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AO Arena rolls out ASM’s security technology partnership with Evolv

Venue and event management company ASM Global has announced a new partnership with the weapons detection security screening firm, Evolv Technology.

Under the partnership, Evolv will operate as part of ASM’s VenueShield, the company’s safety and security programme. Evolv marks the first addition to VenueShield since the COVID-19 outbreak as security and safety turn to new technologies to keep customers safe and to future proof venues.

The implementation of Evolv’s technology by ASM Global aims to enhance venue safety and security, as well as improve the customer experience by reducing queues and offering a seamless and swift arrival to the venue.

AO Arena, operated by ASM Global, is the first arena in Europe to use Evolv’s technology as part of its £50m (€59.5m/$60.9m) investment into Manchester’s venue, which was the scene of the May 2017 terrorist attack which killed 22 people following an Ariana Grande concert.

AO Arena (pictured) has been using AI-based threat detection screening system, Evolv Express, to screen guests as they arrive at the venue for events, without the need to stop or remove items from their pockets or policy-compliant bags. So far, the system has been used for eight shows welcoming over 54,000 guests, with a full roll-out planned for September.

As part of the new partnership, ASM has been working closely with Evolv to ensure the technology has been tested to government standards in both the UK and US, as well as collaborating on further improvements and continuous development.

Gary Simpson, director of safety security and risk for ASM Global, said: “We have been working with Evolv for over two years supporting the testing and development of the Evolv Express system.

“The detection technology has been used for some time in America but this is the first such deployment at an arena in Europe. Given the positive experience at the AO Arena, Manchester we are planning a further roll out to other venues in Europe as part of our VenueShield programme.”

Evolv last year entered into a merger agreement with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) NewHold Investment which resulted in it becoming a publicly traded company.

Peter George, CEO of Evolv Technology, said: “We are thrilled to partner with ASM Global to provide an enhanced security posture for AO Arena while making sure the guest experience is truly enhanced.

“With this partnership, AO Arena joins other iconic venues secured by Evolv, including Lincoln Center and Gillette Stadium in the US. As we continue to expand globally, we look forward to working with ASM to help bring safer venues and better experiences to more people.”

ASM last month agreed a multi-year partnership with cloud software firm Infor which it stated will result in the live-entertainment industry’s first fully integrated booking, sales, food and beverage, and event management platform for domestic and international venues.

In April, ASM claimed a first for the live events industry with the launch of a facial verification network in partnership with technology provider PopID.

In January, ASM acquired a controlling interest in Anthony James Partners (AJP), an owner’s representative and AV consultant that specialises in the AV technology systems and solutions.

Image: Ivanmuyalde12/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size