IT’S CALLED THE THEORY of supply and demand: As security has become a top priority for many event planners over the past year, security companies have responded to increased demand by raising their prices. (These guys aren’t dummies.) Alan Schissel, president of Integrated Security Services, says his firm has raised prices from $27.50 to $34.50 per hour for an armed guard in a suit, and he estimates that some firms are charging as much as $45 an hour. Meanwhile, Peter Liotta, vice president of She-Jen Security Consultants, estimates that personal bodyguards and escorts who used to get $50 to $75 per hour now cost $100 to $150.
Meanwhile, the industry has seen a wave of upstart agencies ready to cash in on the new demand for security, and the established firms warn that some of them may not be up to par—or legal standards. Schissel suggests asking for references and doing a background check on any agency you’re considering for an event. Legit security agencies are state licensed,
insured and bonded.
Watch their prices, too. Richard Werth, president of Event & Meeting Security Services, says with any security service that charges less than $15 an hour, you will probably have problems. And this isn’t a place to scrimp, he says: “You get what you pay for.”