Event / Project Details:
Destination and corporate event management specialists Spectra DMC selected ISC to secure a spectacular gala dinner for the London Meeting of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). This was a highly prestigious and unique private event on a grand scale, with a giant marquee erected on the historic Horse Guards Parade. As daylight faded, 1000 guests were welcomed by a choir and the troopers and horses from the Household Cavalry formed a guard of honour. With the event hosted just yards from 10 Downing Street, out in the open and immediately adjacent to a major central London public road, choosing the right security supplier was vital.
- Corporate event security staff to welcome guests and manage public interest
- Site security / 24 hr access control
- Security event manager
- Traffic management
- Police liaison
The lavish event took place on a Saturday, but ISC was on-site 24 hours a day controlling access to the build from the preceding Monday until the site was clear and returned to its blank canvas state two days later.
ISC’s business development manager, Paul Griffiths, explains: “We had to work closely with the many different parties involved, all of whom had their own needs and expectations. This included not just our client, but also the Royal Parks, Met police, the various event contractors and members of the public, because of course, everything we did attracted a lot of attention.”
As well as managing the security of the site itself, ISC provided corporate security staff to welcome guests, manage public interest, and handle traffic ingress and egress.
Griffiths explains: “This event was 18 months in the planning and, naturally, both Spectra DMC and the ACTL had high expectations for the day. Opportunities to hold such prestigious events on Horse Guards Parade are few and far between, so every aspect of the event had to be perfect, from the catering and entertainment to the security team welcoming the guests. We spent six months planning and familiarising ourselves with the expectations of our client and ensuring full risk assessments were carried out. We attended planning meetings with the Royal Parks to understand how the site operated and what to expect, advising on security requirements. The police and Royal Parks wanted to ensure that all health and safety requirements were in place and that the site was secure at all times. We liaised with them and brought security cover forward by 24 hours to ensure that the very earliest stages of the build were covered.”
On the evening itself, all access points were secured and a large crowd of onlookers had to be kept back so that all guests could be admitted during a short 30-minute window, transferring from coaches within seconds. It all went without a hitch, but of course there were some challenges.
“These were mostly logistical, such as some contractor vehicles turning up without pre-registering,” continues Griffiths. “Another consideration was that the site is usually easily accessible to pedestrians from Horse Guards Road. Rather than just station officers along the 160m perimeter, we were permitted the use of crowd barriers to provide an extra layer of defence. Unsurprisingly, holding such a glamorous event in a public place attracted a great deal of attention from passers-by, in particular when the Band of the Coldstream Guards arrived (actually our Managing Director’s former regiment!) and played several numbers. The event also coincided with the nearby Proms in the Park, which resulted in large crowds milling around in the vicinity, but this did not pose any problems for our team.”
ISC believes the company’s success in securing this event is the result of a long history of working on other high profile events, often in spectacular venues, and a culture of listening carefully to clients’ requirements to build a bespoke security service. “We provide only the highest calibre of personnel and while the physical security of the site was a priority at all times, so was the need for competent, adaptive security staff with strong customer service skills,” concludes Griffiths.