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How to Ensure Vendor and Attendee Safety

Meeting planners certainly don’t have to be experts in security, but being prepared is key. Start with the venue. Below is a list of items your venue should have to ensure the safety of your vendors and attendees:

  1. Emergency Action Plan: Where to go in case of severe weather, evacuation routes, chain of command and clearly outlined roles of all involved to safely get your guests to the appropriate location.
  2. On-site Security/Event Staff: dock security, badge checkers, overnight security, emergency medical technician/paramedic. Your staffing needs will vary depending on the nature of your event. Enlist the help of your venue’s trained staff.
  3. Emergency Equipment: fire extinguishers, first aid kits, AED machines and oxygen. Check on all these things you hope you never need, but you will need to know their locations. Ensure venue staff knows how to properly operate these items in the event of an emergency.

The next step involves you, the planner. Security needs to be a part of your planning process as well. Add it to the list along with food & beverage, print materials, room sets, speaker agendas, etc. Keep the following details in mind when making plans for the safety of your event:

  1. Take the venues Emergency Action Plan and distribute it to your attendees. Print it in your conference program. The more information your vendors and attendees have about what to do in the event in the emergency the more safe they will feel. Identify specifics roles and explain who is in charge from your staff for specific situations.
  2. Provide your venue with any potential security risks: disgruntled employee, VIP guests, past instances that could repeat themselves at your event.
  3. Hand out badges for vendors, attendees and staff. This will help the venue staff identify imposters.
  4. Have all vendors show proof of liability and theft insurance.
  5. Secure information: lock work stations, shred confidential information that is no longer needed and secure meeting rooms when not in use.
  6. If providing your own security staff, check with local laws and ordinances to make sure your staff has the proper licensing to perform “security” duties. Your venue should be able to assist with this information as well.

A successful event is all about the planning.  While you don’t have to be a security expert doing the work in advance will minimize potential risks for everyone.

Shura Garnett is regional vice president for Global Spectrum, a public assembly facility management company with more than 105 facilities in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Facilities managed by Global Spectrum host a variety of entertainment, sports, tradeshows, performing arts and other special events. Global Spectrum focuses on establishing partnerships with its venue owners and event organizers. Call 888-456-2599 or visit for more information.