Billboard Touring Conference 2016 to Examine Security Issues Following Year of Violence

Luis Mattei
Revelers at Pulse, in happier times. On the night of June 12, clubgoers hid in the bathrooms, trying to avoid Omar Mateen’s slaughter. 

In light of the violence at live music events over the past year, the 13th annual Billboard Touring Conference, set for Nov. 9-10 at the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel, will for the first time feature a panel aimed at discussing safety and security issues.

"Presenting Safe and Secure Events in a Dangerous World" will feature a diverse group of safety and security professionals who will assess the risks faced by the live entertainment industry and the strategies, tactics, and precautions concert professionals must take in what many describe as "the new normal." Long spared the violence seen at other public gathering places around the globe, music venues have been rocked over the past year by fatal incidents at such places as the Bataclan in Paris, Irving Plaza in New York, and the Pulse nightclub and Plaza Live in Orlando.

Variously wrought by terrorists, disturbed fans, or personal beefs that became public incidents, these tragedies not only occurred front-of-house, but also plagued green rooms, VIP areas, and meet-and-greets, forcing the industry to take a hard look at how best to keep events secure and music fans safe.

Billboard's Touring Conference & Awards Move to Los Angeles, 2016 Dates Announced

The panel will be moderated by security expert Russ Simons, partner, Venue Solutions Group. Panelists include Jay Brock, Regional VP, Contemporary Services Corporation; Frank Keller, president/CEO, Kel Executive Services; Diane Mack, University Director, Emergency Management, Indiana University; Cory Meredith, president, Staff Pro; and Robert C. Smith, President/CEO, Nightclub Security Consultants.

Calling the panel, "the right information at the right time," Simons says the live entertainment industry, "now has a clear view of the risks and vulnerabilities to facilities of all sizes from clubs to stadiums. This panel will assist owners and operators in understanding the elements of a comprehensive security and safety solution that begins with awareness flows to training and execution followed by assessment and ongoing improvement. We are providing a diverse highly experienced panel of industry experts that will examine the keys to a successful security culture, training, screening and security operations."

Register for the 2016 Billboard Touring Conference here.