Event Security Education [Nicola Hutchby]

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the C&IT Forum at the Langham Hotel in London. I enjoyed the event immensely; networking with like-minded event professionals and finding out about event industry trends and topics for 2019.

Having worked in the events industry for over twenty years I have undertaken lots of training courses and witnessed many technological advances and creative developments but I have never lost sight of my key learning when planning an event for any client: ‘listening’. Ensuring that you have captured the vision and understand what your client is trying to achieve is key to success.

But what happens when a client tries to cut corners that could potentially compromise safety? Do you force the issue? I had this very conversation with a couple of the delegates that I met at C&IT and it would seem that it’s a very sticky subject.

Creating and planning an event involves significant logistical coordination, particularly when working across multiple destinations and complex environments. Industry white papers and studies have highlighted that delegate safety is again at the top of the agenda for 2019. But where can event professionals research ‘duty of care’ and ‘travel risk management’ obligations in order to advise clients correctly?

Over lunch, I chatted through my job role to an events group that I was dining with.  They were quite shocked to learn that had not fully considered the extent of their ‘duty of care’ to travellers, team member and delegates when organising recent events – with no venue risk assessments, in-country travel risk checks or crisis management plans in place should an incident happen.

It would appear that greater ‘risk management’ education is needed across the events industry.  Gaining an understanding of potential security issues and pitfalls facing your event is crucial for effectively mitigating risk for your delegates and travellers. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about venue security or risks during travel in medium to high risk areas – cyber security, environmental problems, political protests and medical issues all need due consideration (to name a few).

I  believe that sharing information is hugely beneficial because ‘not knowing where to start’ can be daunting. I have personally learnt so much since moving into the ‘Event Security’ sector and although I have observed an increase in security awareness, there are still major gaps in event security. Many event profs I speak to do not realise that this falls under their remit, they often don’t know where to start gathering security information. 

That’s why I am passionate about educating the events industry about potential risks.  In the last 12 months, Priavo have spoken at Confex and IMEX, written various advisory white papers and continue to offer complimentary ‘Travel Risk Management’ training days with our in-house expert Riz Omar.

The team here at Priavo are also running Crisis Management training. These short sessions aim to identify any internal challenges, develop strategies  for managing real-time issues and processes to ensure you are ‘crisis ready’. These are complimentary to anyone in my network although limited spaces apply. If you would like to find out more about training, event security and risk management please contact me directly I would be happy to help.