In the wake of the suicide bomb detonation that claimed 23 lives and injured another 500 at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, as well as the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas claiming 58 lives and injuring another 546, event locales have been forced into high security alert-mode. Having robust security measures in place to keep attendees, crews, and employees safe is now a crucial segment of planning any major event.
While metal detectors and bag checks are already common at these venues, considering these tragic events, venue design and event planning has had to evolve dramatically. Lighting is being improved and more advanced security cameras are being installed so that law enforcement and security guards can more easily identify potential threats. In addition, federal, local and state agencies are now on board to lend assistance at these shows. Furthermore, digital signage that can disseminate video or audio messages to instruct crowds in emergency scenarios is now a major venue design factor. However, educating event and safety employees in terms of physical security and awareness has become priority one.
For event crews, security analysis is just part of the job. Lance Gordon, Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Soundcheck Technologies, a company that provides sound and audio-visual elements for concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment facilities has spent a career in this space.
“Bomb-sniffing dogs usually reconnoiter arenas before vendors are allowed in, and then crews are processed through metal detectors upon entering. However, as vendors, we are very protective of our clients and their audiences,” Gordon said. “During set up, we are highly aware of our surroundings and other crews. We have each other’s backs and take notice of anyone who shouldn’t be on-site. When crowds begin to filter in, we watch for people that look like they may be a problem and notify security immediately. No one asks us to do that; we just want to make sure everyone is safe.”
Regardless, show organizers and event planners incur extreme liability risk at these events and must secure both patron and attendee safety if they want to ensure that audiences return.