After six months of intense planning, the inaugural Venue Safety & Security Exchange Conference (VSX 2023) was held in Sydney last week to a sold out audience of industry professionals, representing major venues, event organisers, security companies, hotels, emergency management consultants, law enforcement agencies and local councils from around the country.
Following recent protest incidents at the Ashes Cricket Test and on the commencement of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, one of the key themes included how to manage the challenges that major events face in mitigating attacks in public venues. Participants agreed there was clearly a need for greater knowledge sharing in the field of sport and venue security, across states, federations, sports, and agencies.
Headline speakers included Karen Webb APM, NSW Police Commissioner and Andrew Cooke, Head of Safety, Security and Access in Australia for the FIFA Women’s WorldCup 2023, kicking off this week in Australia.
Like all industry sectors, venue security and safety is applying new technologies and innovations to enhance management and decision making, with wide application of video analytics, facial recognition, weapon screening and pre-event canine searches.
Presenting on ‘Security Planning and Delivery for Live Events – Challenges, Risks and Opportunities‘, Neil Fergus of Intelligent Risks warned that as Australia approaches the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane, the country faced a tsunami of significant international sporting events, which will present challenges to the security industry, most strikingly in terms of garnering sufficient numbers of suitably trained and licensed personnel.
Organiser and facilitator Eddie Idik, who presented on Crisis Communication, gave thanks to sponsors, partners and exhibitors Davcor, Metrasens, Riskworks Group ASEG, Virtus Risk, Training and Security (VRTS), ASIS International NSW Australian Chapter, MySecurity Marketplace, Australasian Leisure Management magazine, Telechnics, Guardhouse, Baseline Behaviour and Consultancy Moreton Hire.
Other presenters and panellists included Trish Charan, Darren Horne, Chris Cubbage, Adrian Slingsby, Jason Brown, Chris Poulter, Red McClintock, David Wright, Mick Goodwin, Annalese Ryan, Elsie Ng, George Roderick van Gelder, and MC Michael Croaker from Village Roadshow Theme Parks.
The event was further supported with security science students from Macquarie University who ensured everything ran smooth on the day.
The inaugural VSX 2023 was a huge success and filled a significant gap in knowledge sharing as the event and venue management industries return in earnest following the hiatus imposed during the pandemic years. As the country now enjoys the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the number of major international events coming to Australia over the next 8-10 years is significant and will require ongoing engagement. So stay tuned for VSX2024!
For more information visit https://vsxconference.com/
MySecurity Media were official media partners to VSX2023.
Footnote: As at 18 July 2023, the Victorian Government and Premier Daniel Andrews announced the cancellation of the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to excessive budget escalation.