Event Security is Paramount for Protecting Your Brand
Security Must be Part of the Event Planning Process
Event security and brand protection may seem like opposite concerns for marketers, but the two are very closely related in today’s world. Your big event is about to kick-off. You and your team have been planning diligently for months, maybe even years for this moment. Everything is ready, from the catering and the presentations to the security plan, correct? In today’s world it is crucial that security is included early in the event management process. A security issue can be a nightmare for a company’s brand, which may be valued at billions of dollars or is just being built. No matter how valuable your brand currently is, it is critical to protect it by preparing for the unexpected.
Pre-Planning Stage of Event Management
The first step to protecting your event as well as your brand is to engage in extensive pre-event planning, which includes security measures. “It is never too early to think about security for an event,” according to Nancy Minard, President and Founder of Minard Planners. “The first step in planning for an event is the selection of a venue. Part of the venue evaluation process should include security and if it meets your event’s objectives. You need to ask questions about security before you go to contract.” Once the location is selected, it is important to determine which agency has jurisdiction and establish the proper security protocol. This protocol must be included in an effective crisis management plan that is followed by employees, contractors and volunteers. Contingency planning must be part of the process too. Finally, during this pre-event planning phase involve Legal and review your insurance needs.
Technology can Help A Company Meet its Security and Brand Goals
During the first critical step of venue selection you should investigate the technology that has been deployed at the location also and how it can enhance security for your event. Many venues, from major convention centers to hotels, have deployed different technologies, which not only bode well for the client’s event and brand, but for the venue owner’s brand too.
Today almost half of the world’s population or approximately 4.4 billion people use cell phones and it is projected to grow to over 5 billion users by 2019.1 Many of these users expect strong wireless coverage even in large venues. Regardless of the number of attendees at an event and the amount of voice and data traffic being transmitted wireless coverage must be available. To ensure this happens, owners of sports arenas, convention centers, and hotels often deploy a distributed antenna system, better known as a DAS, to meet the coverage and capacity demands in their venues and even in the surrounding parking lots. When a crisis occurs people immediately reach for their cell phones to share text, voice and video messages. Lack of coverage can lead to increased hysteria and mayhem. With a DAS solution attendees as well as first responders can be assured connectivity will be available during a critical situation.
According to Jim Wurm, Executive Director at the Exhibit and Event Marketers Association, “Technology must be cost-effective too. This can be accomplished when a technology fulfills multiple functions for various departments.”
Todd Landry, Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy at JMA Wireless comes across this concern with his company’s clients. “Last year we deployed a DAS solution at Levi’s® Stadium. This system provides great cellular coverage for fans, but it also has separate signals configured for the public safety organization. The goal is to provide fans with the best possible mobile experience, and as a result we also give them and the safety team the capacity to make calls in an emergency.”
Social media monitoring software is another cutting-edge technology that is a key resource for securing events. “Millions of users post a variety of messages, photos and videos on social media sites everyday. This intelligence is posted before and during events and leads to enhanced situational awareness,” according to Dave Weisz, public safety consultant and former head of Sports Marketing for Motorola. “Venue owners use a social media monitoring platform to gather specific public posts that are occurring right in and around their building. This information is then tracked and analyzed for any suspicious activity.”
Social media monitoring also serves a dual purpose. The technology not only helps to provide peace of mind to venue owners and in turn event planners, but it also supplies key marketing information about a company’s brand. Actually, it is a critical event management tool. It can be used to monitor special events, drive traffic to venues, understand the overall brand experience, and more.
Can Your Brand Recover from a Crisis?
Unfortunately, negative situations occur every day at events. In order for your brand not to be adversely impacted, security must be a key component of event management activities from the very beginning. Sponsors of events as well as the company actually hosting the event must have effective crisis management plans in place. Clear lines of communication must be established in the event of an emergency. Daily briefings must be conducted at the beginning and end of every day to review all incidents with the team. With proper event management, a negative experience can be turned into a positive one for a brand. No matter how dire a situation may seem it is crucial to acknowledge it and keep the public informed. Media attention highlighting how well a company managed a crisis can actually help an organization’s brand and bring it to the forefront. This attention should be viewed as an opportunity to build a brand’s core values such as trust and excellence.
When planning your event, security cannot be an afterthought. Include it as a topic early in the event management process, and you will be able to relieve your worries concerning the security of your event and the protection of your brand.
diamonddog Strategic Marketing Services is a global full-service marketing firm located in the suburbs of Chicago. We pride ourselves on being a one stop shop for all of our clients’ traditional and digital marketing needs.
Give us a call at 847-269-1422 to discuss how we can help you to achieve your event management goals.
January 24, 2021