OPEN SEARCH
READERS' FORUM

How Are You Changing Your Event Security?

Planners share how they’re reconsidering security strategies in the wake of recent terrorist attacks at events like the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May.

By Ian Zelaya September 6, 2017, 7:15 AM EDT

(Pictured, left to right) Karen Hartline, Bob Conti, Cathi Culbertson

Photo: Jenna Dosch (Karen Hartline), Courtesy of Bob Conti, Glen Davis (Cathi Culbertson)

“We have always had a security strategy in place due to the high-caliber attendees we have at our events and conferences, but in this turbulent climate, we are refining that with more detailed security and communication strategy. Examples of some of the things we look at are making sure that strategic members of our company have a list of all people that are attending the event in case of emergency, and coordinating evacuation procedures and emergency plans with our venue and sometimes the host city.”
Cathi Culbertson, vice president of event marketing and conferences, Forbes Media, Jersey City, New Jersey

“We’re seeing a lot of clients asking about R.F.I.D. technology, especially at check-in. It offers extra security because there aren’t any ‘pass-backs’ of tickets or wristbands to get into events. Plus, R.F.I.D.-encoded badges or wristbands are unique to each attendee, so it can verify their information for access control, photo ID, automated attendance scanning, and so on.”
Monica Wolyniec, marketing and communications manager, Boomset, New York

“Given the concerns of today’s climate, the safety of our clients and their guests is paramount. Unfortunately, religious locations have become a target, and appropriate measures need to be taken. We also require hosts to have adequate security on kids’ parties to protect all guests and to ensure all safety of teens and minors.”
Bob Conti, business partner, Ed Libby & Company Events, New York

“I had a pretty unsettling experience at a client meeting at a local venue a couple of years ago. Since the meeting included the executive HR team, they brought in an employee to let him go. Thankfully everything worked out fine, but the nature of the reasons for his dismissal could have made it a very risky situation. It certainly made me realize how important it is that our client host and high-level attendees know that their decisions and actions can affect the security of their meeting. It’s become a talking point in my client risk-management briefing now—not that we want to be nosy, but just for them to keep in mind that if something like this example were required, the annual meeting is not the appropriate setting.”
Heather Herrig, principal, Every Last Detail, Atlanta

“We offer clients the option of doing bag checks and metal detectors at the doors. We work with corporate clients with events open to the public, so some clients prefer this option and others pass on it. We always do a briefing with the venues and security team on security procedures as well.”
Karen Hartline, C.E.O., Reinventing Events, Las Vegas

“Our security strategy is very different depending on the type of live experience we are producing. For example, if it is a public event—like when we recently did a Times Square takeover with Cosmopolitan and Bare Minerals Beauty—we work with multiple city agencies and permitting offices to create a very tight security plan. However, when we produced a private 40-person press dinner for luxury timepiece makers Patek Phillipe in a private gallery that featured collectible automobiles, we needed security so no one damaged the vehicles. We also needed security to accompany the rare timepieces. They were very subdued, in the background, and not imposing since it was a contained, private event.”
Cara Kleinhaut, partner and C.E.O., Agenc, Los Angeles

Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue