Tag Archives: Event Security

Brits “too scared” to attend events in wake of heightened security risks

Four-in-ten people now fear for their safety at public events like music concerts and Christmas markets in the wake of recent terror attacks, new research has found. A report produced by ATG Access states that these worries are so high for some people it’s actively preventing them from attending public events altogether.

29% of the public said they now will not go to large events taking place in the UK due to concerns around the levels of security in place. Two-fifths (41%) of individuals also said they’ll not attend events if they think they will be overcrowded through fear that it would be harder to leave if an incident was to occur.

Residents in London and the West Midlands are most worried about event safety, with 46% of people in each region expressing this concern. Overriding worries are also echoed in the North West (42%), where attacks have recently taken place, and in Northern Ireland (41%) and Scotland (37%).

Concerns around overcrowding are at the highest in the East Midlands (57%), followed by London (46%), the South East (46%), Wales (44%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (40%).

ATGAccessEventSecurityReport

The study was conducted as part of ATG Access’ ‘Protecting the Future of Multifunctional Cities’ report, which looks at how cities in the UK are being transformed into bustling multi-functional spaces, and the obstacles that are preventing public events from taking place.

Gavin Hepburn, sales and marketing director at ATG Access, said: “While there are numerous benefits to hosting events, there are of course some concerns that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, the worries around security come as little surprise given the increased number of terrorist attacks we’ve seen on our streets over recent years, with busy areas and tourist attractions often being the targets. Reservations around overcrowding are also connected to this, due to the increased difficulties of monitoring hundreds, if not thousands of people in one busy area at the same time.”

Hepburn continued: “These worries must be considered by event organisers when planning out the venue, entrance points and layout of the location to make sure that visitors can enjoy the event comfortably. Robust security measures should be put in place at all major events to mitigate against potential attacks and create a greater sense of safety for visitors. This could be through deploying more security personnel on the ground or installing physical security solutions, such as bollards or barriers.”

In conclusion, Hepburn told Risk UK: “Ultimately, if people don’t feel safe at events then they may choose not to attend. This would prevent cities and towns from developing into truly multifunctional spaces that can be used by all. It’s up to the Government to do all it can to make public places safer and deter future incidents from happening. Event organisations must also make sure that security is as robust as it can be such that the public can continue to enjoy organised events and activities in their local area.”

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Showsec cements “strong working relationship” with ‘The Bloodstock Family’

Crowd management and event security specialist Showsec has been praised for the customer-focused approach which has contributed to the success of Bloodstock, one of the UK’s largest dedicated heavy metal festivals which is staged each summer in the Derbyshire countryside.

Founded and organised by the Gregory family, Bloodstock Open Air attracts almost 15,000 heavy metal fans to the grounds of Catton Hall where this year’s line-up featured headline acts Twisted Sister, Mastodon and Slayer over the three days of the event.

The festival is enjoyed as much by Showsec’s team as it is by the audience, such is the atmosphere which has been generated by the biggest independent event of its kind.

“Bloodstock is like a big family gathering each year, and Showsec has certainly added to that great sense of togetherness,” said Adam Gregory, one of the festival’s directors. “Front-of-House contact can define your event because it transmits the feel and the atmosphere. Showsec works well with what we’re trying to achieve in terms of the customer experience, and that helps to enhance a real family vibe right across the whole event. We can engage with Showsec at all management levels. We’re listened to and they deliver.”

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Joe Milner of Showsec (second from right) pictured at Bloodstock with festival directors Vicky Greenfield, Adam Gregory and Rachael Greenfield

Bloodstock is now well established on the heavy metal scene, and Showsec has been instrumental in developing its special atmosphere for the past seven years. Fellow Bloodstock director Rachael Greenfield added: “The relationship has grown much stronger in the time that we’ve engaged Showsec’s services for the festival. They understand our family brilliantly, and the familiar faces which we see within the team makes a big difference in terms of building trust with all parties. The fans feel like they’re coming to see their friends once a year, and I know that many would include members of the Showsec staff among them.”

That was clearly evident from the numerous messages posted on social media after Bloodstock had once again lived up to expectations. “Just nothing but praise for the Bloodstock security,” wrote Stewart Lucas on the festival’s Facebook page. “There are no power trips or egos. They just do their jobs with utter professionalism and total respect for us paying punters.”

Alex Fynney stated: “The best security ever. Good seeing familiar faces each year.” Jo Dark added: “Great work. They are so friendly.”

Many of the Showsec staff on duty at Catton Park have worked there on a number of occasions, some of them regularly travelling across from Wales. “We all look forward to Bloodstock each year,” said Joe Milner, Showsec’s area manager for the East Midlands. “It isn’t just a festival. It’s a community of people who enjoy listening to their favourite music and the other attractions of this event. We’ve all worked together for some time now, and the strength of that relationship is reflected in the festival experience we deliver for the thousands of metal fans who are so loyal to the event and look forward to their time at Catton Park each year.”

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ISC contracted to provide event security support at London’s Victorian Bath House

Integrated Security Consultants (ISC) has been awarded the contract to provide security services to one of the most fascinating, curious and exclusive new venues situated in the heart of London: the recently-opened Victorian Bath House.

Featuring a secluded Victorian Courtyard and many original features, much of the building is situated underground, including a Grade II-listed Bath House, yet it’s located on a busy street close to Liverpool Street Station.

ISC will provide assistance to the event teams at Camm & Hooper, the events space specialist.

The venue, which opened on 1 December last year, will accommodate up to 150 guests and be used for a wide variety of private and corporate events.

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ISC’s role will include providing corporate security officers for all events at the Victorian Bath House. The security team will offer a complete security service in a manner which befits this unique and special venue providing customer excellence.

Justine Shepherd, ISC’s head of operations, said: “We’re excited to be working at The Bath House. ISC will be providing discreet, professional and customer-focused solutions so that everyone involved, from the guests to the event teams and all the other members of staff have the best experience possible. As always, our aim is to keep things running smoothly and safely and to enhance the experience.”

ISC already provides services to two other iconic Camm & Hooper venues: the Banking Hall, situated in the City, which holds events for up to around 800 guests, and the Tanner Warehouse near London Bridge Station (host to a bar, restaurant and venue space).

The company also works on a range of corporate events at Wembley Stadium and provided the security support to hospitality events at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

“Every one of the venues is different, and each event is unique”, explained Shepherd. “We tailor our services accordingly, and will be developing and adapting our provision to ensure maximum customer service.”

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“Best-ever” Bestival ensures summer event season ends on high note for Showsec

The ‘Best-Ever’ Bestival ensured that another busy summer programme of securing and managing crowds at major festivals ended on a high note for Showsec as the company played its part in the success of the ‘Summer of Love’.

Organisers were quick to acclaim the fact that Bestival scaled new heights this year following a spectacular event which once again featured a successful bid to break a world record.

Crowd management and event security specialist Showsec helped to enhance the reputation of what has now become the traditional grand finale to the festival season on the Isle of Wight as the impact of the company’s bespoke crime reduction measures contributed to the overall success of the occasion.

This year’s event, which was themed the ‘Summer of Love’, saw Duran Duran, The Chemical Brothers and Missy Elliott headline the Main Stage on each of the festival’s three show days.

In a continuation of a long association with the Bestival team, Showsec’s summer programme drew to a close in the picturesque surroundings of Robin Hill Country Park, but it’s a link which also includes sister event Camp Bestival and a new addition this year, namely Common People.

Continually looking to raise the bar

“We’re continually exploring ways to raise the bar higher by delivering very special festival experiences for the enjoyment of all concerned,” commented Dave Grindle, the festival manager from Loudsound Productions. “To have the confidence to be that bold and ambitious with your plans, you need to have strong backing from the teams who provide essential parts of the whole operation. In that sense, we’ve developed a long-standing working relationship with Showsec and it’s very important to us to have the support of such a strong team of managers and supervisors.”

Grindle added: “That was most evident again this year and certainly helped us to fulfil our aim of making this Bestival the very best one we’ve run in its twelve-year history.”

A prominent feature of Showsec’s operation was the strong presence of senior management heading up the team throughout the event. While director Mark Logan acted as head of security, three of the company’s regional managers – namely Steve Reynolds, Scott Anderson and Richard Church – took on key responsibilities. Further support was provided by five area managers working across the whole operation.

As well as directing its own operations, Showsec also played an important part in the co-ordination of an army of Oxfam volunteers providing stewarding support.

“The benchmark is set very high by Bestival in terms of customer experience, so it’s important we match that commitment with our level of service,” commented Steve Reynolds, who was the security operations manager within that team for this particular occasion. “It helps that we have grown up with the event due to our long association with both Bestival and Loudsound Productions. We’re familiar with the venue.”

Reynolds went on to state: “Our management team was as strong as it has ever been, with Scott Anderson being an important addition in his capacity as security co-ordinator. This level of managerial expertise and experience proves to be highly significant in terms of our effective liaison with the other agencies fulfilling key roles.”

Working in parallel with Hampshire Constabulary

Nowhere was that more effective, in fact, than when it came to working closely with officers from the Hampshire Constabulary on crime reduction measures designed to help make Bestival 2015 a safe and secure environment.

Hampshire Constabulary reported a 26% drop in the number of reported criminal incidents for this year’s event, while enhanced searches involving Showsec staff, detection dogs and police advisors ensured that substantial quantities of drugs were confiscated at the entrances.

“The reduction in crime is a satisfying reflection of the emphasis which we place on this element of our operation and, indeed, the standardised training many staff have completed to enhance their skills and knowledge in that respect,” added Reynolds. “Having so many individuals within our operation who are very familiar with this event, and indeed enjoy being a part of what is the final stage of a long festival season, ensured that many aspects of our operation ran in a similarly effective way to previous years. There were some differences, most notably the fact that we had a higher number of early arrivals this year into the camp sites ahead of the event.”

Reynolds went on to state: “We also had a camera crew on site for much of the time and this took some planning to ensure they were able to film without too much disruption.”

Among the many other attractions, the world’s largest disco ball was back after successfully achieving an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014, while the unofficial record bid on this occasion saw 446 people become the largest number of buskers to sing a song in one place.

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Showsec praised for ‘superb crowd management operation’ at Parklife 2015 Festival

Showsec has been acclaimed for new crowd management measures which helped to make the Parklife 2015 Festival even bigger and better for attending fans. Thousands flocked to Manchester’s Heaton Park for the music extravaganza which opened with a concert from The Courteeners followed by a spectacular line-up of performers across the weekend.

The crowd management and event security specialist worked with the event organisers and other agencies to provide the best-possible experience for fans who wanted to see the likes of Rudimental, Disclosure, Fatboy Slim and Mark Ronson. Much of that planning was focused on ingress and egress arrangements for the 70,000 revellers who came and went on each of the days of this increasingly popular event.

Jon Drape, event director for Parklife, said: “Mark Logan and the whole Showsec team are an integral part of the Parklife team. They deserve full credit for the success of this year’s festival. The attention to detail and extensive experience shown in the planning phase resulted in a superb operation on the ground.”

Drape added: “We’re very pleased with how everything developed, particularly given the scale of the festival. I think it shows the benefit of all agencies working together.”

Showsec's security operation proved a great success at this year's Parklife Festival

Showsec’s security operation proved a great success at this year’s Parklife Festival

Planning to minimise disruption

The sheer scale of the attendance and the fact that there’s no camping for the visiting public makes Parklife one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Europe. On that basis, there’s necessarily a considerable amount of emphasis placed on ingress and egress to minimise disruption when so many people arrive and then leave in a short space of time.

In his capacity as security director for the event, Showsec’s Mark Logan headed up the planning and then the implementation of the crowd management strategy. One feature was an innovative new queueing system.

“We pride ourselves on being innovative with our delivery systems,” said Logan. “Parklife is a good example of how our planning and preparation can deliver an even higher standard of service for clients and the public. There was a strong focus on the ingress and egress operations in the planning phase for Parklife, and we’re pleased with the impact of the new systems in making passage in and out of the site considerably easier for customers.”

Logan continued: “With the movement of such a high volume of people, particularly at the end of each day, we introduced an additional exit gate and assigned more resources to our crowd management support teams to help with this process. We also designed a holding pen system which cuts down on the length of queues and enables us to control the release of people in stages.”

He added: “Having that measure of control meant we could manage people movement more effectively at a critical time, thus reducing both the amount of congestion in certain areas and the likelihood of a rush developing.”

Showsec deployed more than 2,000 staff across the three days of the event. Alan Wallace (regional manager, North), Mark Wilcock (area manager, Greater Manchester) and Axel Fernandes (operations executive) were key members of the project management team.

‘Royal’ appointment for Showsec in Nottingham 

In addition, Showsec has secured a new agreement to extend a long-standing association with Nottingham’s Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall at what is undoubtedly a time of huge historical significance.

Showsec will continue to provide its services for two of the United Kingdom’s most successful touring venues for three more years. That means the company will play an important role later on this year in the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Theatre Royal which first opened its doors back in Queen Victoria’s reign.

While the Theatre Royal has long been established as an iconic venue in the entertainment world, the Royal Concert Hall also attracts many high-profile events and artists.

“We have been working with the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall for many years now, so we’re delighted to be presented with this fantastic opportunity to extend that association,” commented Joe Milner, Showsec’s area manager in the East Midlands.

“What makes it particularly special is that we will now be playing a part in celebrations of this landmark year for the Theatre Royal which are planned for September. We pride ourselves in offering a high level of customer service to enhance the experience for audiences visiting each of the venues, and this has helped them both to progress to a point where they are very busy in terms of events taking place throughout the year.”

Milner added: “Attracting more than half a million visitors each year, the diverse programme of events for both venues means they are as popular now as they have ever been. That puts them right up there among the leading entertainment venues of their kind in the East Midlands region, if not the whole of the UK.”

Members of the Showsec team at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall

Members of the Showsec team at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall

Smarter image for stewarding and event staff

Last year, the refurbished Royal Concert Hall re-opened on the same night that Showsec staff wore their new three-piece suits for the first time. The smarter, more professional image has certainly been well-received and that has been a contributory factor in the cementing of this long-term association.

Kate Collins, operations director at the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, said: “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Showsec and we look forward to that continuing. A major influence upon the success which we have achieved in recent years has been the strong focus on providing the best possible customer experience and undoubtedly a key element of that is having the right quality of Front of House staff to deliver that service.”

Collins concluded: “It’s important to have the same familiar faces working with us on a regular basis and that makes them feel a part of our team. Showsec understands our requirements. The staff are always helpful and responsive to feedback and they go the extra mile where and when required.”

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Momentous League and Cup ‘double’ in London for event security specialist Showsec

Showsec has completed its own equivalent of football’s coveted ‘double’ by playing a key role in the celebrations for each of the 2014-2015 Barclays Premier League and FA Cup winners. The crowd management and event security specialist mounted a major operation for the victory parade to mark Arsenal’s record-breaking FA Cup triumph at Wembley Stadium just six days after the company had featured prominently in supporting and safeguarding Chelsea’s Premier League victory party ten miles away in West London.

Thousands of jubilant fans lined the streets of the capital to hail their heroes following a season in which the London rivals shared all of the domestic honours – the Premier League and Capital One Cup going to Chelsea, with Arsenal victorious in the FA Cup and Community Shield.

The victory parades gave Showsec another opportunity to demonstrate its capacity to be right at the forefront of delivering safe and secure large-scale public events in the capital, while also affording the Leicester-based business the chance to work closely with both clubs’ management teams as well as other key stakeholders.

In the case of Chelsea’s celebration, Showsec was engaged once again by Innovision, the production company with whom it has worked to deliver safety and security for a number of high-profile occasions, the most recent of which was the third stage of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart last summer.

For Arsenal’s second successive FA Cup triumph, Showsec worked with the north London club to activate an extensive crowd management and security operation within hours of the famous trophy having been presented at Wembley Stadium.

Showsec provided security for Arsenal's FA Cup victory parade in London

Showsec provided security for Arsenal’s FA Cup victory parade in London

Stepping up to the challenge

The strength of the stewarding team fielded on both occasions proved to be a crucial factor in successful project delivery, leaving regional manager Steve Reynolds (who served as head of security for both victory parades) to highlight the way in which key members of the Showsec brigade stepped up to the challenge.

“This was the second successive year that we’ve had the privilege of being involved in these celebrations for the two major winners of domestic honours in English football,” said Reynolds. .”The fact that both events took place within six days of eachother and also coincided with a busy start to our festival season meant that we really had to rely on the strength of the management infrastructure we’ve been developing through our training programmes.”

On that note, Reynolds added: “It was really satisfying to see members of the team step up to the challenge and provide strong leadership for delivery of these events, even when significant challenges were presented to them. In many ways this really demonstrates the calibre of people we have working for us.”

Team effort on both parades

While Dayo Adelugba (Showsec’s area manager for West London) operated in key roles alongside Reynolds on both occasions, operations executives Michael Asimonye (dedicated to the Chelsea event) and Harry Thorn (who worked on the Arsenal victory parade) were given the responsibility of acting as project managers. There was also influential support on hand from many other members of the Showsec operation.

“It required an outstanding team effort for both parades, from all the prior planning and preparation right through to end delivery by every company member on the ground,” explained Adelugba. “The Chelsea parade gave us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Innovision, whom we have worked with on a number of major projects in London, while we once again operated in partnership with Arsenal and their stewarding team for their celebrations.”

Adelugba added: “Both operations also involved close liaison with a number of other agencies in developing a strategy for crowd management, road closures and the creation of an environment which made these events an enjoyable experience for the fans while also being sensitive to members of the local community.”

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Showsec on fast track to more success in wake of Silverstone contract win

Event security and crowd management specialist Showsec has won a new contract with one of the UK’s most iconic sporting venues. The company is now providing its services at Silverstone, the world-renowned home of the Formula One British Grand Prix as well as many other high profile motor racing events in the sporting calendar.

The contract win represents a highly-significant development for Showsec as the company endeavours to develop an even stronger presence within the world of sport.

The greatest events in British motor racing take place at the Northamptonshire circuit during the course of a packed programme which runs from the end of March right through to the beginning of November.

Showsec has won a prestigious security and safety contract at Silverstone

Showsec has won a prestigious security and safety contract at Silverstone

“This is a prestigious opportunity for the company to work with a venue which rightfully enjoys iconic status in the world of sport and, indeed, beyond that arena,” explained Richard Church, Showsec’s regional manager for the Midlands. “We feel privileged to be given this chance of playing a key role in upholding that proud reputation over the busy programme of events which lies ahead, and look forward to this being the start of a long-term relationship with the client.”

Church added: “We believe there’s real synergy between Silverstone and ourselves in terms of the commitment to customer experience. Our own experience of successfully delivering crowd management and security plans for large-scale sporting events, such as the Tour de France last year, will certainly be of value to us in undertaking this exciting new challenge.”

Showsec is now drawing on its strong management infrastructure to lead operations at Silverstone over the coming months. The contract delivery will be headed up by Church and East Midlands area manager Joe Milner. Further support for account manager Chris Senior will be provided by area managers Ieuan Fury and Louise Stockden.

“The size and scale of this opportunity is highlighted by the fact that there are motor racing events virtually every weekend across a seven-month period,” stated Church. “The circuit does have its own in-house security team, though. In some cases, such as for smaller events, we will be providing support to that team, but at the other end of the scale there are massive occasions such as the British Grand Prix.”

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