Whether it’s catching crowd surfers or dealing with the people who have had ‘one too many’, security & door staff are the unsung hero of any live music event.

Finding the right security is vital to your venue and can be the fine line between a dream and a nightmare. On-Trade Progress catches up with Michael Poole from Showsec, to discuss the crucial elements that venues must consider when choosing their security & door staff, and the impact this can have on your event.

Please introduce yourself and your position within Showsec

Michael Poole, West Midlands Area Manager

What types of venues can benefit from the services Showsec offer?

Potentially, any venue where there is a requirement to manage access to, behaviour inside and safe egress of customers can benefit from the services we offer.

What impact can employing the right security & door staff have?

Not all venues are the same and on many occasions, the role requirement is more customer service than ‘traditional bouncer’.  Customers feel safer in a venue and are more likely to return if the door staff are friendly and approachable.

Showsec – Standing out from the crowd with Michael Poole
Showsec – Standing out from the crowd with Michael Poole

Have you noticed a connection between a venues reputation and the security they choose?

Customers don’t generally see the security and door staff as a separate entity, but part of the venue itself.  By employing the right staff, the reputation of the venue can be enhanced, as the first person a customer is likely to encounter when entering any venue is a member of the security team.

From a venues perspective, are there any steps that can be taken to maximise their customers safety & security?

Employ an established security company with specific experience in the venue’s field who are able to offer advice and guidance on how best to improve the customer experience together with the ability to offer advice and guidance on counter terrorism.

How easy it for a venue to access additional security staff when holding a live music event?

From a Showsec perspective as one of the biggest security staffing providers in the country we are always able to provide additional staffing when required to our regular customers.

Are there any common mistakes you find with the venues themselves?

It is understandable that venues want to keep costs as low as possible and often security is one of the first areas to be looked at in terms of cost cutting, either by reducing staff numbers, or employing less experienced or new start companies who offer reduced rates to gain a foothold in what is a very competitive market.

What’s the biggest challenges that your staff encounter?

Other than the obvious one of intoxicated customers, it’s making venues and customers aware of the risks their venues face, particularly in relation to threats of terrorism and the need to be vigilant at all times.  The involvement of an experienced security company with tried and tested counter-terrorism staff training is crucial during the current climate and is often neglected by less experienced companies.

Showsec – Standing out from the crowd with Michael Poole
Showsec – Standing out from the crowd with Michael Poole

Is there any advice you would give to a venue considering to offer a live music event?

Look closely at the profile of the artist/s and the type of audience they attract.  Consult a company such as Showsec at an early stage to identify security requirements and any challenges that the event may present.

How does Showsec stand out from the crowd?

Showsec can offer a wealth of experience gained from working at major sporting events, music festivals, street events, universities and music venues of all sizes across the UK and Europe.  As industry leaders with over 3,000 casual staff across the country, dedicated support functions in our head office and a network of highly experienced and qualified regional managers, area managers and operations executives, many with degrees in crowd safety management we are able to offer solutions to all business needs.