attendees prior to the event date.
The first step to establish security at your conference is to review the location. When contacting prospective host locations, be sure to have a “security checklist” of must-haves to review with management. Choose a location with limited entrance/exit points which will allow for easier monitoring and control over who is attending. Put locations with established security systems at the top of the list. Systems to look for include video security systems, smoke and fire alarm systems and a sprinkler system in case of fire. Locations which offer either an on-site cafeteria or the ability to provide catering should also be a priority. By limiting the number of people entering and exiting the event location, the opportunity for undesirable guests to attend is minimized.
In order to control who has access to the conference, establish an identification system. The days of sticker “My Name Is” tags are over. Picture ID badges clearly identifying the attendee and the company he or she represents are a great way to ensure safety at your conference. In addition, the visual reminder that the attendee is representing his or her company may cause the employee to act more professionally, eliminating the “rowdy” element at your conference. Having security officers at all egress points, to monitor incoming guests for proper identification, may slow down the traffic flow a bit, but is vital to ensuring safety for the conference.
The next step is to consider having the venue be accessible only after swiping or scanning a key card or fob. Although “piggybackers” may still find a way in, this will dramatically reduce the number of uninvited attendees. “Piggybackers” are those who follow an authorized user in through a secured door. If the conference contains information that shouldn’t be available to the general public, a card access control system is the answer. Although this can be a complicated undertaking, companies such as SoCal Access and Video are able to provide security system installation. By outsourcing your conference security to professionals, safety is all but guaranteed.
The final step is to include the comprehensive security plan as part of your advertising. Let prospective guests know their safety is a priority. By showing that every step is being taken to ensure safety at the conference, a sense of community is established and the conference is off to a great start before it even begins.