4 Ways to Step Up Security at Holiday Eventsplanning ahead // on Tuesday November 15, 2016
As the holiday season approaches, your organization is likely gearing up for Christmas programs and other seasonal activities. These events tend to draw a lot of nonmembers, and while it's important to make guests feel welcome, you don't want to roll out the welcome mat for thieves.
The best way to prevent theft is to include security in your event-planning conversations, says Tom Strong, senior loss control manager at GuideOne Insurance. "Preparation is key," Strong says. "If you have a plan to control the situation, there will be a better outcome." Assemble and train a team of trustworthy volunteers, then put the following security safeguards in place:
1. Establish a presence. Strong recommends that volunteers wear matching T-shirts in an eye-catching color so attendees will know who to ask for help – and so potential thieves will know they're being watched. "Physical presence is a big deterrent," Strong says.
2. Watch the doors. Only unlock entrances you know you'll use. When you're carrying items in and out of the building before and after the event, have a volunteer monitor the door to prevent someone from sneaking in. Make sure the building is locked when you leave.
3. Call attention to approved areas. Close off and lock up areas of the building that are off-limits, and "use signage to point guests in the right direction," Strong says. Assign a volunteer to monitor the building during the event in case someone gets lost or ventures where they shouldn't be.
4. Secure valuables. Collect money in tamper-proof bags, and deposit or lock up cash immediately after the event based on your organization's money-handling procedures.
Taking these precautions will help ensure your holiday events are as joyful as you intended for everyone involved – the event planners, volunteers and attendees.