Client’s Challenge: An International Gathering of Sports Event Security Experts

In 2011, the Qatar-based International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS) convened its first international sports security conference. The goal of the high-profile event, as defined by the ICSS board, which includes the President of Interpol and major event sport security leaders from Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom, was to “promote discussion among the most influential decision-makers, practitioners and experts in the field” and play a major part in shaping “the international agenda on sport security.” Four months before the conference, the ICSS asked Hillard Heintze to speak at the event.

Our Solution: Identifying Best Practices in Major Event Security

“We’d like you to focus on the latest developments in major event security worldwide,” said the ICSS event director. “And help our audience gain some early insights not just into today’s security best practices but also what their strategic implications are for the upcoming 2022 World Cup event in Doha.”

In March 2011, Hillard Heintze Managing Director G. Michael Verden flew to Doha and gave the presentation in conjunction with a former colleague and senior executive from the U.S. Secret Service. Together, they addressed the topics requested by the event’s sponsors and outlined the major factors driving security excellence over the next decade.

Impact on the Client: A Focus on Technology and a Layered Approach to Security

This “experts’ presentation” to an “audience of experts” in major event security helped reinforce the crucial importance of two major topics. One was a discussion of emerging technologies – at least non-classified solutions available within the private sector, in the U.S. and around the world – and their application to practical, on-the-ground scenarios. In public, large-audience venues like this conference, this topic typically attracts the greatest attention.

The second topic highlighted by Hillard Heintze focused on the least understood and most frequently overlooked driver of positive outcomes in major event security – the strategic use of a layered methodology that integrates five crucial components: strategy, structure, people, process and technology.

Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective

“It’s very difficult to project what best practices in major event security will be even one year from now, let alone in 2022. That said, we can still provoke and facilitate a very interesting discussion about which factors currently being refined at the leading edge of major event security will or will not be in effect a few years from now.

Like what? Emerging technical capabilities, of course. But also areas that are less obvious – and often not fully understood by many security professionals. Like how new security technologies are impacting stadium design and engineering. Or the integration of real-time threat assessment that automatically scans Internet sources such as blogs, wikis and social media sites with pre-event intelligence protocols, alerts and advisories, among many other areas.”

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