|ID Systems: An Awarding and
|A Golden Globes show ticket with embedded RFID
chip being scanned at front of red carpet.
March 16, 2006
The Golden Globes uses high-tech ID and wireless.
Move over, Entertainment Tonight. There’s a new way to identify the real VIPs.
A portable radio frequency identification (RFID) system, used at this year’s
Golden Globe Awards, tightened the event’s security while keeping up
appearances. Numerous celebrity happenings as well as more mundane but still
security-sensitive corporate events may start applying higher-level RFID
It seems that with increased worldwide attention, the Hollywood Foreign Press
Association (HFPA) and its security company placed tighter controls on
perimeter access to the event and access to numerous internal areas throughout
the facility hosting the award show. So how do they ensure the right
individuals get credentialed for the event and only approved VIPs get ticketed
access? For the last three years they have turned to EventCredentials, LLC, Los
Angeles, to provide photo/RFID credentials and tickets to all approved
Top star challenges
Normally The Beverly Hilton is open to the public, but during the Golden Globes
it becomes a highly restricted and secured venue. This required the HFPA to
credential thousands of media members, production staff, celebrities, vendors
and hotel employees. Each of the 5,000 individuals credentialed needed a unique
electronic access record that will grant access to individually pre-approved
areas at the venue. Areas that required enhanced access control included the
International Ballroom, the red carpet area, the 25,000-square-foot media
center with 10 separate rooms and the five on-site after-parties.
In addition, all 1,500 vehicles entering the controlled perimeter had to be
credentialed, ranging from the limos that dropped off the stars at the red
carpet to food delivery trucks. Further complicating access control, tickets to
the ballroom were not assigned and only issued four days before the event since
presenters and VIP guests are not confirmed until the week of the show. The
HFPA and security team needed a fluid process to manage credentials, tickets
and vehicle passes electronically.
|Savi Networks’ SaviTrak managed service is
Web-based software linked to radio frequency identification tags on cargo
containers. The technology provides real-time information on the location,
security and status of global shipments.
EventCredentials implemented a proprietary “3-in-1” turnkey solution which
allowed HFPA to streamline the registration, credentialing and controlling of
access level rights for all individuals needing to be credentialed and
ticketed. The solution provided an integrated system: attendee database
management; on-site check-in and photo/RFID credential and ticket production;
and credential and ticket scanning at perimeter and internal access points. The
software allowed HFPA senior members and the security team to efficiently make
decisions on the access rights granted to each of the 5,000 individuals
credentialed. Since an RFID enhanced credential was used, access rights could
be altered by such administrators electronically in real-time with a click of a
Gone were the days of needing to reprint a credential in order to make changes
to an individual’s access rights.
During the three weeks leading up to the Golden Globes Awards’ show,
individuals needing to receive a credential and guests approved to receive
tickets to the ballroom were filtered through EventCredentials’ proprietary
event management software. The HFPA and security had access to each of these
individuals’ relevant data at all times electronically.
During the five days leading up to the show, EventCredentials issued over 5,000
photographic credentials, 1,500 vehicle passes and 1,300 personalized ballroom
tickets, each embedded with an RFID chip used to verify authentication and user
identity upon entrance to multiple areas within the venue. Attendees visited
the Credential Center located on-site at the venue and in less then a minute
had their pre-approved access record retrieved, photo captured, credential
printed and RFID chip activated.
Show day results
On show day, each credential, vehicle pass and ticket was scanned for
electronic verification. With dozens of independent scanning locations,
individuals didn’t get very far before being scanned and re-scanned to
authenticate access. Scanning devices included wireless PDAs, which displayed
the credential holder’s photo and name upon scanning of the credential or
ticket for physical verification by security personnel. In addition, RFID
technology made it possible to instantly deactivate lost, revoked, stolen or
forgotten credentials/tickets, eliminating potential counterfeiting or misuse.
The key to success was the software. Designed for hardware that can be moved
efficiently and effectively from event to event as well as through any venue,
it permits sophisticated security and access control without the high
installation and maintenance costs.