December 9, 2021
What does an event security guard do?
Event security guards are required to provide a variety of duties when engaged to manage the security of an event, large or small.
The primary responsibility of an event security guard is the safety and protection of all attendees at events including concerts, sporting events, conferences, and private gatherings.
As an event security guard, you may be asked to perform a wide variety of duties and these will be dictated by several factors including the type of event, the guest list and the venue itself. From security camera surveillance to on-the-ground activities such as screening guests and crowd control, an event security guard is required to have a wide range of skills to be an effective team player.
You must be prepared to deal with any complications and situations that may arise during an event and respond swiftly and decisively to minimise the impact on guests and the organisers.
The role of an event security guard is an appealing one. It provides the opportunity to attend high profile events, however, you must always remember that your primary responsibility is always to the safety and security of the attendees.
The role of an event security guard offers up the perfect balance of excitement and responsibility and at The Chivalry Group, we work with a highly skilled and dedicated team that has been involved in the successful security management of events around the world.
What are the primary duties of an event security guard?
As we have already touched upon, the duties of a security guard can vary significantly from job to job depending on the scale of the event, the people involved and the venue. Broadly speaking, here are some of the main tasks carried out by an event security guard:
One of the first lines of defence when managing the safety and security of an event is to put in place robust security screening before people are even allowed access to the venue. The screening process will typically involve a checkpoint located on the perimeter of a venue where event security personnel can check bags and carry out personal searches for concealed weapons or alcohol.
Security screening is one of the most important aspects of event security, no matter the size of the event, as it can prevent issues from the outset.
Depending on the type of event, security screening might also include the use of metal detectors or ‘wanding’ of guests as they enter.
Parking and Access
Venue access is a crucial element of event security, and it is important for event security teams to plan emergency access routes, both in terms of getting to and from the venue. This can be particularly important in the event of an incident to avoid issues with overcrowding.
Typically, events will have a single start and finish time which also puts pressure on security teams to manage parking and access. There can be situations where hundreds or thousands of vehicles are all trying to arrive or leave at a similar time, and this requires the support of the event security team to ensure people are parking where they should and that there is a flow of traffic that allows for people to access the event safely.
Security personnel can also be responsible for ensuring the protection of vehicles parked at an event as events can often be the target for crime when criminals know that people will be away from their vehicles for a specific amount of time.
When it comes to access control, it’s important for security personnel to understand all the potential entry and exit points from the venue to ensure people cannot gain entry to the premises except via the approved access points.
Prevention is better than management, especially when it comes to an incident at an event so constant vigilance and surveillance is crucial at an event. Event security guards need to be alert at all times, watching for potential incidents in large crowds and taking action if something looks suspicious.
Crowd management (or crowd control) is an important aspect of a successful security plan and can start from the security screening stage right through to successfully getting every attendee safely off the premises after the event finishes. In between, it is likely the event security teams will have to monitor the crowd to ensure no one is getting pushed or trampled, that people are not getting too close to a stage or to a public speaker, as well as ensuring that all exits remain clear, and people are not loitering on access areas like stairwells.
Whilst detailed planning will take place before any event, there is always the possibility of an incident occurring and it’s important that security personnel respond quickly and decisively. From a fight breaking out in a large crowd to a potential threat to a VIP, all incidents need to be planned for and appropriate actions agreed upon.
Whenever an incident occurs at an event, no matter how small the incident, it’s important for a security guard to note the incident and the action and to include this in the post-event report and debrief. This allows security teams to better anticipate potential incidents in the future, by recording anything that happens during an event.
The environment in which security guards work can sometimes be chaotic with hundreds or thousands of people to monitor and observe. It’s important for teams to be connected at all times and monitoring the environment you are working in is extremely important.
Radio communication channels should be checked on a regular basis, surveillance equipment should be checked and tested before and during the event and clear lines of communication should be in place so that all members of a security team understand the process should an incident occur.
Keeping open clear lines of communication, especially at large events, is crucial to ensure the smooth running of an event.
An often-overlooked role of an event security guard is customer service. Typically, event security staff wear clothing that is easily identifiable. This acts as a deterrent to potential criminals as they can see a security presence, however, it also means that security personnel are often asked questions from attendees.
Being personable and professional is a key trait of the best event security guards as they can often double up as front-line customer service staff and it is important to answer questions courteously and provide relevant information, even if that is simply directing the guest to a more suitable person.
Skills and Qualifications
The skills required to carry out the role of event security at all types of events do not differ too much. A big part of being a great security guard is in the planning. It’s important to understand as much as you can about the type of event you are working on and the potential threats you might face during that event.
From over-exuberant, drunken attendees to organised crime syndicates, our security team are trained to deal with all potential threats, and we work well in advance of the event to make sure we have all bases covered.
You can read more about the skills and qualifications required to be an event security guard in our post, 7 qualities of a great security guard at events.