Keeping Valuables Safe at the Reg Desk

Keeping my crap safe at the registration desk is a never-ending act of trial and error. In some out-of-the-way hotels, I have been known to live on the edge and just leave my stuff under the table, but in some high traffic conference centers, I don’t bring any personal items at all. Neither choice is good because my crew might need a snack and to have a snack, I need my wallet but I don’t want it to walk away with some nefarious criminal type.

Just last month, a good friend who is an experienced planner had items taken from under the reg desk at her program. This is not some newb, this is someone with 20 years of experience that just walked away for a second.  A moment they can’t get back.

After the fact, the security video told the tale. My friend steps into the adjacent office, the criminal swooped in and grabbed a random bag and was out the door. Unfortunately, the bag held a passport, wallet, keys, and personal information that nobody wants floating around with the bad guys. It was a loss of money, time, and the sense of security. I don’t wish that on anyone. But is there a happy middle ground between total paranoia and not a care in the world? Well, yes, there can be.

One of the things that we try to do is leave someone at the desk at all times. Anyone who is looking to roll a reg desk is looking for a crime of opportunity. This is not some Ocean’s Eight level crime spree. If the chance to grab a bag or backpack comes up… they will do it. If there is someone sitting there, they will keep on trucking to the pool to find an easy mark. But look, I am not an idiot. Sometimes it is not possible to have more than one person at the desk and sometimes, you gotta go to the bathroom. This is why you have to have plan B.

My new Plan B is a travel safe


Yes, this thing looks stupid but it works because no criminal mastermind is going to yank, hack, or pull at this thing to get it loose. That would draw too much attention and attention brings local law enforcement and that is how idiots go to jail.

What I like about the SafeGo is that it is small and light so you are not lugging around a cinderblock. Pair that with the 17″ steel cable and you have the makings of something that is not only useful at the reg desk but also comes in handy at the airport, the beach, the park, the hotel lobby, or the pool… Pretty much anywhere that event professionals gather for work or play.

The bonus. This thing is stupid cheap. Like $40 cheap. Check out the SafeGo on Amazon. Check out their super corny video.

For those on a budget, I won’t leave you getting burgled and such, MasterLock sells a similar product for about $20 called the Masterlock SafeSpace. It is MasterLock so you know it has quality, it is just seems a little smaller than the SafeGo.

RegDesk Safe

Of course, Master Lock has a video!


We All Have our Moments

A little personal safe is not foolproof, but it is better than nothing because we all have our moments, I find myself saying “I will just run over there, it will be fine” all the time but step one of keeping your valuables safe at the reg desk is to not be like me. Step two is to be proactive in simple ways that we can all do without feeling overburdened. Leaving someone at the desk or locking our stuff in the office is the way to go but if we can’t, we have to make our valuables hard to carry off.

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Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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