Whether it's sports, comics, or books, having VIP guests at your convention is a boost to attendance and profit. But those VIPs also come with specific potential security challenges. Before your VIP guests step onto your site, make sure you account for these five additional safety and security needs. 

1. Backstage Access

Most events have their major guests arrive through different entries and spend time behind the scenes for security purposes. So you'll need to determine the guest entrance and how it can be secured all the way to any stage floors or booth locations. Because it involves moving from Point A to Point B, this is more challenging than a stationary location. It will also call for a combination of static security and live personnel. 

2. Autograph Signings

Does your guest plan to sign autographs for fans? If so, event security will generally need to develop a plan for two main scenarios. The first is a signing in a public space, such as a booth. Crowd control will likely be the biggest concern, as will any aggressive fans in close proximity. If giving autographs in a more controlled environment, the risk may shift to maintaining a buffer and perimeter security. 

3. Photo Ops

Increasingly, conventions arrange controlled areas for attendees to take photos with their favorite guest. Photo op sessions have three main security risk points. The first is on-site sales. Cash or credit cards invite thieves. The second problem is preventing bystanders from taking unauthorized photos. And finally, because the guest and ticket holder are in close proximity, be on guard for inappropriate fan behavior. 

4. Stage Appearances

A large stage appearance, often in the biggest rooms available in your venue, can be hard to secure properly. With so many attendees coming and going, security needs to be vigilant and trained to differentiate between potential problems and normal public behaviors. Extra interactions, such as fans who bring gifts for guests, mean that security personnel must be flexible and responsive. 

5. Off-Site Security

How much security will you provide to guests outside your venue? Your organization may be involved in picking up guests from airports, arranging hotels, providing after-hours security, and assisting with off-site appearances. The convention may need security staff before the event starts and after it ends. 

Where to Start

Whether you plan to have one or a dozen VIP guests, start by meeting with a skilled and experienced event security service. Arranging for the safety and security of everyone involved — including both guests and attendees — can be complex. Make sure you have a quality security service on your side. 

Contact a company like Security Services Northwest, Inc to learn more.