Primetech’s MultiNet Comms product family is helping event management company Controlled Events protect public safety and improve emergency service liaison at major events such as the America’s Cup World Series.
- Primetech’s MultiNet Comms family supports major event communications and public safety for Controlled Events
- MultiNet Comms also supports improved emergency service liaison during event emergencies
During the recent America’s Cup World Series of races held in Portsmouth, leading event management and communications specialist Controlled Events deployed a Ka-band mobile satellite broadband system from Primetech, part of the company’s MultiNet Comms family of integrated communications solutions.
This was used by the America’s Cup organising team and Controlled Events support staff, giving them access to high capacity broadband, a web-based document and logging system for notifications, and radio, to support a safe and successful event involving crowds of many thousands of people
The Ka-band system is part of Primetech’s cutting edge, lightweight and portable MultiNet Comms ‘ecosystem’ which is used to integrate Ka-band mobile satellite broadband with wide-area COFDM-based wifi and interoperable communications. These can be supplemented by live-streamed imagery, including drone footage.
This is part of a new trend that has been growing rapidly in recent years. Primetech’s MultiNet Comms integrated communications solution is able to give the Controlled Events team, which manages a wide variety of public events, powerful new tools for improving public safety for event organisers and stakeholders, as well as for improving their communications interoperability with the emergency services.
‘A key element in Controlled Events success has been our partnership with communications specialist Primetech UK Ltd.’ Rob Walley, Controlled Events
In addition to being used at the prestigious America’s Cup World Series races at Portsmouth, single or multiple elements of Primetech’s MultiNet Comms have supported the Controlled Events team at other high profile events, such as the 2014 Invictus Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the Polo in the Park series in London, as well as many concerts and sporting events. Following these successes Controlled Events are now planning to use MultiNet Comms more widely, with the recent acquisition of an additional vehicle-based C-COM Ka-band satellite system.
Events form a huge part of the modern British cultural, sporting, entertainment and educational scene. They are big business, with millions of people attending concerts, athletics competitions, football matches, yacht races, religious and cultural festivals across the country each year.
While most go ahead safely and without incident, sometimes, tragically, they don’t, as the two air crashes (in Shoreham, West Sussex and Oulton Park, Cheshire) during the summer of 2015 demonstrated.
Event organisers have an obligation to ensure that they undertake robust and detailed contingency planning prior to running any event. Risk assessment and comprehensive event management, communications and monitoring, as well as liaison with emergency services, are key elements of good event planning and management, regardless of the type, size and complexity of the event being prepared for. Increasingly, the Health and Safety Executive has been taking an interest in event organisation and safety matters.
Controlled Events, run by emergency and events management specialist Rob Walley, is one of the fastest growing event management companies in the UK. Rob Walley explains his company’s approach:
‘Robust and resilient communications and coordination arrangements are a key requirement for the company and its clients, and that is why we chose Primetech as our communications partner.
‘Advanced communications are needed to deal with the day-to-day requirements of all events - event logging, coordination of security and safety staff in response to smaller incidents - as well to ensure that event management teams and emergency services work together closely. Ka-band satellite broadband gives us the higher levels of data transfer - voice, video and data - that we require to support safer event management. Keeping the public and media up to date is also critical.
‘Events are planned and managed by professionals with operational, security and crowd management expertise. They are guided by a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) process conducted in partnership with local authorities and emergency services, who then often form an event liaison team with which they engage over the duration of the event.
‘Communications are a regular issue, and lessons from numerous previous event and incident debriefs are taken into consideration. Controlled Events’ aim is to provide communications, exercise and management expertise and an overall Common Operating Picture to support these experts.
‘We deliver a unique blend of service and expertise in four strands: equipment hire and logging, planning (documentation), highly trained support personnel; and operational readiness training and assessment (e.g. exercises).
‘A key element in Controlled Events success has been our partnership with communications specialist Primetech UK Ltd. Primetech supplies and supports our integrated MultiNet Comms portable Ka-band mobile satellite broadband system, wide area wifi and handheld and fixed radio systems, as well as other support systems, such as drones from their partner Droneflight. CCTV is another communications system that can be deployed if required.
‘Deploying and combining these systems means that Controlled Events, in conjunction with Primetech, can provide comprehensive communications support for its clients across events. SMS and email notifications are used for Event Liaison Team briefings, incident alerts, sponsors and run-sheet updates.
‘Event Control is delivered using an auditable, web-based logging system, audio visual and communications facilities supported by trained staff, and a mobile Forward Control vehicle. Resilient mobile satellite broadband data and wifi networks support Event Control but can also enhance the experience for sponsors and clients who have a key requirement for access to internet services to stream content and interact on social media platforms.
‘There are a number of key areas where we support our clients, and where Primetech’s MultiNet Comms Ka-band mobile satellite broadband and other solutions are critical. Common threats and issues that event organisers need to understand and take measures to avoid include:
- communications failing at critical moments with reputational damage and safety implications;
- information not reaching key decision makers and overall situational awareness being difficult or slow;
- organisers having great kit with lots of functionality which is not used optimally on the event day;
- challenges in managing a complex network of decision makers, sponsors, contractors, stakeholders and partners, on- and off-site, with varying levels of requirement and access to communications.
‘Some event communication providers supply kit rather than capability and are not on site implementing the coordinated and proactive systems which ensure effective management of operations and incidents. With Primetech and our own specialist teams, we ensure that all communications systems are used correctly to ensure maximum benefit to organisers, participants, emergency services and the general public. We understand what all parties need, and we ensure these needs are met.
‘Data demands at events are growing - from event management and production through to security, sponsors and partners: sponsor and partner requirements are becoming more complex; there is commercial competition for customers and sponsors from other events; and there are escalating expectations on organisers due to public sector austerity.
‘What does the new event communications picture now look like? The following are key features:
- There needs to be a common operating picture across radio, data and media for all operations, issues and incidents leading to faster resolution of issues for an improved customer experience, and greater confidence and engagement from partners;
- There should be asset protection and operational readiness capability to ensure 'plan A' operations and 'plan B' contingencies are effective;
- There should be a capability for the event management team to see an overflight of the venue ahead of gates opening, and for assets to be mapped;
- Resilient information management is required, with layered systems for information sharing (radio, satellite-based wifi, robust hardware and skilled staff to assure senior management of the safety and security of an event;
- And there should be a comprehensive audit trail, which meets common industry-standard requirements.
‘With the many different communications systems supplied to us by Primetech and other partners such as Droneflight UK, and with Primetech’s close ongoing technical support, we are confident that we are able to deliver on all these many requirements for responsible, safe and successful event management for our busy 2016 events calendar and beyond.’
Henry Walker of Primetech supports these conclusions. ‘Primetech is delighted that technologies the company has pioneered and introduced into the emergency services, such as the comprehensive MultiNet Comms family of solutions, are now being deployed so effectively in support of improved public safety at events throughout the UK.
‘We have recently boosted the reach, capability and flexibility of the MultiNet Comms brand with the release of the new Primetech Resilient Communications Trailer, which allows the complete MultiNet Comms system to be deployed across wide areas in a cost-effective and resilient manner.
‘The Controlled Events team, many of whom have previous public sector emergency management experience, are very skilled at extracting maximum benefit from Primetech’s communications systems to support improved public safety, and that is something we are delighted to see.’