Expo 2015 in Milan has not been without controversies, from questions over its legacy to the overspend on the project. Still, back at the start of the year, organisers had a far more serious problem to worry about: security.
With the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris coming at the start of the year, event planners decided to radically rethink their existing security plans and upgrade them as quickly as possible to ensure a safer event for all attendees. With the event lasting six months, this was no mean feat and required a huge challenge for organisers to upgrade their systems quickly and efficiently to ensure a high-security presence and deterrent against any potential attacks.
Much of the inspiration for the new security model came from airports, following the shared need to be terror-proof in a situation with a huge number of visitors passing through. Thousands of cameras and scanners were supplied, but the centrepiece of the operation was perimeter fencing, with a vast security fence being installed around the exhibitions. This allowed the installation of security gates to scan visitors when passing through, just as if they were catching a flight at Heathrow Airport.
Giuseppe Sala, who is in charge of investment for the event, was tasked with delivering the security upgrade and was clearly pleased with the results: “The events in Paris made us focus even more attention on security, but this is a work we started a long time ago… security is fundamental for Expo 2015, both at a technical and at an economic level.”
Yet, some organisers within the event took the opportunity to make their security part of their showcase. Austria’s pavilion, which used innovative technology to model a detailed section of forest, surrounded their exhibition with hundreds of metres of cross-laminated timber.
With the event looking like it will pass off without any security hitches, the example of Milan’s tight security is likely to be followed by event organisers elsewhere worried about attacks, and we can probably expect to see more airport-style security at events in the future.
Zaun has supplied high-security temporary security fencing and perimeter security solutions to major events worldwide, from the London 2012 Olympics and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague and the NATO Summit in Cardiff (to name a few); Zaun has provided the solutions.