There’s little doubt that live event security is one of the most important issues facing organizers.

A string of high profile terrorist attacks at concert venues and festivals has forced the entire industry to review our best practices and to continue to evolve in order to stay several steps ahead of the threats.

At this year’s XLIVE convention in Las Vegas, Intellitix hosted a five-hour workshop series which featured some of the leading voices in the live event security and surveillance industry. Our aim was to give a platform to those that are developing the new standards, and to engage the North American event community in a discussion about the crucial role that security plays in their operations.

So what did we cover?

Our CRO Eric Janssen’s opening remarks established the grave context for the workshop series, highlighting the tragic events at Route 91 Harvest festival around two months earlier as the catalyst for this discussion. 

Russ Simmons of Venue Solutions Group went deep into the necessity for regimented procedure and defined accountability amongst live event security personnel. He was followed by Intellitix’s Jon Zifkin, who explained how RFID has become the standard for access control, while Olympics security veteran Peter Ashwin (Event Risk Management Solutions) discussed how best practices for hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) measures can be adapted to protect and safeguard crowded places for live events.  

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller (Jeffrey Miller Consulting LLC) discussed the very real threat of terrorism at live events and the troubling lack of foresight around vulnerability. 

We closed the session with AEG’s director of health and safety Ash Ebrahim referencing the challenges around patron safety and harm reduction, and our workshop curator Chad Ladov detailing the best practices for surveillance at one-off sites, and how that landscape has evolved with technological advancements.

Big Takeaways

  • Assess your risks and vulnerabilities. The most important thing that any mass gathering or performance venue can do is have a comprehensive Risk and Vulnerability Assessment conducted to identify the areas of significant risk so that an effective plan to mitigate the identified risks can be devised. 

 

  • Get your head out of the sand. Jeff Miller closed his presentation with a warning to the complacent festival and event producers out there that still haven’t acknowledged that their event is a target. 

 

  • Get educated in security terminology. Russ Simmons’ uncompromising keynote had a powerful section replete with acronyms of organizations every security professional should know. 

 

  • Big or small, there are solutions for your event. Every speaker was in agreement that regardless of your budget, things can be done to make your event safer. It all begins with acknowledging vulnerability and then seeking help. 

 

  • Get outside opinions. There’s a good chance that your familiarity to your venue has blinded you from its vulnerability. Seek fresh, professional perspectives before you open your gates.

RFID for Access Control

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As well as the innovative role our technology plays in the advancements in cashless systems and experiential marketing, RFID is greatly elevating the standard of live event security. Alongside a fortified perimeter and broad surveillance, access control to the event site itself shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Intellitix’s VP of Customer Success Jon Zifkin gave the audience a glimpse at the scale of the problem surrounding inadequate and antiquated access control methods, such as barcodes.

“At a two-day event with 30,000 people, we flagged 7,028 attempts to enter prohibited areas on site,” said Zifkin. “Without RFID, you don’t know that number. You shouldn’t be able to just get into an event because you’re good with Photoshop.”

As a we deepen our role as a key partner to a broad spectrum of live events, we consider the safety and security of your patrons to be of utmost importance. Our technology plays a vital role in restricting access to those that shouldn’t have it, and when that is partnered with the best practices espoused by our panelists, patrons can expect a high standard of safety at any live event. 

We hope that by hosting events such as these and by developing our knowledge hub of online resources for event producers, we can help to foster positive development across the industry and ensure success and increasing standards of live event safety year-on-year for our partners.