The arrival of fine weather marks the beginning of the period of outdoor events: festive, cultural, or sporting in nature, they attract several thousand participants each year.
In the same way as for indoor events, these gatherings require a comprehensive security event management plan, including private security officers and high-performance surveillance equipment to ensure the smooth running of the event and guarantee the protection of property and the public.
Successfully securing a sporting or cultural event
While France is at the forefront of organizing major international events, such as the hosting of the
Rugby World Cup in 2023 or the Summer Olympics in 2024, it also sees many events taking place throughout the year.
Concerts or open-air shows, sports events, fairs, unpacking sales… the list of events bringing together the public for festive, cultural, or sporting purposes is long.
These events, which vary in size, attract hundreds or often thousands of people and mobilize a large number of security officers, up to several hundred on a place such as the Stade de France.
To design, dimension and implement a security plan adapted to each context, several parameters must be considered:
- The number of participants expected
- The conditions of the event
- The nature of the activities
- The location of the event (enclosed open space, on the public highway, on a heritage site etc.)
The organizer’s responsibility is therefore to combine the notions of safety (all measures to prevent accidental risks) and security (the prevention of intentional acts harming property or people) into an appropriate risk management plan.
These two approaches, although complementary, meet specific requirements; they are carried out by qualified teams who can be significantly assisted in their mission by the integration of innovative surveillance systems.
What is the role of a security officer deployed during an event?
The mobilization of qualified security guards is essential for the smooth running of an event.
In order to manage the flows correctly, these experts put in place various means to avoid crowd movements at all costs: creation of a traffic plan, guarding entry points, planning of entrances and exits, securing access to toilets and exits…
Their mission of reception and control leads to various checks on the attendees, such as filtering at gates, counting to respect the security gauge, or palpation to detect and confiscate any illicit or dangerous object on the premises.
Responsibilities of security officers include general and technical surveillance, along with prevention of all potential accidents and malicious acts: observation, detection and suitable action are key duties. In case of a suspicious activity, whether triggered by an agent’s observation or a sensor alarm, the security officer needs to characterize the threat and to react accordingly. A small-scale event can mobilize less personnel in the field thanks to the monitoring of video streams from a security center.
Eventually specialized officers in fire prevention will pay particular attention to the respect of safety measures, to avoid fire outbreaks and by carrying out various controls such as the clearing of emergency exits or the presence of fire extinguishers.
What are the regulations for event security?
As an event organizer, you are responsible for the safety of the participants, and this requires compliance with the regulations in force.
Therefore, ensuring the security of an event requires the seamless coordination of private actors and institutional referents:
- The mayor in his capacity as police authority
- The sub-prefect or the prefect and the “security referral” officers of police
- The private security company selected by the organizer to provide security for the event within the perimeter and the surroundings of the site.
Here are some key points of reference to manage event security:
Comply with legislation relating to public buildings, if applicable
These places, which bring together a large number of people, are subject to specific safety rules (hygiene, reception capacity, etc.) whose application depends on the mayor through his police power.
All buildings and premises in which outsiders are admitted in addition to staff are considered as public buildings; whether access is paid or free-of-charge, whether restricted or by invitation.
Obtaining the necessary permits (example for France):
- Application to open a public building at the Town Hall
- At the same time as the application: complete file (layout plan, installation plan, safety notice, etc.) to be sent to the Fire Brigade Prevention Service for the opinion of the SDIS Safety Commission.
- Declaration to the Prefecture of certain events (public road sports events, motorized or nautical sports events, sports events with prize-giving ceremonies, aerial events, fairs, exhibitions, flea markets and garage sales of more than 300m2).
Providing first aid post
According to the number of attendees, it is legally required to put first aid personnel on duty, in order to provide medical assistance in a suitable area. Clearly signposted, this first aid post can be manned by an approved civil protection organization such as the local Red Cross branch.
What are the risks of an event and how can they be prevented?
Regardless of the nature of the gathering, there are generally three common characteristics: financial and organizational stakes, a large crowd present at the same time and over a defined period of time, and a high sensitivity to risk.
These risks can be multiple: crowd movements, accidents, fire, attacks, malicious intents… The preparation phase is used precisely to identify the specific needs of the event, along with the and possible threats and vulnerabilities. This analysis will enable the definition of an appropriate security management plan, by sizing the resources required.
Various surveillance, vigilance and control measures can be implemented: access control, management of the flow of people and vehicles on the site, use of video surveillance and organization of the viewing centre.
In addition to setting up a comprehensive surveillance plan, it may be useful to protect queues and restrict the number of accesses to simplify entry and exit controls. Checking the conformity of emergency exits and fire equipment will also reinforce your security arrangements; just like keeping premises clear will avoid any confusion and the deposit of parcel bombs.
Finally, monitoring property and facilities, but above all spotting suspicious activity, detecting unusual situations, and preventing crowd movements are all essential activities to ensure that the event runs smoothly and that participants are provided with the best possible security and protection.
The tethered drone, Tonner Drones’ solution for event security
In recent years, security systems have benefited from technological innovations that have enabled professionals to become more effective in their mission. Among these innovations, the tethered drone has become an essential component, contributing to the optimal security of events alongside the usual technical and human resources.
Collecting reliable information in real time to adapt the response to the risk is one of the main challenges of securing an outdoor event; especially if it gathers many participants or takes place in an extended venue.
By providing continuous panoramic surveillance, the ISS SPOTTER® tethered solution is a key asset in the security management plan: as a complement to the teams of field officers, the wired drone provides the command center with a stream of images in real time. Collected by thermal and optical sensors, the images significantly facilitate decision-making.
Tonner Drones’ ISS SPOTTER® technological solution represents a significant advance for the security sector and has already proven its benefits on several key events: Grand Prix de France de Formule 1, La Ferté Alais airshow, Electronic Beaches music festival and NRJ Music Awards in Cannes.
In practice, the aerial mission is carried out by security agents, previously trained as professional remote pilots; using a tethered drone equipped with high-performance cameras, both high definition and thermal, ensures optimal observation of the event, day and night and up to 70m high. Before the surveillance mission, a survey of the site will enable to position the drone at the most strategic point, for an overall view of the site.
Nothing is left to chance: on the day of the event, the flight scenario is clearly established, and the surveillance is active even before the public is admitted.
As soon as visitors arrive on site, the drone helps the organizers to manage the parking areas: control of road traffic, of vehicles flow, of entry and exit flows, etc. With the objective of a smooth and safe customer’s journey.
During the event, the tethered ISS SPOTTER® is fully integrated into the security system: connected to the security headquarters, it provides the teams in place with additional information, in real time and via a secure network. Consequently, enabling appropriate decisions and facilitating the coordination of the resources deployed on the premises.
The ISS SPOTTER® Tethered solution brings performance to the security teams in charge of the event. It reinforces and optimizes safety and protection level, by supporting the technical and human resources usually deployed. Technology and people work smartly together with a single objective: the safety of all.