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10 tips for offsite meeting security

Joan Goodchild | Feb. 3, 2012
When an organization hosts an offsite event, whether it is a small meeting, or a massive industry conference, it also presents an opportunity for the security department.

"Figure out what is being displayed and what happens if there is an evacuation," said Besse. "What do we do with proprietary information or products in that scenario? Also, if it's a highly-value consumer product on display, we might put up close-circuit TV surveillance on the product, on the doors, and bring in our own security systems."

Have a solid access-control strategy

Perhaps the most important aspect of ensuring proprietary and sensitive information stays contained within the event is to ensure that those who have access to it are the ones you want to have access to it, said Dan Finger.

"A lot of it will start at registration," he said. "Ask for ID. A lot of times at events I just give my name and I'm given a badge to enter. But if it is an event with proprietary information, have registration explain to folks there is proprietary information being discussed and we need to see some identification before we can let you in."

Make sure credentials are visible and clear

The next step is actually getting attendees to wear their credentials, said Finger, and to keep an eye out for those wearing the wrong badge, or no badge at all.

"There may be another event going on in the same venue and people from that event might wander over to yours," he noted. "It's important to have security keeping an eye on the badges people are wearing to make sure everyone is in the right place and an outside party doesn't gain access to information they aren't there to see or hear."

Figure out your signage

Many events will feature signs throughout the venue to direct attendees to the various meeting spots. But, in some instances, certain events may call for little or no signage.

"Depending on the event, I wouldn't even put up signs because it attracts attention," said Finger. "Sometimes, the less publicity, the better."

Scope out possible hiding spots for recording devices

Plants, under benches and window sills are all places where recording devices could be hidden, said Finger. If proprietary issues and recording are both concerns, security should have a plan to regularly sweep such areas to check for such things.

But also keep in mind many attendees will have recording devices right in their laps. "Are people listening going to be recording with an iPad or other device? What are people allowed to bring in to the meetings in the first place?" said Finger. These are all things that need to be considered so the demonstration of your next beta doesnt end up on YouTube tomorrow, he said.

Check in on venue staff


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