The Event Production Show, taking place 26-27 February at London Olympia, will be a must-attend show for event professionals who want to learn about health and safety.

The SaFest stage at EPS will be playing host to keynotes and presentations from cutting-edge industry figures, who have all the information you need to keep up to date in this critical event sector.

The stage is curated by Steve Blake, director of event safety and security specialists Storm4events. In the build-up to the show, Access caught up with Steve Blake to find out what’s new at SaFest this year, and what eventprofs can learn by paying the stage a visit.

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Hostile threat detection

Opening the SaFest stage on day one will be a keynote about hostile recon and behaviour detection delivered by Jon Hayter, a trained counter-terrorism security coordinator.

This is the principle of detecting potentially threatening individuals at an event before they can act, with the use of undercover security staff.

These staff are trained to notice particular behaviours, such as reacting nervously to uniformed security staff. Hayter has created a model for training and planning this kind of threat detection, which he will present at SaFest.

Garry Jones will also be delivering a talk on proportionate mitigation for counter-terrorism. This will focus on making sure events are making use of the correct form of security, rather than kneejerk reactions to the problem.

Steve Blake elaborates: “A big issue in security at the moment is ensuring quality over quantity – not every event requires hundreds of staff. If we can handle threats in a more efficient way using techniques such as behaviour detection, it is a big benefit.

“We need a more specialist, surgical approach to event security.”


The ‘B’ word

Another key issue which Blake brings up is staffing, and in particular the impact Brexit will have on security staff.

The government’s proposed £30,000 salary minimum for foreign nationals entering the UK post-Brexit would be a disastrous one for the industry, says Steve Blake. It would freeze out a large proportion of an already stretched workforce.

All of these issues and many more will be covered on the SaFest stage, so make sure to stop in while you attend the Event Production Show.