Author Topic: Security at Comic Con's  (Read 5790 times)

Offline alyssa

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Security at Comic Con's
« on: November 16, 2015, 05:36:36 AM »
As many of you know i use to work in the music industry as a stage hand in Boston for many years, 2K to 60K seat venues.  i went to school for tech theater & was 'living the dream'.  It's a big part of the reason i why i natively understand what goes into putting on a production/comic con.

Music production's & their crew's are a very tight group, very much like con folk- that community is what hold's the events together & makes the show 'fun'.  That's why it was such a shock to the music community.  At the risk of being dramatic, it is as if the industry suddenly woke up & realized the show's are no longer safe events.  Similarly, granted to a smaller scale, to what America went through when 9/11 occurred.

The events in Paris are a wake up call to all sm to mid size con's about the need address security. I know we're all about community on this board but be aware, 'see something, say something' goes along way from someone harassing a cosplayer to a much worse event.

The go fund me page created for the road guy killed in the Theater shooting has raised $58K as of 11.16.  The house lighting tech, a position i held for years in Boston, was also killed. 

here's some bits I've run across in the past few days you might find interesting.



‎
Quote
Gregory W Tait‎ to Roadie Memes

All crew need to think more wholesomely in regards to events, its not just about the sound or the lights, it never was. Events are one big calculated risk, as a former PM, It was my job to reduce risk. The risk of bands not showing up, ticket sales failing, equipment failing or crew not showing up, or the risk of rain....We work to minimise that level or risk to ensure a successful event. This attitude needs to taken by all staff, across the board.

I have also worked on The Sydney Easter show and Big Day Outs in a Public relations / Security position aswell as being a live soundie and tech for many years.. My job was to control large amounts of people, and groups of media. It is far different from the tech side we are all used to. You see more, You learn more about people. You observe more about the environment. But you also have a much large backup network. We received invaluable training with regards to bomb threats, medical emergencies, how to manage large crowds and liaise with emergency services.

That training has come to use many times in my life, as a technician, and as management on shows. The post the other day made some really good points, the best was about if you see someone who just doesnt fit the "mould" of the gig. Act, dont just ignore stuff, If you are busy tell the security guards or venue managers, If your gut is not right, something is usually amiss. I 'will try to pass on here some of that training i received. We were mainly taught by former army and police chiefs, now heads of security for all the big shows in Sydney, and more or less Australia.

A longish post, but ive been feeling need to share this with this group: The general emergency procedure we followed is :

House light on, music off,That grabs attention. Always.

From here its tricky, depending on the situation. With bombs/terror threats, The debate of lockdown or evac is a touchy one amongst the industry. In schools or venues with lots of tiny rooms, yes lockdown.But a large football arena,is much harder to do. Also you really want to move people out so the aren't sitting ducks. In a white package(bomb) situation, you want to thin out people to lessen damage.

And you dont want to create panic, So the area/punters need to be cleared quietly.

This takes times and people to communicate to the audience on the ground face to face. You can also bait mass amounts of people with free stuff.... like an announcement of free somethings in this pavilion..1000 people clear a room quicksmart..The backup is an announcement to evacuate calmy due to an "electric fault". If the show just stopped, punters wont question this.

Announcements should ideally be made by the Host, Singer, or MC. A general announcement from a invisible tech at the back just does not have an effect.

For fires you can hit the fire alarm button (this does not make sprinklers turn on , its just an alarm) , but this should be done with though as it can create panic. For small fires slow manual evacuation is ample. If there is no alarm then an announcement must be made.

All crew should form elbow lines and start herding punters towards doors. We would go through so many drills that when something happened on show it was just like clockwork.Ive dealt with heart attacks, bomb threats, sudden deaths, stabbings, fires...Never this though. In this scenario, sadly no matter what procedure is followed,I think it was inevitable losses would occur. Again minimizing that risk, is what events are all about - If you run a production or event company, Just think though,When was the last time you did an evac drill?

Cheers

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Offline alyssa

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 06:22:04 AM »
As we get ready for NYCC,

See something, Say something.

Be aware of your surroundings, keep your eyes open, if you see something talk to a security guard- a prop weapon that seems too real or a bag, etc

I've seen a couple of odd things over the years & have spoken to security guards. I usually start the convo with a statement, 'This probably is nothing but....'

I do know none of the crew at the show was injured in Los Vegas
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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #2 on: Today at 01:30:10 PM »

Offline brand4d2

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 07:16:37 AM »
I know we have a few members who are Las Vegas residents.   Hope they are safe and nowhere near the tragic events of last night. 

Offline puppy

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 11:16:39 AM »
The guy in Vegas scoped out the concert my husband and son were planning to attend, which is why this year more than any other, I am concerned about terrorists.  SDCC is the perfect place for someone to hide in costume, with all their gear.  It is packed full of people for maximum destruction.  They wouldn't even have to enter any buildings to attack.  I don't want to jinx anything, but thinking about how I would round up my kids if there were problems.  Thank goodness for smartphones in this day and age.

Do others here have an emergency plan?  What would you do?

Offline cabler30

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 11:25:48 AM »
Im guessing that why they say no running or other. and do to so much traffic they gotta have a plan in place incase anything happens. that why so much secuirty cause they can direct traffic to go outside. even if they have the scanners, they may have u skip that to get everyone out safe and sound. i dont ask about the what ifs, u just gotta guess that they are prepared to call staff on the walkies to direct traffic to any exits that they make sure are clear at anytime incase of any major events at time. that why u are told u cant stand or sit in certain areas incase for safety reasons. if ever can always ask a staff in charge and they may say anything they can say at time.

Offline Angel_

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 05:05:54 PM »
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The guy in Vegas scoped out the concert my husband and son were planning to attend, which is why this year more than any other, I am concerned about terrorists.  SDCC is the perfect place for someone to hide in costume, with all their gear.  It is packed full of people for maximum destruction.  They wouldn't even have to enter any buildings to attack.  I don't want to jinx anything, but thinking about how I would round up my kids if there were problems.  Thank goodness for smartphones in this day and age.

Do others here have an emergency plan?  What would you do?

I've had this same conversation with numerous people who attend the con.

SDCC has had a You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  Will that be able to stop everything? No, of course not.  But it shows me that SDCC is trying, at least.  And there are probably more measures we don't notice.

As Alyssa posted, be aware of of your surroundings and say something if you see something.  And it's not a bad idea to have a plan in case things go wrong. It's sad that this is the world we live in, but we're here and we need to adjust.  I have a workplace shooter plan and I have a nuclear threat plan for both work and home (I live in Hawaii and we, uh, got quite the scare a couple months ago if you've heard).  It sounds paranoid, but the paranoid will have a better chance of surviving any sort of threat.

This conversation is so sad. But, well, here we are.
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Offline puppy

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 05:10:31 PM »
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I've had this same conversation with numerous people who attend the con.

SDCC has had a You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login.  Will that be able to stop everything? No, of course not.  But it shows me that SDCC is trying, at least.  And there are probably more measures we don't notice.

As Alyssa posted, be aware of of your surroundings and say something if you see something.  And it's not a bad idea to have a plan in case things go wrong. It's sad that this is the world we live in, but we're here and we need to adjust.  I have a workplace shooter plan and I have a nuclear threat plan for both work and home (I live in Hawaii and we, uh, got quite the scare a couple months ago if you've heard).  It sounds paranoid, but the paranoid will have a better chance of surviving any sort of threat.

This conversation is so sad. But, well, here we are.

Oh, wow.  I had no idea.  That actually does make me feel better -- the fact that they are taking it that seriously, that is.

Offline Angel_

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2018, 05:27:48 PM »
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Oh, wow.  I had no idea.  That actually does make me feel better -- the fact that they are taking it that seriously, that is.

They do.  A lot of cons do.  I can't remember which con it was that banned ALL weapons immediately after Pulse a few years ago, but precautions are put in place at most cons.  SDCC in particular is pretty good about it too.
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Offline jamiesugah

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 05:59:23 PM »
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They do.  A lot of cons do.  I can't remember which con it was that banned ALL weapons immediately after Pulse a few years ago, but precautions are put in place at most cons.  SDCC in particular is pretty good about it too.

Flame Con did that, I know. You can't even bring obviously fake guns as part of cosplay. I think someone brought a banana instead.
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Offline cabler30

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 11:36:09 AM »
Reading about the sniper , i remember a guy who was mts security i think mentioned it and i looked and noticed movement above the place at a certain part. i had no clue but good to know they was ready if anything last year. but yea i can tell they wont say anything or tell much unless they gotta at time. for any place to be secure, they gotta be aware and discreet as to what they do and tell anyone anytime.

Offline puppy

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2019, 05:37:00 PM »
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Flame Con did that, I know. You can't even bring obviously fake guns as part of cosplay. I think someone brought a banana instead.


Last year, they stopped a guy who had been inside SDCC upstairs for awhile.  Had to check his lightsaber to make sure it wasn't real.

Offline alyssa

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2019, 09:28:23 PM »
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Last year, they stopped a guy who had been inside SDCC upstairs for awhile.  Had to check his lightsaber to make sure it wasn't real.

wait, What????
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Offline NCDS

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Re: Security at Comic Con's
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2019, 07:30:07 AM »
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They do.  A lot of cons do.  I can't remember which con it was that banned ALL weapons immediately after Pulse a few years ago, but precautions are put in place at most cons.  SDCC in particular is pretty good about it too.

Denver Comic Con did it right after the Pheonix con incident.  I think Denver was two weeks later.  I was actually impressed at how fast they reacted and put a policy in place.  Now execution was a mess, but they are much better now. 

The first year they did a weapon check room and it was full, the 2nd year they said you can't come in at all.
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