10 Ways to Prevent Event Site Theft

Prevent Theft at Your Event

Event planners know a lot goes into planning a successful event.  Multi-day outdoor events present unique challenges, given they often involve large spaces and great numbers of attendees, staff, volunteers and third-party vendors.  Because of the low recovery rates for material and equipment, a proactive theft prevention plan is imperative for every multi-day event site.

  1. PACK TO PROTECT – Consider security when you pack valuable items for event usage. Don’t list valuables on box labels or purposely mislabel them.  For instance, boxes with electronics could be marked ‘Printed materials.’ Don’t use the manufacturer’s box for large, expensive items like TVs.
  2. SECURE YOUR PERIMETER – Even if your event is free to attend, creating a perimeter around the event site will allow your staff to more effectively manage access to staging and storage areas.
  3. SECURE VALUABLES – Keep all valuables such as purses, cell phones, tablets and anything that may be of interest to competitors locked away or in your line of sight at all times. Prevent the theft of electronics, such as iPads, used in displays by using purpose-designed security devices like titanium cables or lockable showcases.
  4. LOCK THEM UP – At the end of each event day, take event materials, electronics and other important items with you. If this is not feasible, make sure they are locked away in a fenced-off compound, storage container or event trailer, and be sure to invest in good locks.
  5. IMMOBILIZE LARGE EQUIPMENT – Prevent the theft of large equipment such as mobile generators by installing immobilization or battery disconnect devices. Have a system in place to manage equipment keys and keep them in a secure location.
  6. KNOW WHO’S WHO – Make sure event staff and volunteers are easily identifiable. This not only helps attendees know who to go to for information, but also makes it more obvious when would-be thieves enter off-limits areas.
  7. LIGHT IT UP – A well-lit event site makes it difficult for thieves to get into your event site after-hours and leave unseen.
  8. MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE – Make a list of serial numbers and replacement values of all important items and take photos of them. This can act as a useful inventory list for event set-up and dismantling, and can be used in the event of a theft as ready information to provide your insurance company.
  9. CONSIDER A SECURITY SERVICE – If you have a large event site or valuable equipment, a third-party security plan may be in order which might include on-site 24-hour security personnel, security alarms and video monitoring.
  10. REPORT IT – If a theft does occur, be sure to report it to the police promptly, as your theft may be part of a pattern. Make sure you know what your event insurance covers and what it doesn’t.

No event site is completely safe from determined thieves.  But the more steps you take to prevent theft at your site, the more likely the thieves will set their sights elsewhere.