3 Takeaways from the Smart Cities Caucus Event Security Briefing

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congressman Darrell Issa formed the bi-partisan U.S. Congressional Smart Cities Caucus earlier this year to streamline the creation of policies that accelerate smart development efforts across regions and cities of all sizes in the United States. The Smart Cities Caucus is bridging the divide between federal policy and emerging technology. The latest Smart Cities Caucus workshop convened experts in the area of hosting mega-events to explore the challenges of event security in a connected world. 

Takeaways from the Event Security Roundtable, as told by Rhonda S. Binda, Co-Founder of Venture Smarter and Executive Director of the Smart Regions Initiative:

On June 18th, experts gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss the myriad of security issues facing large and small events, to share industry insights with policymakers, and their predictions on the technology trends affecting event security. On the heels of the World Cup, one of the largest events worldwide which the U.S. has successfully hosted in the past, Charlyn Stanberry Esq., Legislative Director to Rep. Clarke and Mimi Strobel, Legislative Assistant to Rep. Brooks, moderated this important discussion to examine with industry practitioners how leveraging technology better improves security and the overall fan experiences. 

Connectivity for All Events Big and Small, Urban and Rural

Tommy Goodwin, Director of Field Operations, at Eventbrite, spoke aggressively about connectivity, recognizing how much it can enhance event planners’, customers’ and attendees’ experiences at any given event. He emphasized the criticality of connectivity for events to be better managed and safer, and how having connectivity increases the ability to share the news happening at an event in real time. Goodwin spoke about leveraging RFID technology and recommended relying more on public-private partnerships in order to develop scalable solutions. He stressed the importance of Integrating local security efforts with 5G as it becomes available, for better overall safety and experiences. Goodwin advocated for bringing 5G to both urban and rural communities to help Eventbrite better empower event creators and assure that venues are safe and responsive to unexpected events.

Fall Spectrum Auction and NextGen911

Brooke Ericsson, Chief of Staff to FCC Commissioner O’Reilly, highlighted the FCC’s streams of work related to the Smart Cities Caucus and making smart cities a priority. She noted the collaboration between Capitol Hill and the Trump Administration in the latest omnibus bill which included additional funding for broadband. The FCC is also preparing to auction licenses this fall, namely 28 new high Gigahertz spectrum, to usher in a new era of the U.S. becoming a global leader in 5G. In addition, Commissioner O’Reilly is making sure states are correctly issuing their funds for 911 purposes to transition to NextGen911 (#NG911). NextGen911 enables the transmission of images, text, video and other data to 9-1-1 centers, also known as a Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Some states like New York remain far behind facing a $2.1 billion funding gap. The Commissioner’s recent study surveying the use and misuse of 9-1-1 funds is being used to target compliance and accelerate delivery of NextGen911.

Frictionless Fan Experiences

Richard Rosenstein, Clear CFO described how the advent of 5G dovetails with their mission of creating more frictionless experiences. Clear believes “you are who you are” and that utilizing their technology solves for bottlenecks at venues and conflicts with vendors, to name a few of a whole host of opportunities empowered by greater connectivity. In addition to airports, there are opportunities for Clear applications in the areas of healthcare, building management, sports and benefits for small businesses. Today however, connectivity is a still a major chokepoint.

As the U.S. Congressional Smart Cities Caucus, the Smart Regions Initiative, and Venture Smarter continue to innovate and collaborate with industry, federal, state and local governments, regional planning associations and others to build more connected communities, we welcome your participation in this multi-stakeholder process. For more information about our Annual Smart Regions Conferences, please visit:  SmartRegions.org/conference