Convention & Trade Show Tips
Since the tragic events of 9/11, security has been at the forefront of everyone's mind. We have daily reminders of it, but then we often overlook those same precautions at our trade shows and conventions. We are turning our events over to people we don't know. We trust them to look after our venues, booths and products and give them total access. When you are dealing with security firms, find out what it is that you are really getting. Here are some additional questions to add to your check list.
Q. Are they licensed and insured?
A. You'll want to make sure they carry enough coverage in the event something does go wrong. Many venues have a minimum coverage and you'll need to make sure they meet those requirements.
The city or state may have specific business licenses that need to be verified to ensure they are current.
Q. How long have they been in business?
A. Although many start-up companies are terrific, you'll want to make sure they have the necessary experience and personnel to handle your event. Remember, price should not always be the determining factor and you may only get what you paid for.
Q. What other events have they staffed?
A. It won't help your trade show/convention if the only events they have staffed are sporting events or street fairs. Every type of event has unique requirements, especially meetings and conferences.
Q. Do they have a relationship with local authorities/police?
A. Do the police cooperate with them in planning emergency procedures? Do they respond in a timely manner? If there is ever a need for additional support, you'll want a firm that can get results.
Q. What are their practices regarding 'ghosting?'
A. Sometimes you are promised more than you get. Staff and guards are pulling double duty to cover shortfalls.
Q. What training does their staff have?
A. You'll want their staff to have covered such basics as; customer service, disability awareness and cultural diversity awareness to name a few.
Q. What credentials do their guards have?
A. There is a difference between staff and guards. Not only in their credentials but in the training they receive.
Q. Will there be continuous coverage?
A. Often times, security or staff is cut during normal hours of exhibit operations. You'll want to know who is going to be there and when.
Q. Do they offer individual booth security as well as the exhibit hall and meeting rooms?
A. You may not care if someone takes a stress ball as a promotional item, but you do care if they take your confidential pricing notebook. Make sure your guards know what the patrons can take.
Q. Do they provide you with an inventory of the equipment they will be monitoring?
A. If your booth/venue has high-tech items, computers/laptops, important display items, you can't really leave it to chance that they will be there when you return from your break. Make sure nothing goes missing in your absence.
Q. Who will be your point of contact?
A. It's a waste of your valuable time to go searching for someone who can answer your questions. You need to have a single point of contact throughout the trade show/convention for all your concerns.
Special Event Tips
These are just some of the questions you will want answered in order to prevent any loss of merchandise, security risks or possible litigation. Johnson & Associates, your Nationwide Security Management Consultants, can handle these and other security issues for your event. For additional information on our services, call 1-800-496-0182.
Many planners assume that if the security agency has good references, a good listing with BBB or comes through a referral that the agency will be qualified to meet their needs. They are unaware that every venue is different.
Depending upon your venue, minimum insurance coverage can range from 1 million to over 5 million. Security companies generally carry a basic coverage of 2 million. You just need to make sure that they get additional coverage for that venue. Their insurance broker can explain to them how to do it, but you'll want a copy of their addendum to show to the venue. Otherwise you could be in for a rude surprise when the venue refuses to allow your security on site.
Johnson & Associates, your Nationwide Security Management Consultants, can handle these and other security issues for your event. For a free consultation and additioanll information on our professional security tips, call 1-800-496-0182.