In February 2023, security training was arranged for the employees of Congrex Switzerland in partnership with the Congress Center Basel (CCB). The training served to raise awareness of safety issues and prepare employees for various potentially dangerous situations.
The event started with an introduction given by two experienced security experts who started by presenting the structure of an effective security concept. This introduction was fundamental in understanding how security measures are strategically created to protect people in the best possible way and to recognise any potential dangers at an early stage. The aim of the training was to sensitise us to security-related issues in both our professional and private lives and to increase our awareness.
The training was divided into two parts: The morning session was dedicated to the theoretical part. Here, different aspects were highlighted, such as what to look out for while in unfamiliar surroundings. Protective measures were discussed, and strategies were worked out on how best to react in a potentially dangerous situation. Special attention was paid to how to go through the world with watchful eyes and increased mindfulness to recognise potential danger early. In addition, behavioural patterns of people were analysed in order to identify suspicious activity more quickly, whether outdoors or at a large event such as a congress.
In the afternoon, the practical part of the training took place, which allowed participants to apply what they had learned in a realistic situation. Different scenarios were simulated to test reactions and communication skills in a variety of potentially dangerous scenarios. Among other things, we practised ways to guide people to safety, how to use escape routes efficiently and the importance of clear communication via radios (walkie-talkies) to coordinate the best course of action.
One particular focus was on getting as many people as possible to safety without putting ourselves in any unnecessary danger. We were given an insight into the “Safety Bag” that is available at all congresses and learned about the tools it contains and how they can be used in an emergency. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of quick and coordinated actions to bring a situation under control.
Overall, participation in security training represents a significant added value for the staff of a Professional Congress Organiser (PCO). Some of the main benefits include:
- Raising awareness of potential dangers in a congress or event environment
- Training for a quick and decisive response in an emergency
- Being able to clearly communicate in a stressful situation
- Integrating safety awareness into event planning
- Demonstrating commitment to participant safety and building trust
- Preparing for a variety of event conditions
- Encouraging teamwork and effective collaboration
The skills and knowledge gained will not only contribute to participant safety but also help to successfully deliver events and enhance the reputation of the organisation.