By Rick Minotte
Although not always required, all too often security is overlooked when planning an event of any kind. Most people believe that they can keep their event/reception organized and secure without any outside help. Even the most organized person will be overwhelmed when the caterer says they are blowing breakers, the photographer is saying it time for photos, and the DJ needs to know where to setup. Oh…and the cake just arrived. So while all this is happening your guests are making their way in, and no one is there to greet them. If you are dealing with running the event, who is guarding the entrance in case of unwanted guests?
A good Security Officer is more than a bouncer or rent-a-cop. Most of my time working at events deal with greeting and helping guests find their seats, directing vendors where to setup, and help the event organizer work problems out These are the things you don’t always plan for. Also, it’s a great help when Uncle Al has had a couple too many and is voicing his opinions on politics loudly… or a person who no one can identify is in the buffet line. Security personnel can take care of the problem and prevent the host from being put in an uncomfortable or even compromising position. Liability-wise, you will also be prepared in case there is a problem.
Whether you are required by the venue or not to hire security, you should evaluate your ability to create a safe and secure environment. It will be your responsibility since some venues open the doors or give you a key, and then leave.
It’s your job to:
· Control access to your event
· Control guests at your event
· Breakup instances that turn ugly
· Protect the venue from damages
· Control Beer/Liquor consumption
· Assess your guests as they leave (i.e. taxi cabs) when necessary
Outdoor venues can be particularly tricky. Especially with perimeter control, bathrooms and noise. Most of City of Duluth Parks are rented in four hour blocks. So if you don’t want to pay for the morning, someone else may have the park rented before you, or the public can use the park (unreserved) and have a family reunion up and running when you arrive to set up. This is another plus where having the security start an hour before you have it reserved and stay for your whole event is a smart idea.
I know it might be tempting to ask a family member or friend to help with “security” duties. This can save you money, but it could also cost more in damages, and be dangerous for the person you assign the duties to. It takes a huge amount of time to create a great event and only a minute to ruin it with a disturbance. Be aware of how much more effective a professional security officer will be. A good Security Officer will evaluate the site continually, and ensure that your guests are well cared for.
Publishers note: Rick Minotte has worked in security services for over 35 years.