Securing Outdoor Events: Unique Challenges and Solutions

Learn about unique challenges and solutions that come with the excitement of outdoor events and how to be prepared with top-notch security.

Last Updated:
July 10, 2024
| ~
min Read
James Wang
Marketing Writer

There is just something about holding an event outdoors that heightens the overall experience.  Whether it’s a concert, festival, sporting event, political rally, or parade, the excitement of crowds in an outdoor venue is unparalleled. Nothing beats the thundering clap of combined applause or the exhilarating collective roar from the crowd.

However, while the draw of sharing a communal experience with a massive number of other fans can be a thrill, it can also be a monumental security challenge. After all, for organizers, creating an event in an open space that has no existing infrastructure can feel a bit like an impossible magic trick. And with so many moving parts and unpredictable variables from weather, to delays, to human behavior, it’s easy to see how the magic can quickly deteriorate. 


Establish a Perimeter

When it comes to outdoor events, law enforcement and security experts agree that creating a perimeter is paramount to event security. Outdoor events are often held in wide-open spaces that can cover an expansive footprint and it’s critical to establish clear designated areas and monitor who comes in and out. This includes setting up distinct areas with barriers or fencing to route traffic flow, as well as established areas where spectators are expected to congregate and clearly identify entry and exit points. 

Unlike indoor events that already have established entry and exit points, outdoor events require a bit more guidance and supervision which highlights the need for strong security visibility at these locations. Security guards and personnel are essential for crowd control, maintaining order, and guiding attendees; however, the fact of the matter is that there are far more attendees than security personnel. This is where an enterprise security system can provide eyes-in-the-sky support and help fill some of the gaps.

Off-Grid Power

One of the biggest challenges of putting together an outdoor event is the lack of power and power sources. It’s essential for lighting, audio-visual elements, and communications. Organizers are always concerned with how much power they are drawing and how they can get more. 

Much of the power used must be self-contained. Often generators and batteries are the solution. However, even generators and rechargeable battery bases require a wire or cord to hookup the power source to whatever needs electricity. Running wires outdoors can be a recipe for disaster. Cords can be unplugged inadvertently, wires can be damaged, and generally the more moving parts involved, the more things can go wrong.

Surveillance systems run into the same challenges. How can surveillance cameras operate independently without a traditional power source and without drawing from energy sources allocated to running the actual event?


Mobile Security Units (MSU)

Mobile security units are self-contained systems that allow for flexibility and easy set-up.  These wireless solar powered camera systems are self-powered and utilize solar energy to run. The ability to store energy in batteries (even on cloudy days) makes certain that you have power whenever you need it. This eliminates the need for any wires, which can be a trip hazard, a source for damage, or even a target for tampering or vandalism. 

The fact that these units are mobile means that they are easily deployable or reallocated to areas that they are most needed. They are also scalable so you can add more units as needed and easily integrated based on your needs.

Remote Surveillance

When it comes to providing another set of eyes to security guards on the ground, security cameras with remote surveillance capabilities add another layer of safety. This allows for additional monitoring from anywhere on any smart device without any interruption or distraction from the actual event or venue. Once logged in, the cameras can be controlled by panning, tilting, and zooming to get a better view of the situation. These units use cellular connectivity, eliminating another friction point and ensuring that the units are self-sustaining and reliable.

Surveillance cameras can be used to reallocate security personnel on the ground to address congestion, potential crime, and emergency situations. It can also monitor and identify potential threats from the formation of rowdy mobs, to escalating tensions, to unrest caused by drunkenness. 

In extreme cases, where emergency personnel are needed, users with remote surveillance can expedite assistance by immediately contacting authorities or medical personnel.

Crowd Control

With mobile units and surveillance cameras, they are more than simply passive systems. Many come equipped with strobe lights and the ability to record and utilize audio announcements. This can be especially helpful with crowd control. Announcements can be recorded and played back instructing attendees on security protocols, baggage screenings, or even directions to entry and exit points. This can help educate and manage crowd expectations while eliminating confusion.

In emergency situations and evacuations, these features can be particularly helpful in restoring order to potentially chaotic environments. When emergency scenarios warrant, strobe lights can be activated to grab the attention of attendees and alert them of the situation. Loudspeakers can be utilized to update crowds and convey directions in a timely and effective manner to maintain an orderly evacuation.

Outdoor events bring a mix of unpredictability ranging from weather conditions, to lack of infrastructure, to the uncertainty whenever masses of people are gathered. As a result, it’s always a good idea to try to control as much of the controllables as possible. A vibrant team of organizers and security personnel are key to instructing, monitoring, and keeping spectators secure and orderly. Utilizing modern day technology like mobile units and surveillance systems as part of the overall security plan can be a proactive way to plug some of the gaps and elevate already existing protocols.  

At the end of the day, a successful outdoor event isn’t just about keeping attendees and performers safe, it’s about eliminating friction, and adding to the overall experience. And that is worth a booming roar and collective round of applause. 

To learn how LVT can help secure your perimeters during outdoor events, schedule a demo with us today.

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