A very successful foreign business owner and his wife arrive in Las Vegas to attend Fight Week. He has VIP access to multiple days of fights and activities in multiple venues. He requires security for him and his wife however does not have a fight tickets for the security detail, (1-2 security professionals) thus leaving him and his wife unsecure and exposed while in the fight venues.
The Situation and the Solution:
In order to begin to secure this client it starts by being fully licensed and insured. Prior to winning the contract, this particular client initially hired an individual who over heard him talking at a bar regarding his security needs.
Because I have very good relations with a Senior Vice President of Marketing I was able to obtain the would be security individuals name and crossed checked his license status with the Nevada Private Investigators Licensing Board, (State Board that regulates security licensing). I was informed that this person had no license and had been reported prior for working illegally.
I informed my contact to let the client know that the individual they may be hiring is not licensed and could be an extreme liability. This was my first impression to show the client that I look after people’s best interest. It wasn’t just that I wanted his business but I cared enough to do the research and potentially save him from working with someone that is not qualified and or licensed. After that was done I became in direct contact and negotiation with the businessman and immediately sent him my licensing information for his review, which he appreciated and agreed to contract with my company and me.
Upon agreeing to the contract, I had a security professional assigned to him and his wife immediately, the client wanted someone as soon as possible however he understood that because it was a last minute request that it might not be possible. This was only to protect him during his first night in Las Vegas. This was another example of how I immediately attended to his needs.
Aside from normal protection operations, I was faced with the issue that I did not have tickets to the fights let alone the VIP access. Given the publicity of the fights and that they where considered the fights of the century I explained to the client the potential limitations I would face regarding their security, which he understood.
On day 2 of the detail the client called me and requested me to arrive 4 hours earlier then what was planned. I had to explain to the client that I was wearing jeans a t-shirt and I was armed (he was European and did not want armed security which I always make recommendations for armed verse unarmed. For the venues we would be attending it is actually best not to be armed since you are dealing with thousands of public bystanders and the liability of carrying a firearm far out weights the benefits. Plus as a professional you should be able to identify the potential problems without introducing a firearm into the situation. Not to mention the venues do not allow fire arms during events.)
I arrived on venue met with the client and he explained that he wanted to attend a VIP function, which he previous had opted out of going to. I gathered his ticketing information and went to the venue and began my advance. First I requested to speak with head of security, which I explained who I was and that I was there to advance the location for my client. As they gave me permission to walk the routes and visit the seating I explained that I was armed, honesty is the best policy. At that point he called over the police who would be attending the event and I produced my Concealed Carry Permit along with my security company license information. They checked that all my information was accurate and current and both the police and the venue security thanked me and appreciated my honesty.
I conducted my advance and asked them politely what I could do to escort my client to the seat considering I do not have a ticket for the fight. He explained that I could walk them to their seats then he suggested that he could get me an all access, venue management wristband. This would get me special access to escort my client any time during the fight even when others where not allowed to move to the seats (during the actual fight). The only issue he could not accommodate was an actual seat however I was allowed to stand behind the section in which my client was sitting in.
With this wristband I was able to provide the protection for my client outside of the venue and within the venue. This was only possible because of my honesty, humble interaction, and professionalism when dealing with venue staff. I was then able to repeat this for the 2nd day of fights and VIP events for the client getting a new wristband and continuing the process.
One the 3rd day of fights this was much tougher of a problem. The venue seated 16,500 and was completely sold out. I arrived 3 hours prior to my scheduled start time and began to coordinate with the local venue security. I was able to get into the venue, and advance the location however no wristbands would be issued to me. This was a real dilemma since the client was no accustom to having security with him and his wife. I again had to explain that there was a 90% chance I could not be with them during the event, which they understood why.
I again built a very professional report with venue staff and because of that they suggested a solution. They suggested that since I was already currently in the venue that as long as I didn’t leave I would be fine to stay inside. I called my client and explained the situation and they were very pleased. He had no problem making their way to the arena as opposed to me meeting them curbside and escorting them in as I normally would. I met my client at ticketing and then escorted them to the VIP activities and to their seats. I was able to then stand behind their section of seats and had full visibly of them during the entire fight event.
I was able gain access to all venues and VIP activities without having the client purchase additional tickets for me, which was impossible anyway since tickets where unavailable because they had been sold out. Thus I was able to provide total service for the client covering all three major executive protection objectives, protect from harm, embarrassment and multiple secondary objectives. With proper licensing, professionalism, humble approach, due diligence, precise advance work and great customer focus you can accomplish many things that some would seem impossible.
Key Points and Lessons Learned
- Be licensed and insured.
- Have your license information available to email or send via text message.
- Have multiple pre-vetted individuals that can fill contractual needs on short notice. Having more then one vetted security professionals and prioritize them so you can make calls in order of qualification and experience and have back ups in case your top professionals are not available.
- Generate good relationships with managers and executives that work within your market space.
- Do your due diligence on your competition.
- Develop report with all individuals you come into contact with.
- Advance the venue even if its not done to a book standard, short notice and 5 minutes in length can get you access when access seems impossible
- Give yourself plenty of time to make coordination’s, even if it is on your time. The time you invest in a proper advance and relationship building could make all the difference for the detail.