“History dictates that major events are often seen as legitimate targets by terrorists and protestors. Planners and event owners need to keep up to date with security all the time – not just when a threat or attack occurs.”
Talking to Pete Murphy about event security is a sobering task. He certainly doesn’t pull his punches and who would expect him to?
As co-founder of Priavo Security and a speaker at IMEX in Frankfurt this year, Pete is perfectly placed to address this sensitive but business-critical subject. He has over 20 years’ experience across the government and private security sectors plus a commendable service within UK Special Forces. The result is that Priavo now provides a variety of security services to many corporations and large-scale live events, particularly music festivals.
So, in the spirit of sharing an expert’s well-informed opinion on a very serious subject, we asked Pete to tell us more about how to approach event planning security with confidence – and purpose.
“It’s only a year after the Brussels and Paris incidents which prompted increased appreciation of, and attention to, security risks. Yet, too many organisations are already cutting corners and budgets on security, says Murphy. “It’ll be interesting to see if the recent Westminster attack has changed attitudes again.”
‘’Event organisers are having to think outside of their expertise and remit. It’s so important to find someone to champion security concerns within your organisation and identify areas where you may have gaps.’’
The problem is it’s ‘an invisible cost’
“Security is considered by some to be an ‘invisible cost’. This doesn’t make it any less vital but does drive managers to think there’s no harm in cutting corners.”
At IMEX in Frankfurt, under the title ‘Event security challenges in an elevated security climate,’ Pete will explain why security should remain a key consideration. Elevated is perhaps an understatement and it’s easy to underestimate the spread of threats.
“The security climate is deteriorating and there’s no sign of a let up. We have witnessed many high profile ‘lone wolf’ attacks targeting crowds, events and public venues creating mass casualties in recent months. It’s highly probable we’ll see further similar attacks globally in the coming years.
As Murphy points out, the internet and social media have become tools for spreading terror and disruption. Furthermore, he says, cyber security threats and hacking are now real threats to businesses. Times have changed!
“So, what are some of the mistakes to avoid and lessons that you’ll be sharing with your audiences in Frankfurt?” We asked Pete.
Risk mitigation can give organisers a competitive edge
“Many event organisers avoid certain regions due to their perceived risks, where in fact they can operate if the risk is managed correctly. Risk mitigation can give organisers a competitive edge and allow events in more creative destinations, emerging markets or in lower cost places not previously considered due to the perceived risk.
‘’Each event is unique as are the threats and risks posed to that event. An event in Paris poses very different risks to an event in Cape Town. Any event decision and solution should depend on a comprehensive Threat Assessment to evaluate potential risks and vulnerabilities. A variety of tailored security services can then be employed to mitigate your risk.
“Finally. organisers should not just rely on venues/ hosts to provide reliable security. They should carry out their own due diligence on suppliers, venues, people and their procedures”.
Meet, hear and talk to Pete Murphy on EduMonday 15 May (prior to IMEX in Frankfurt opening) and during the show on the Inspiration Hub (stand no. G680).