As a ticketing and event technology platform that powers millions of events around the world, Eventbrite enables creators of all shapes and sizes. From a promoter putting on a music festival for thousands of fans to a creator hosting an Instagrammable “pop-up” experience like the Museum of Pizza — our creators have a wide variety of needs in order to execute a successful event. However, one aspect that remains a top priority for all creators is ensuring the safety of their attendees, performers, and onsite staff.
Like many facets of the live events industry, technology has an important role to play in executing a safe experience. We’ve found that robust connectivity can facilitate better communication and coordination at events. This allows creators to promote safer and more secure live experiences.
This is a topic that we at Eventbrite feel very passionate about, and last week, we took to the U.S. Capitol to participate in a panel discussion called “Exploring the Challenges of Event Security in a Connected World.”
Our Director of Global Field Operations, Tommy Goodwin, joined the stacked panel, which also included Brooke Ericson, chief of staff to FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly; Richard Rosenstein, CFO of Clear; and opening remarks from Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA). The lively discussion was moderated by Charlyn Stanberry, Legislative Director for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Mimi Strobel, Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN).
The event was jointly organized by the Congressional Smart Cities Caucus, which is dedicated to bringing American communities into the 21st century through innovation and technological change, and the Congressional 5G Caucus, which educates Members on the importance of 5G technologies and the role they will play in economic growth and digital innovation.
The panel was a closed-door event, so here some key takeaways and snippets:
Better connectivity enhances critical safety communication.
Goodwin spoke about the need for robust and reliable connectivity to power communications plans, facilitate safe ingress and egress, and speed access to emergency services. “The consistent theme, across all of my conversations with event creators about security and safety, is the importance of effective communication in the moment of a crisis,” Goodwin noted, adding that boosting a broadband signal, or renting handheld radios to mitigate the effects of poor broadband coverage, is often cost-prohibitive for most small and medium-sized event operations. “If you’ve got robust connectivity, then there are many other tools that are lower cost, that are easier to adapt, that can be used to facilitate communication,” Goodwin said. Goodwin elaborated that Eventbrite is looking at ways to enhance the messaging features in its Organizer App to make it even easier for creators to get the right messages to the right attendees at the right times in the event of an emergency.
NextGen911 could transform emergency response.
Next Generation 911, or NextGen911 for short, is designed to enable the transmission of text, images, video and other data to a 9-1-1 center, also known as a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Upgrading PSAPs from analog to digital is a critical component of the program, and according to Brooke Ericson, while the FCC has been incentivizing wireless carriers to do their part to deliver NextGen911, there have not been as many requirements or incentives on the PSAPs themselves. Ericson noted that the FCC is keen to make the United States a global leader in 5G technology and made the connection between 5G and improved emergency communications at events and in public spaces. From their perspective, if we prioritize smart cities, smart infrastructure policies and technologies like NextGen911, we’ll be in a solid position.
Clear is expanding its biometric security technologies into stadiums and arenas across the United States.
Clear CFO Richard Rosenstein described how Clear moved beyond airports to roll out its biometric screening technology for entry at baseball stadiums, and is piloting a program to use the same technology to verify age at stadium concessions. The company believes they can bring better frictionless and secure experiences to fans, visitors, and customers, powered by the availability of connectivity.
Live events should be places for people to come together safely to experience new things and share community — this is one of the core reasons Eventbrite was created twelve years ago. We look forward to continuing to identify and innovate technology solutions that could better improve event security, as well as partnering with key policy organizations and others in the industry, in order to contribute to a safer experience at the live events we touch, and for the industry at large.