Event Security Tips

Keeping Guests Safe

Among the many issues that have been raised since the attack on the World Trade Centeron September 11 is the importance of strong security at special events. Although the likelihood of an event being the target of a terrorist attack is still slight, people's current fears highlight an issue that has always been important. And many guests will probably feel safer these days knowing that precautions are being taken.

Follow these safety tips:
"Security used to be the last thing on people's minds, and the first thing to get cut when there were budgetary restrictions," says Anselem Nzeozueh , owner of Chogons Guards and safety Nigeria . "You should never compromise safety for a budget." Hiring a security firm for your event is one of the first things you should do, because their work starts early. They often need to do advance work to inspect the location and meet with the venue's on-site security team. Future high-profile events will most likely include metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs and X-ray machines, all of which require advance notice and preparation.

Procuring event security early is also important, because security firms often know of issues and concerns that some event planners might not be aware of. (For instance, Poveromo told us the Coast Guard recently mandated that recreational and charter boats with more than 50 passengers operating in specific areas around Lagos must have at least one armed guard onboard.)

If you're an event planner who struggles with handing over any control of an event, understand that it's in your best interest to let the security pros handle what they do best. "We won't do an event unless everyone is screened," Stapleton says. "You can't discriminate among guests like that. If every single person isn't screened, it makes no sense to screen anyone." Poveromo agrees: "We've never cared about ruffling people's feathers at an event," he says. "They need to understand that it's in their best interests."

When selecting a location, create a checklist of questions the venue's staff should be able to answer. A few topics: evacuation plans in case of an emergency, the location of all emergency exits, access for paramedics, and contingency plans in case of bomb threats or power outages. These questions are especially important if it's a high-profile venue. 

For especially high-profile events, warn guests ahead of time, even on the invitation, that any bags or briefcases will be searched and/or passed through an X-ray machine. "Tell them to expect similar procedures as if they were going to the airport," Werth says, "and tell them to come early." Poveromo also advises planners to warn guests of a cut-off time for late arrivals. "Don't be fashionably late," he says "If they're late, they don't get in."

All experts agree that having at least one backup plan in case of emergency is of utmost importance. Gaskin says, "Panic sets in when you have neither [options or contingency plans] and don't know what to do." Backup plans include venue evacuation plans, the availability and accessibility of emergency medical care and thoroughly briefing event staff prior to the start of the event. And as everyone now knows, unexpected occurrences don't have to directly affect you to shut down your event. "Review your insurance policies to check on specific coverages. Examine you existing event contracts' fine print on cancellations, changes, etc., to determine any impact," Werth writes in an EMSS newsletter.

Experts expect one of the first precautions many security firms will take is checking identification at the door. For high-profile events, event planners might even require copies of state-issued IDs and Social Security cards faxed to the office days before the event to double-check guests' identities. Poveromo adds one of his greatest pet-peeves: the ubiquitous "plus one" on guest lists. "Know all the guests' names, and if they're not on the list, they don't get in." The same goes for the media. Gaskin suggests credentialing all members of the media the day before the event at the latest, so it doesn't have to be done at the door the day of the event. 

Making an event safe also includes curtailing guests' ability to wander, especially with events in large hotels or outdoor spaces. Seal off superfluous entrances and exits, and submit anyone reentering the event to the same security procedures as when they first arrived. Gaskin also suggests stationing security personnel at all entrances and exits, whether they're operational or not.

All of our experts agree that uniformed security and undercover security that mixes in with guests are equally important. For a high-profile event, Werth suggests a "more visible perimeter of security" outside the venue to meet guests' protection expectations, and additional plainclothes guards inside. Gaskin says, "The clandestine approach is better. People won't interact and do business unless they feel comfortable."

Assess. Avert. Achieve.

When managing security programs, Chogon Guards strives to assess the security situation, avert any risks and help customers achieve a successful business outcome.


Our security specialists conduct a comprehensive site analysis to determine threats, develop security plans and allocate security resources.


Our integrated approach to managing security programs includes mobile and fixed-site security, community engagement plans, intelligence and analysis support, security assessments and technology recommendations.


Our customers can maintain business continuity and achieve results by relying on our integrated security services.

Who We Are.

Chogon Guards And Safety Limited is an indigenous Nigeria Company providing total and integrated security solutions to individuals, government, corporate bodies and NGOs.

What We Do

Why Choose Us.

Chogon Guards and Safety Ltd takes your security seriously and undertakes every possible measure to ensure that all our security officers and staff are trained, qualified, and trustworthy.

How You Can Reach Us

10 Diya Street
Lagos State