Who owns the event

20121009-112750.jpgYou’re covering a principal that is speaking at an event for his company that is hosted by a third party vendor. You know that you are taking your principal there to speak on behalf of his company yet a third party vendor is sponsoring the event. How do you manipulate your visit within that particular dynamic?

First and foremost your primary responsibility is the protection of your principal from point “A” to the event and while he is attending the event. Does that mean that you can dictate how the event should unfold? No. Does it mean that you can offer suggestions to further your security efforts? Yes. If they refuse to make those changes are all bets off and you should cancel the visit? Not necessarily. So what do you do? First you need to professionally articulate your concerns BUT you should have a sensible resolution at the same time. Remember, an event host is more concerned that there event goes off well and are rarely concerned about security features nor will they employ specific security features that are directed towards your efforts.

You have to be an ambassador for the client and the reputation of yourself and the Company. If you present a viable recommendation that accomplishes your needs and does not hinder the event you will be viewed as a genius.

What you want to try to stay away from is complain your needs to a POC outside of the chain of command who then complains to the event host. If that happens you may get that request done for you but you have lost any relationship with that host if you have to encounter them again.

Understand the hierarchy of events, chain of command and how to successfully accomplish your security needs.

1 comment

  1. Jon Tipper

    Eric – from experience. I had a protectee with a viable threat against him/her who was keynote speaker at an event. It was hosted by an association rather than a vendor but the same principle applies. I not only approached the association who were hosting the event and put my side across but also liaised directly with the Head of Security at the event site and put my needs across to him. I had also already met with the Police officer who was providing the perimeter security for the event. I found both extremely accommodating and appreciative of maintaining the communications of all concerned. I got my measures implemented and in place for my principal with no disruption to the event itself. Everyone has different goals for the event. As you say, the host wants it to go smoothly, the site owners want nothing happening on their ground and we want our principal under our “plan”.

    This made it a whole lot easier a few months later when I had another principal with a another hosting organisation at the same event site. Build that relationship and keep the right outside agencies in the loop (without divulging too much) and you plan will succeed. Not sure I went down as a genius 🙂 but it worked for me and my principal safely made his speech and left the country the following morning. Did I own the event? No; did I own my small piece of it? Hell yes!

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