Client’s Challenge: A Last-Minute Request for Security Protecting a Major Trade Show

Just before it planned to host 14,000 client attendees at a large international event in a major U.S. convention capital, a publicly traded company – and the high-profile event planning firm charged with coordinating the event – asked Hillard Heintze to oversee all security operations.

Our Solution: Responding and Delivering Services – with Virtually No Time to Plan

What made this a highly complex task wasn’t just the high number of attendees and the multi-day, 24-hour nature of the event. It was also that the “envelope” of security encompassed the entirety of one of the most prestigious luxury hotels in the U.S. as well as the adjacent convention center – along with multiple offsite dinners, VIP keynote speakers, event lodging at six different hotels, and an eight-hour scheduled evening celebration with several live bands. Without the opportunity to conduct a pre-advance visit – and without any prior relationship with the client, the venue or any of its third-party vendors – Hillard Heintze arrived on site one day before pre-event gatherings. From that point forward, Hillard Heintze oversaw and managed all phases of security including, for example, executive protection, event security, guard services, liaison with local authorities, counter surveillance, and counter intelligence.

Impact on the Client: A Competitor’s Dirty Trick Uncovered – and Prevented

These best-practice security measures enabled the event to be carried out without incident. In fact, Hillard Heintze uncovered plans to infiltrate the event on the second day of the conference by individuals seeking to create disruption and cause embarrassment to the client’s COO. Hillard Heintze’s informants and counter-intelligence strategy also thwarted a well-organized attempt to inflict brand damage during the conference by unauthorized individuals organized and hired by one of the client’s major competitors. During the time period covered by these services, the integrity of the conference, the business focus of the client’s executive team and their brand reputation remained protected and intact.

Unplugged: The Perspective of Hillard Heintze’s CEO

“This assignment stands out for three reasons. First was the sheer scale of the event. Special factors related to the client’s prestige. The volume of people attending. The number of venues. The complexity of planning and planners – with everyone already in full stride by the time we stepped in.

The second factor was timing – or lack of it. And the need to be in full-scale, high-performance, pitch-of-the-battle mode essentially within hours.

But the third and most crucial factor ended up being the counter intelligence. Which is something that even the largest security management firms don’t do well. Quickly and quietly, we were able to identify the threats and intervene.”

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