Many events require the addition of security guards, but it can often be difficult to estimate your own security needs. That’s why one of the top questions security agencies get asked is: How many security guards do I need? Most of the time, people underestimate just how much security they should hire, which only leads to issues with the event. If you are going to cut corners in an attempt to save money, security shouldn’t be compromised on.
Regardless of the type of event you’re running, you need to remember that any event can be met with violence. Attendee safety needs to be the chief concern, and you also need to think about the other potential problems that security may have to conquer. The most common that comes to mind would be stolen tickets or people trying to enter without paying. Property damage and other violations also top the list.
The guards are employed to help make sure all of these things are prevented as much as possible, keeping everyone safe and helping the event go off without a hitch–minimizing the planner’s risk. As such, you should consider overcompensating for how many guards you think you need. This is especially true if the event you’re hosting will involve substantial crowds, alcohol consumption, children, or other high-risk factors.
Security planning always focuses on what could go wrong. Crowd control is the first purpose for the guards, but you also need to think about how security would help if the worst were to happen.
The size of your crowd will ultimately determine how many guards you need. For lower risk events, consider just one guard per 150 guests. For higher risk events (like those with alcohol), consider one guard per 75 guests. Keep in mind that your security guards will be divided up among many responsibilities, with many devoted just to watching the various gates, doors, and assets, that will be present at the event.
Aside from crowd size, you also need to consider the size of the venue. Even with fewer attendees, if they are spread out among a large space, you’ll need some extra guards to keep an eye on everyone at once. If you have a lot of expensive gear at the event, consider extra security to keep that safe as well. Likewise, any vulnerable personnel (like guest speakers) may need security of their own.
If you have a very small event (under 10 guests), you may not need a guard at all. Instead, event organizers should have no trouble staying on top of things. Of course the exception to this is if the small event has high profile individuals But, for events any larger than that, you’ll need to begin to think about security. For events ranging from 10 to 50 guests, one to four guards will usually do.
For events ranging from 50 to 250 people, you should consider between four to twelve guards. For those ranging from 250 to 1,000 people, consider up to thirty guards. Remember, the event type that you’re hosting may also raise the need for additional guards beyond these suggestions. It depends on the crowd and type of access. After all, there are more risks associated with a public event than with a corporate or private event.
Once you know how many guards you need for your event, you also need to consider the type of security guards you employ. Some events will call for armed guards while others may only need unarmed guards for protection.
You should also consult with the security company to determine whether uniformed or plain-clothed personnel are best for your event. In many situations, you may need a mixture of both to achieve the safest environment. For special events, monitoring devices and other equipment may need to be setup.
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