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Four best practices to get the most of your stadium’s VMS

Stadiums, arenas and other sporting event facilities rely on their video management system (VMS) to monitor activities on game day to proactively and remotely detect and respond to incidents.

The United States alone has close to 1,000 sports stadiums and these multi-purpose facilities – which can be used for everything from sporting events and concerts to political rallies and private parties – include areas such as parking, retail, hospitality, concierge, first-aid and medical, making them dynamic facilities to protect.

Because of their divergent needs, event venues require a VMS that is flexible, scalable and able to serve the unique needs of each event. Here are four best practices to get the most from your VMS and surveillance system.

Fully understand your facility needs

It’s important to first completely understand the primary security issues and map out what security will look like depending on the event. The more you know about how the user conducts business, the greater the opportunity to target the project with just the right VMS and video analytics.

For example, does the venue host concerts or private events?  If this is the case, then it’s important to ensure proper video surveillance coverage on the playing field, since this part of the stadium will need additional coverage to monitor large crowds. This can be achieved by using targeted analytics for crowd control and people counting. Video archiving requirements will also depend on compliance and regulations and users may need edge, cloud or on-premises storage capabilities.

Consider an open, flexible and scalable VMS platform

An open VMS provides the flexibility to use existing hardware and components, avoiding a complete rip and replace. Open platform systems enable a customer to leverage their legacy camera infrastructure as well as connect the latest high definition IP cameras, access control systems and other complementary technologies into the system for a more holistic approach to their security.

Part of achieving system openness, flexibility and scalability is a robust software development kit (SDK). An open Application Programming Interface (API) allows the VMS to talk to other third party solutions, which can also assist with meeting regulatory compliance or other recording requirements. Software and firmware updates should be automatic to keep processes and cybersecurity safeguards in check.

Is it mobile?

Mobility is essential in stadium security. Being able to deliver real-time live video to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets helps to streamline remote monitoring operations, directing personnel or first responders safely to incidents. Mobile capabilities can include access to live video and the ability to play back and export recorded video and control cameras with PTZ functions. Dynamic maps on the VMS platform also direct individuals as they respond to incidents.

Leverage enhanced remote investigation

When you’re responsible for thousands of attendees, being able to navigate video efficiently and without latency is key. VMS systems with capabilities such as live search and export give stadium security the ability to see, search and export the video incident quickly, rather than toggling through different screens and views to find the scene of interest. VMS systems with specialized bandwidth reducing technology allow multiple users to simultaneously download and search video remotely for investigations without overloading the network or the VMS.

This capability ‘fits’ the resolution of the video stream from the VMS to the capacity of the monitor – mobile, desktop client, browser – so the person viewing gets what they need faster and with less bandwidth constraint.

Stadium security and surveillance are essential components to ensure the safety and well-being of spectators, athletes and performers. The unique requirements of event venues necessitate a VMS that is adaptable, expandable and capable of catering to the specific needs of each event.

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