Since the onset of the pandemic, businesses have faced a huge risk.
Companies that relied on in-person events had to quickly conquer the learning curve of facilitating online conferences and virtual events. Today, as companies and groups worldwide face the possibility of ongoing online event management, most realize their quick implementations aren’t long-term solutions, especially as hybrid events become more popular.
At SpotMe, we are hybrid and virtual event experts.
Hybrid meetings are a whole different animal, because they require both in-person and online management processes. As many companies recognize the value of offering both versions of an event, it’s important to consider how to set things up to keep people safe. When it comes to offering hybrid meetings, here are some of the main event security measures to apply.
What are the Security Measures Needed for a Digital or Hybrid Event?
Security at an event is fairly straightforward when it’s fully in-person or fully virtual. But combining the two through hosting a hybrid event brings a whole new set of considerations. Follow these event security tips to encourage physical safety, technological security, and health standards for all attendees, whether virtual or in person.
Physical Security at Hybrid Events
Hybrid events include in-person interactions, which may be subject to federal regulations, CDC recommendations, and even event space specific health and safety protocol. Here are some tips to cover all of your bases.
Employ In-Person Security Personnel
For any event people physically attend, employing a professional, on-site security team is crucial. Some event centers provide their own security guards and managers to make sure every part of the event runs smoothly with minimal disruption or threats. Other times, depending on the event location, you might need to hire security from a third party, or provide your own safety personnel.
With hybrid events, the security guards ensure the safety of the on-site portion. They can also keep in communication with digital event leaders in case any emergency occurs which interrupts or affects the event.
Registration and Admission Management
Proper event safety begins at the admissions desk. For smaller events, this means upholding the minimum security standards that each member has a valid ticket, is visually assessed for signs of illness or risk, and perhaps shows a legal form of identification, if required. For larger-scale events, the admission process may require a valid ticket and identification, the searching of bags or purses for any threatening objects, and any necessary health evaluations.
Here are some of the firsthand details for managing admissions:
- Establish and train admissions staff on protocols for guest entry.
- Have a plan for what to do with anyone attempting dishonest admission.
- Ensure designated safety “hot points” throughout the venue.
- Surround security guards at all possible openings of the venue.
To get a 6-month practical, step-by-step guide on how to organize a hybrid event, see Hybrid event planning: an executive guide and 6-month practical plan.
Video Surveillance at Entry and Exit Points
Some of the biggest hazards present themselves at the entry and exit of the event. While the above-mentioned steps can help with secure admissions, having video surveillance on-site can maintain extra security. A bird-eye viewer can spot suspicious behavior or safety hazards from a different perspective that security guards may not be able to sense. Video surveillance can be conducted on-site or at a safe, private, off-site location.
Digital Security Procedures for an Event
While there is some risk that captured footage or photos would violate an individual’s privacy who is attending an in-person event, the issue of data and identity security in online events is paramount. People who are logging in from multiple locations, and potentially around the world, represent a cybersecurity risk. Take care of this and any other digital security issues by implementing procedures like these.
Ensure Encrypted Privacy
One of the biggest concerns for people considering an online event revolves around data security and privacy. Using a digital platform that ensures total control of information and data can encourage higher attendance. It also provides high-quality security where user information will not be sold, manipulated, or tampered with by any outside players.
Abide by Registration Security Standards
For hybrid conferences or events, you may want to consider implementing some type of registration security. Filtering the registration of users online can raise awareness of any red flags in the registration process, such as hacking during the payment process.
Other security warning signs can be caught early with registration filtration. Perhaps an unknown individual purchases a large number of tickets. Sometimes, if there is sensitive information being shared at an online event or a scheduled speaker is known for holding controversial views, outsiders may attempt to disrupt the event.
Use a Trusted Event Hosting Platform
Using a platform specifically designed for hybrid events is one of the best ways to ensure digital security. Apps like SpotMe allow full event management of both physical and digital facets. Not only does it offer data safety features, but it also supports better virtual audience engagement, letting hosts achieve optimal interaction and communication among attendees.
Questions about SpotMe? Talk to our sales team to check it out.
Health-Related Event Security Tips to Keep in Mind
Health and safety is a topmost priority for in-person events. Going above and beyond to set up check-ins and support whatever state or city recs are in place is key. People need to feel confident that they’ll be safe, and this isn’t a step to skip or be lax about. Here are the most essential components of hosting a live event that keeps people healthy.
Know the Local, State, and Federal Regulations
First, know the rules. Especially if your event is large, you need to understand the actual rules in your area, and then over-communicate how you are complying with those standards.
It’s likely you’re going to have to activate proper safety and sanitation protocol like these:
- Cleanup and sanitation
- Emergency health response team
- Waste management
- Disinfectant routines
- Chemical control
Because the world is still concerned about COVID-19 and social gatherings, knowing the necessary precautions is the first step to ensuring health-related security for hybrid events today. Know which guidelines and regulations to abide by at the local, state, and federal levels, and then go above-and-beyond to fall in line.
Health Screenings During Admissions Processing
Avoid health risks and liability by implementing health screenings. COVID-19-related health screenings prevent the spread of illness among attendees by limiting access to only those who are not experiencing any symptoms. Now that even more extreme measures can be added, such as vaccine passports, work with your event planning team to set up the necessary requirements for admission.
Encourage Social Distancing
Once attendees are present at the event, encourage social distancing by spacing out the seats, designating 6-feet markers in line, and providing signage throughout the event directing people to socially distance.
Thinking about the next step of your event planning checklist? Consider your event sponsorship plan!
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Creating An Event Security Plan
Event planning means setting up a full security plan for all possible situations, especially when hosting a hybrid event. Asking these questions when creating your plan will help your team develop adequate security that ticks all of the boxes.
1. What Are the Biggest Threats?
Consider the biggest threats to both the digital event and physical attendance.
Direct and indirect physical security threats include:
- Safety and structure of the building or venue
- Fire hazards
- Weapons or violence
- Theft, robbery, or fraudulent attempts
- Natural disasters
- Emergency evacuation failures
- Power backup failure
- Technological failures
- Health risks
- Parking lot dangers
Digital threats are usually more direct than indirect. Some of the biggest risks include:
- Hackers and data breaches
- Insufficient connections
- Payment processing failures
- Anonymous internet bullies or “trolls”
Make sure your security plan accounts for in-depth emergency and conflict resolution for both real-life and digital event arenas.
2. Who is Your Audience?
The best security practices take into account the types of people who will be attending the event. Some events are catered toward families and everyday people, while others are catered toward executive leaders or people of influence. Different demographics may require more or less extensive levels of security, so knowing who the audience is can shape the most ideal approach to event management, from marketing to safety.
Want more advice on how to define your audience? Check out The Event Marketing Show host, Mike Carroll’s conversation with Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, founder and CEO of EventMind, as they discuss the differences between an audience and a community.
3. Where is Data Stored?
What happens to the data collected from those who register for a hybrid event? Know where the data goes, who controls it, and where it gets stored when the event ends. These days, a majority of society is highly aware of data as a valuable commodity. If you want your audience to have a secure, enjoyable, memorable event experience, remain transparent about what happens with their personal information.
If you’re a pharma company, you know the importance of following compliance regulations when running events. To discover more about event compliance, read out article where we bust 5 myths in the pharma industry.
Implement Security Measures That Matter for Your Next Digital or Hybrid Event
To ensure total security and safety for your next hybrid event, consider an all-inclusive event management platform to cover all the steps. These types of software are powerful in that they allow custom security settings as well as attendee management, planner communication, seamless integration with marketing software, and more.
SpotMe.com features the best hybrid event security and privacy for digital members and in-person operations. Book a free demo to get started with the event app for every type of audience today.