This has been a constant topic of conversation concerning any event and normally safety comes down to the amount of time and knowledge spent on training. Indoor events such as stadiums and arenas are usually easier to secure than open air events which can cover over 300 acres or more. It is not to say indoor events cannot be breached by any means, but normally indoor events require less man power than outdoor events depending upon the size of the facility.
If it were possible I would use law enforcement in every position I needed to fill but that is unrealistic mainly due to the fact that law enforcement does not have the 100 or more people needed for various shifts to spare and still cover their normal responsibilities.
These positions are filled by contract security officers. There are a number of companies which do events, some local and some national but they are not all the same. A company is only as good as its management and supervisors. Second to the strength of management and supervision staff is the training new guards will receive for your event.
Training is paramount for any security company’s success protecting your event. It won’t be hard to teach a guard what badge will gain entry to a certain tent, but guards need to know that if someone one is wearing a coat when the temperature is 95 degrees, he might want to look into that.
Normally in most situations common sense prevails but when you have over 200 guards for varying shifts the opportunities for the training to break down is multiplied. How often do we see a guard posing with a famous player. Not really what the security company wants to see if they want to stay in business, so aside from the obvious training skills necessary; the skills which are not so obvious are the ones every company is looking for in temporary guards.
The venue needs guards who are constantly looking for the things which a little are off; the things which require more attention. These guards need to ask questions all the time when they are unsure of what they see. This kind of guard is invaluable to the venue.
This is a very brief synopsis of venue security. I am always happy to discuss at length the advantages and disadvantages of security whether the event moves year to year or is in one place; whether it is an arena or an outdoor venue. Each site is different and requires different perspectives. Law enforcement is always the best place to start.