Operating With Confidence: Safety and Security for Venues and Events

This guide gives venue managers, safety officers and other venue and event professionals articles, resources and best practices to boost the safety and security of your site in 2022.

Download Your Copy of Our Guide to Venue Safety and Security

  • Understand and act upon latest developments in venue security
  • Go digital to enable greater accountability
  • Integrate 365 and event planning for better visibility

Download the PDF now!

Introduction - Safety Officers and Ops Directors: The Big Challenges

On venue and event management, Martyn's Law, the transition to digital and dealing with both the expected and the unexpected

365 venue management and event delivery

The challenge for safety officers and operations directors here is a complex workload: carrying out business-as-usual organisational work, 365 venue management, and always working towards your next event.

In some ways these areas are not so distinct - they all fall under the same umbrella of venue management - and for that you need a single source of truth. At WeTrack we sell planning and operations software, sometimes together, sometimes separately - but in a venue you are always both planning and operating. And for 365 days a year, whether your venue is empty or full, it must be safe and secure.

logo lineMartyn's Law

The progress and eventual passing into law of this proposed legislation will mark a significant material change for venue operations. In this guide, you will find a lot more information about responding effectively to the new requirements proposed by the 'Protect Duty' arising from Martyn's Law.

Do you have confidence in the safety and security of your venue?

logo lineA transition to digital

In any industry, it is difficult to know where your operational shortcomings lie. Most changes take an investment in time and money that you might not get back - can you prove return on investment? There are 3 areas we want venue managers to consider in this regard: accountability, reporting and a single source of truth. Making improvements to these underlying processes might not get your heart racing, but they will save you much-needed time and money.

logo lineThe expected and the unexpected

Venues and events need to have solid processes in place for dealing with both! Incidents, jobs and checks, when managed effectively, give you oversight over the status of your venue at any one time. Together they give you the tools to keep your venue secure.

logo lineThank you for reading our guide to safety and security at venues. For more, read on - or to take away the full guide, please download it at the top or bottom of this page.

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Understanding Martyn's Law

Introducing Martyn's Law and exploring how venues and events can follow its requirements - to reduce the risk and impact of terrorism and operate a safer and more secure venue

What is Martyn's Law?

Martyn's Law is a proposed piece of legislation in the United Kingdom to better protect the British public from terrorism in any place or space to which they have access. It was headed by Figen Murray, mother of Martyn Hett who tragically died along with 22 others when a terrorist detonated a bomb at Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May 2017.

Please read our full introduction to Martyn's Law here, or download this guide.


Safety is the issue that dominates for event planners now, with 55% citing it as the biggest concern when hosting a live event
Event Manager Blog, 2021


logo lineWhat does the Law consist of?

Martyn's Law would place five key requirements on operators of public spaces:

  1. To engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training;
  2. To conduct vulnerability assessments;
  3. To have a mitigation plan for the risks created by the vulnerabilities;
  4. To have a counter-terrorism plan;
  5. For local authorities, to plan for the threat of terrorism.

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Steps to follow Martyn's Law at your venue

In 365 venue management: consider Risk

  • Carry out a vulnerabilities risk assessment, keeping it updated if something changes
  • Communicate with local authorities to give an informed look at risks inside and outside your venue
  • Ensure that permanent staff have relevant counter-terrorism training

In advance of your event: consider Readiness

  • Devise and undertake readiness and testing exercises for different scenarios
  • Make sure that you have the required number of trained staff to work at each event
  • Draw up contingency plans based on your vulnerabilities risk assessment
  • Create daily run sheets that take into account security considerations and locations of trained staff

Just before your event: consider Checks

  • Carry out standard operational checks on-site
  • Brief staff to confirm clear understanding of immediate action drills
  • Carry out extra security checks, confirming that security measures such as metal detectors, CCTV and emergency exit signs / doors are all working correctly

During and after your event: consider Incidents and Reporting

  • Rely on everything you've done before, with your well-trained staff in the right place, responding to incidents and enacting contingency plans if necessary
  • Learn lessons - you won't get everything right first time
  • Reporting - scrutinise your incidents and adapt your preparation for next time

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Carrying Out Secure Venue Checks

Both 365 and pre-event venue checks are that 'last line of defence' that leave you feeling confident about the safety and security of your venue

4 sets of Venue Checks to improve your venue security

Making these four crucial sets of checks at different stages in your venue or event management is vital for your venue security and adherence to Martyn's Law.

logo lineFirst, check the 5 key proposed requirements of Martyn's Law:

  1. Have you engaged with counter-terrorism advice and training?
  2. Have you conducted a vulnerability assessment?
  3. Have you developed a mitigation plan for the risks identified?
  4. Have you made a counter-terrorism plan?
  5. Have local authorities planned for the threat of terrorism too?

Next, consider venue security in your regular 365 venue ops. These are your standard operational checks to ensure general readiness to open doors to the public.

Most importantly, carry out your checks just before an event. Consider particularly the security measures such as metal detectors, CCTV, and emergency exit signs and doors.

Finally, carry out post-event checks and learn lessons. Ask yourself those same five questions from the first point again - how could you improve your venue security procedures for next time?

logo lineCarrying out these four types of checks at the right moment will give you confidence and accountability that you are operating your venue securely.

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5 questions to ask when setting up your venue checks programme

Effectively carrying out your programme of checks before opening doors to visitors will give you confidence that your site is as secure as possible.

  • How will I record checks?
  • What needs to be checked?
  • Where does it need to be checked?
  • When does it need to be checked?
  • Who will carry out each check?

Planning your checks programme can and should be done well in advance of your event. Consider these 5 simple questions when creating your programme to make sure your team have all the information they need to carry out the right checks at the right time in the right place - giving you great visibility over your site.


Creating Effective Run Sheets

Your daily schedules give you and your team the guidance to be in the right place at the right time, leaving less to chance on an event day

5 best practices for setting up your Run Sheets


Go digital. Digital run sheets give you the flexibility to keep your schedules up-to-date. They do not need to be too costly if you are on a tight budget, and the ability to keep your team updated when things have to change will save you a lot more time, money and effort than it costs.

Establish templates. What do you want your run sheets to look like and what information needs to be included? Think about what detail is necessary and what is not. Then, you can share them with your team - and you'll get a run sheet back in a useful and consistent format.

Get input from your team. There are so many moving parts on a normal day on site, let alone an event day: you need to know everyone's movements. Make run sheet planning a collaborative process, because on an event day no one is working in isolation.

Consider dependencies. Estimate where you have room for flexibility in your scheduled timings, and where you have none. Knowing your dependencies will allow you to act quickly when something gets delayed.

Be ready to adapt. Event days especially are complex, and things change rapidly: make sure you can adapt if you need to!

Expo Site


What do your attendees think?

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi conducted their 2021 Spectator Sports Safety and Security Survey.

3 areas are of particular note to safety officers and operations directors at a venue:

  • 73.2% of attendees consider safety and security measures when deciding to attend an event
  • 77% of attendees prefer security measures to be visible at an event
  • The most highly supported security measures include:
    • Law enforcement presence
    • Venue security personnel presence
    • Screening detection technologies
    • Bag searches
    • Security cameras
    • Security wands
    • Ability to report an incident
    • The use of K-9 units

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5 ways Run Sheets support your Martyn's Law processes

In this piece, we look at how you can use daily run sheets for your event or venue to boost your counter-terrorism processes and follow the advice given within Martyn's Law.

Having clear, accurate and up-to-date information in the form of a daily run sheet gives you a resource of information to boost your venue security before, during, after and for future events. Use that information to continuously refine your venue security and counter-terrorism processes.

Please visit our blog to read this piece in full, or download the entire guide at the top or bottom of this page.

Delivering Consistent Incident Management

You must be prepared when a severe incident occurs at your venue - part of your role is to react calmly and instinctively, but you should be able to rely on earlier planning

3 crucial steps for your incident management

Control rooms and incident responses already come under great scrutiny. With Martyn's Law and COVID-19, regulators and auditors will be more stringent in making sure that venue and event managers follow adequate preventative and restorative measures to ensure public wellbeing.

Following these steps will help you on site and also ensure that your operations stand up to any audit.

logo linePrepare thoroughly. Be prepared for things to go wrong - they always do! Identify common incident types and take learnings from one incident to the next by carrying out proper analysis after the fact. Make communication effective by fully involving contractors and departments with your team on-site, letting information flow unhindered between all affected parties.

Respond consistently. Have a plan for how to respond when things do go wrong. You need a playbook of contingency plans and checklists which align with the common incident types you have mapped out. Knowing that incidents cannot be closed until particular steps have been carried out and recorded enables you to later provide proof and audit logs.

Ensure accountability. Stay accountable by logging decisions, discussions and actions. Splitting out a general log from an incident list will allow a loggist to record everything they consider relevant, without adding extra noise to high priority items in the incident list. There needs to be a way of recording every update that is received from your team on the ground, every contingency action that has been carried out, and every decision made, with these logs time and date stamped, and impossible to delete.

logo lineThorough preparation, consistent incident response and post-event accountability will drive your event or venue's safety and security when the unexpected inevitably occurs.

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Incident Management: Information you need to keep your site secure on event day

Here we look at what you need to know to ensure effective and efficient incident management, with oversight across your event and venue.

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  • Mapping. Overlaying your control room operations onto a map application gives you great visibility over the status of your venue, and enables you to understand areas where incidents occur more frequently.
  • An event log. It is also important to log items that are not incidents, giving you a time-stamped record of everything that happened on an event day. This gives you an audit trail and helps you analyse retrospectively.
  • Dashboards. As important as having the right information is making sure that you have that information readily available at the right time.
  • Reports. For a venue that delivers a number of events each year, reports are an essential way of taking stock at the end of each event day and assessing your status ahead of the next one.
  • The right information. You should always consider permissions and confidentiality, particularly in incident management; certain incidents could damage your venue's reputation if they were public knowledge. Not every individual should or needs to know every piece of information.
  • Information outside of your Control Room. Finally, it is always crucial to keep departments, contractors and other stakeholders in the loop with any information that they need. How will information be shared with these groups?

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4 ways to adhere to Martyn's Law in your Incident Management

Here, we look at how effective incident management enables you to follow the advice of Martyn's Law and boost your event and venue security.

logo linePrepare your contingency plans. Have a contingency plan ready to go in case of a terrorist incident. Martyn's Law proposes Guide, Shelter, Communicate. Use this plan to brief your staff just before an event.

Assign your incidents. Make sure you know who will lead on incident response if a terrorist incident does happen. Make sure your roster of staff includes some with counter-terrorism training.

Keep an audit trail. This will be crucial. You will need to show that you recorded and assigned a terrorist incident, what communication took place, the plan that was followed, and the responsible individuals.

Reassure stakeholders and learn lessons. Audit trails aren't just for audits! Make sure that people feel safe and confident when visiting your venue, and that you are constantly re-testing contingency plans to be sure they remain effective.

WeTrack: Giving you Confidence, Security and Accountability

WeTrack gives you the solid foundations you need to operate your venue effectively and securely

Take Control of Your Venue and Event Operations

WeTrack's operations software gives you confidence in the efficiency, security and accountability of your control room.

logo lineSecure Venue Checks

Plan, map and schedule your programme of checks. With central dashboards giving live visibility over all checks being carried out across your venue or events and a full audit trail for every check, you'll feel more secure about the security of your venue.

Accurate Run Sheets

Get visibility over your who, what, where and when. With map overlays, extensive filtering, sorting, assignment and notification options, and fixed times and dependencies, your teams will know exactly what is going on around your venue at all times.

Effective Incident Management

Be ready for when something goes wrong. With contingency planning and checklists, geolocation and what3words, superb mobile experience, and indelible audit trails and bespoke reports for post-event wrap-up, you'll be ready to manage issues properly.



How WeTrack modernise Northampton Saints' venue checks processes, saving time and improving security


WeTrack enabled Northampton Saints' safety officer and operations director to manage a safer, more secure and more accountable venue.

We helped Saints to modernise their previously manual pre-match checks and incident management: creating an automated audit trail, improved speed and clarity in responding to issues around the stadium, and a significant saving of time and money.


Using WeTrack has made our operations safer and quicker - and the customer interface and service have been first class

George Shipman, Safety Officer at Franklin's Gardens


Please go here to read our full case study with Northampton Saints, explaining how they carried out more than 7,000 checks in 34 days using our software.



Take-aways - by Eric Solem, Commercial Director at WeTrack and formerly of PTI Smarter Venues and AS Roma


  • You can never prepare too much - avoid scrambling around on event day
  • Going digital is a must in today's environment - especially for accountability
  • For now, see Martyn's Law as guide and inspiration as much as regulation or rulebook - no matter where in the world you are based
  • Operating with confidence means always having visibility over your venue

Download Your Copy of Our Guide to Venue Safety and Security

  • Understand and act upon latest developments in venue security
  • Go digital to enable greater accountability
  • Integrate 365 and event planning for better visibility

Download the PDF now!