In interviewing security companies, ask how frequently their personnel make routine walk-thrus. If they respond, “every hour or half-hour” that’s the wrong answer. The frequency is not the issue, it’s that it’s done at the same time. Predictable behavior is exactly what thieves want.
Find out what methods are used so their staff members do not doze off.
Ask about their procedures: 1) if they see someone suspicious, 2) if they catch someone stealing and any number of what-if scenarios. If all answers are “call the police,” then is there a better, less costly way to handle security?
Question what limits of the law their security officer has compared to a police officer? What happens if there is an incident and it eventually ends up in court? If the guard is called as a witness will the event need to pay for additional time and/or expenses?
Ask about the types of background checks and drug testing done before hiring. Find out in general what type of work experience these individuals have. Are they retired or off-duty police? Are they licensed to fire a gun and do they carry one?
And while this may seem petty, ask how fast their staff can run? I’m sure we’ve all seen the not-so-fit security guard who lumbers in at his or her appointed hour, as the crowds are filing out. If someone suspicious was seen across the park, would they most likely stroll across the park and work up a sweat or could they sprint across the park?
Communication tools. Find out what their firm uses to communicate – cell phones, radio-to-base or phone/radio combinations. In the event of an overnight incident do they contact you? What happens if it is a significant event? What are the steps to notify who and when?
Lastly ask what type of report you will receive in the morning and after the event?
To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events: How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.