DERISKING BUSINESS: Risk Sense Technologies founder Wayne Middleton, right, seen here with Ungerboeck Executive Vice President Steve Mackenzie, helped develop the new Risk Manager by Ungerboeck application. (Courtesy Ungerboeck)

Service described as a venues and events industry first

Event software provider Ungerboeck is adding risk management to its portfolio of products with the purchase of products developed by Reliance Risk, whose risk management software was already used in wide use at venues in the Asia Pacific region.

The company is launching a new service called Risk Manager by Ungerboeck after purchasing Reliance Risk’s RiskSense101 and VRM360 products will lead to an industry-first application for mitigating risk at events and venues, according to the announcement. Reliance Risk is an event risk consulting firm in Australia and New Zealand

Terms of the acquisition were not immediately disclosed.

The service will help venue managers and event producers develop a deeper understanding of threats that could affect operations, from natural disasters to human-caused ones, and help them better mitigate and prepare for what might arise, company officials say.

In a statement, Risk Sense Technologies founder Wayne Middleton, who is co-developer of Ungerboeck’s new app, says it fills a need for “a customized, simple solution” in the venues and events space.

Ungerboeck Executive Vice President Steve Mackenzie commented that headlines of the wrong kind have followed several major events in recent years, making its new app a timely addition for the times in which we live. 

“Think of the Manchester Arena bombing, the shooting in Las Vegas, or the Astroworld crowd incident,” he stated. “By offering this tool, we are ensuring venue and event operators are equipped to identify potential risks and produce the necessary tasks and reports to back up the process.”

The license to the Risk Sense software was held for more than seven years by Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, as well as other large Australian venues managed by ASM Global.

Middleton continues in his role as managing director of Reliance Risk while working with Ungerboeck on product development.

Ungerboeck has also taken on as employees two developers that worked for Middleton.

In an email exchange while Mackenzie was on a flight to Australia, the former EventBooking president said Risk Manager gives clients “the ability to do a simple risk profile for any event they choose, and if the risk deems it, then allow them to create a full risk assessment for these events.”

The assessment identifies potential risks an event could face, and then the associated risk controls that need to be put in place to mitigate them, he said.

“This includes automatic allocation of these controls to the relevant people,” according to Mackenzie. “The system also has a Risk Library built in, that has over a decade of data on the various types of risks that are most commonly raised, and also the controls associated with them. This makes building your risk assessment even easier — being based on other event industry experiences.

“Additionally, issues and incidents can be dropped onto a venue specific map real time to ensure control rooms and security rooms are notified immediately something needs attention.”
The product can be installed standalone, but will eventually be linked into Ungerboeck’s other software products “for seamless real time flow of data between these,” Mackenzie said.

Ungerboeck is seeking Safety Act certification through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which caps liability for venues and technologies that mitigate the risk of a terror-related incident.

It’s a completely new area of service for Ungerboeck and one with few event and venue-specific competitors, Mackenzie said.

“This is something we haven’t offered before and we feel really helps expand our breadth of offering to the venue world,” he said. “And it is such a critical and important part of everyone’s business that probably hasn’t traditionally had the focus it deserves. We work in an industry where managing risk is becoming more and more important so it is great to be able to fill that void.”

The deal has been in the works for the past six to nine months.

“Wayne is very well known as an expert in this field in the Asia-Pacific region and had developed the software out of a need he saw when providing his risk consulting,” Mackenzie said. “He is a lectrurer at the IAVM’s Academy of Venue Safety Security in the U.S. and also an Instructor at the Venue Management Association’s Venue Management School in Australia.”
(Editor’s note: This story has been updated.)