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Digital Threshold Live is a series of webcasts featuring new guest speakers in each episode from a variety of industries moderated by Evolv Technology's Co-founder & Head of Corporate Development, Anil Chitkara. Learn More.

 

EPISODE 3:

The Harris Poll: New Visitor Expectations for Security Screening

Took Place on November 12, 2020 at 1pm ET

Watch the OnDemand version below.

Human truths in hard data reveal authentic values. As it relates to schools, workplaces and entertainment venues, our hypothesis has been that visitors determine their comfort level and willingness to participate based on the type of physical security and ability to socially distance.

In Digital Threshold Live Episode 3, we shared the results of our survey, Consumer Sentiment – Advancements in Security Screening, conducted by Harris Insights & Analytics LLC, intended to understand visitor expectations about touchless physical security practices and guest experiences.

Erica Parker, Managing Director, Harris Insights & Analytics LLC was our guest. As the lead on this research project as well as many other significant Harris Polls, she  discussed our findings and added context from some of her related research.

Consumer sentiment data is a strong indicator of how optimistic consumers feel and how they'll behave - - these findings will help you justify taking steps to earn the trust and confidence of your community, and reopen and operate safely.



Harris Poll Logo Lockup Descriptor-primary-black (4)

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963. For over 5 decades their research has shifted culture and policy.

Erica Parker

Managing Director

Harris Insights

The Digital Threshold Episode 3 Transcript

Anil Chitkara: 

Welcome to the Digital Threshold Live. Here, we bring you professionals and practitioners at the intersection of venues and technology. And we have a very special guest today, Erica Parker. Erica comes to us from the Harris Poll and we've recently been doing some work with her. Erica, can you introduce yourself please? 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. Thank you for having me today. I am Erica Parker, I'm a managing director at the Harris Poll. If you are unfamiliar with the Harris Poll, we are a research based consultancy, that works with leaders across a variety of industries to provide them with trusted insights, to help make key business decisions, avoid risk and maximize potential growth. Since its inception of the Harris Poll in 1963, by the pollster Lou Harris, we've been pulsing public opinion on key issues that impact society and monitoring consumer trends for over 55 years. I'm really excited to share some of the data we have broadly about COVID and some trends we've seen over the past six months, as well as the work that we did in partnership with Evolv. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Great. I've been having a lot of conversations with people like all of you, venue operators, heads of security, guest services, schools, workplaces since COVID hit, since March. And one thing is clear is that the future is not clear. It's very dynamic, it's changing quickly. So we decided to get some data, to get some ground truth, to reach out to you and get some information and data that we can share. Share about your concerns, concerns that consumers have, how they might want to come back, what that environment is like when they come back, that help inform you, as you think about reopening your venues, your schools, your workplaces, and your different locations. So Erica, maybe you could talk a little bit about the methodology and the segments and the approach we took to get some of this data to inform our team here. 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. We conducted a quantitative survey online. It was from September 18th to October 3rd. We interviewed a total of approximately 1,500 US adults, across three key segments who really have a personal stake in the security screening process and that experience. Those three groups where we had approximately 700 parents of school aged children, approximately 500 workers who work in large factories, warehouses, or distribution centers, and approximately 500 folks who had attended an event at a ticketed venue in 2019. 

Erica Parker: 

This represents approximately 60% of the US population. And of course, with any type of work that we do, we take a lot of care to ensure that the folks we are speaking with are representative of the target audiences that we want to measure sentiments among. So to ensure that representative sample, we made sure to balance on known demographics like education, age, by gender race, ethnicity of region and income, and to correct for any propensity to be a part of an online panel. So that's the methodology from the Evolv work that we did. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Great. So let's just spend a few minutes on the segments themselves. We looked at work places, we looked at ticketed venues, and we talked to folks that are in schools, or are sending their kids to schools. And this is a lot of the heartbeat of the economy of the US. In the case of schools, we've all seen states and districts sort of go up and down in terms of remote learning, hybrid learning or in-person learning, to very important topic in terms of getting our kids back into the classroom and learning in that environment. 

Anil Chitkara: 

In the case of workplaces, you mentioned we've talked to some of the factories and warehouses and distribution centers. These people in these organizations, are moving essential goods through our economy. It includes people in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry that's getting PPE out there, it includes people that is moving food around and other essential goods and services. So this is a very critical component of the economy. 

Anil Chitkara: 

And then the third is ticketed venues. This is where we go out to enjoy ourselves, to get a little break from the day-to-day. By and large, a lot of these venues have been closed down, unfortunately. But both the venues themselves and of course, all of us as fans, as guests, as patrons want to get back there. And so, I'm really interested to sort of dig into this a little bit more. 

Anil Chitkara: 

One of the findings that I found to be very intriguing, is that the pandemic and COVID is very high on everybody's list. It's very high on the concerns that they have. But a mass shooting event, a mass casualty event, is essentially equally high in their concerns. So, although people want to make sure that they are safe from the public health risk that comes, they also want to make sure when they go back out that there is a safety around physical security risk. 

Anil Chitkara: 

And I just found that that continues to be a concern of so many people to be really an important finding and to ensure that when we talk to others, that we convey that as well, so that they don't tip the balance too much in just focusing on a pandemic and they continue to maintain a focus on physical security and other aspects as well. 

Erica Parker: 

I certainly agree. I think we've seen a lot of interactions of different crises over this six month time period. And that's important to think about that holistic environment that we're operating in right now. 

Anil Chitkara: 

And you've done a lot of research and polling of the consumers about the pandemic, in general, before we started working together. Can you talk about some of the findings you've seen sort of early on and throughout the last six or eight months and what are people feeling out there? 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. It's been really interesting as we've watched these numbers and trends unfold. So, at the very beginning of the pandemic in mid-March, we actually decided to launch a weekly tracking study. We call it the COVID tracker. And we share out the data from that as a public service. And we've really been tracking public sentiment towards a range of topics as they come up, what is timely and in the news at the time. Anything from the economy to healthcare, to jobs, education, as the crisis continued to unfold. 

Erica Parker: 

And since the beginning, we've actually been tracking different fear curves, as we've been calling them. And so since lockdown, the fear of dying from the virus has hovered around approximately 50% for most of that period, since we started measurement in mid-March. And it was really interesting that at first in the very beginning, national fear was actually perceived as irrational, 54% had felt that way. But then it quickly flipped to being seen as sensible. And now, around seven in 10, actually 72% of Americans, see the fear around the virus as a sensible. 

Erica Parker: 

But other fears have arisen during this time period. Fear of losing their jobs has really often flip-flopped, back and forth with the fear of dying, that both are actually currently at 52%. And what listeners today may be interested in, is actually the fear of returning to public activity, which is even greater than the fear of dying with 70% citing that fear. And in the work that we've been doing across for a variety of different industries, we've spoken with many businesses who trying to figure out just how the tackle this fear and help to restore public confidence in these particular activities. 

Erica Parker: 

We also find that emotions are high and range across the board. Folks are feeling thankful and appreciative. 71%, 67% feel that way. A lot of that has to do with now we have some maybe more downtime to spend with our families and all of that. But then it's mixed in with feelings of anger, 51% expressing that feeling, having cabin fever and feeling lonely. And this range of emotions we see even more apparent with parents, who are feeling grateful potentially for the time with their family, but are feeling overwhelmed maybe as they're trying to balance online school and also annoyed. Maybe it's too much togetherness, who knows? 

Erica Parker: 

We actually see these same fears and emotions in the study that we conducted for Evolv. In the questions we asked around concerns that these individuals have around the biggest issues facing the country today. So you had alluded to this a bit. Of those salient issues facing the US right now, concern is high across the board for COVID-19 and the pandemic response. 58% said they are very concerned about that. But then also, concern is quite high for protest related, civil unrest, street crime, and mass shootings, which all hover around 50% of the folks we spoke with, feeling that they are very concerned about those. 

Erica Parker: 

We also asked about crime in the US and if it's increased, decreased, or stayed the same. And 71% of those we spoke with felt that crime in the U has increased. And even a third of those folks felt that it had increased even in their own neighborhoods. And this feeling is even more pronounced when we looked at it by region or urbanicity. So, in urban areas and in the Northeast, this feeling is even more pronounced, that crime is up in their area. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Can I pause there for a second, Erica? 

Erica Parker: 

Sure. 

Anil Chitkara: 

So 7 in 10 people feel like crime is higher this year than it was last year. And just to go back to your set up of the poll, this is not an urban poll, right? Let's just recast it, it's representative of the population. So this is across the US, rural, suburban, urban, North, South, East, West. This is a truly representative picture of concern across the US. 

Erica Parker: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Anil Chitkara: 

That's tremendous. That's really concerning. 

Erica Parker: 

It really is. I think a lot of it has to do with all of those feelings and the different crises that have all intersected between the pandemic, protests around racial issues, et cetera, is all sort of bubbling up to those feelings. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Interesting. 

Erica Parker: 

So, as we were talking about though, certainly, competing with these fears is also some pent up demand. People are missing some of the activities that they got to do before the crisis came around. And the longer whatever level of shutdown each state or area is in, the need to continue to limit large group interactions, or even now we're seeing the tightening of certain restrictions, the threat of shutdowns in some states, again, beginning to crop up, the more people are missing these activities. 

Erica Parker: 

71% say that they miss dining out at a restaurant and bar, 55% miss attending events like concerts, theaters, and sporting events, and even 46% miss traveling on an airplane. And with missing these activities, the more they want to return to that normal. So when it's okay to return to normal, the intent to attend a concert or sporting event. We've seen that rise in the six month period from 12% to 20%, the intent to be able to go on a vacation or travel going from 24% to 38%. 

Erica Parker: 

And what we've seen is really, we've asked people, "How long will it take for you to return to certain activities? Is it within the next month, up to three months, up to six months, et cetera." And people's response to that in terms of the time it will take for them to return, seems to correlate with distance and familiarity. So they're much more likely to return to things like going to dinner or the office. Some things that might be more compulsory, like going to work, compared to attending a sporting event or flying on a plane. 

Erica Parker: 

Only a third of folks, or a little over a third of folks, said that they would do those things up to three months after the government says the virus has flattened. So it's clear with that kind of data that it's a bigger lift to get people to ticketed events. Venue and facility managers are going to need to do some work to restore public confidence and get people back to these activities and feel comfortable doing these activities. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Yeah, we've seen some of that too. The initial places that opened were outdoor places, it easier to maintain distancing. Obviously you have the airflow of being in an outdoor environment, those tended to open earlier than some of the locations, like a workplace where you could have 25% of the people in, not 100% in, you can spread desks out or not use desks, similar dynamic in schools and in things like museums. A few weeks ago on the show, we had the American Museum of Natural History, and they were on talking about how they've reopened and the protocols they've had. And it's certainly been a very different scenario. But I also talked to a lot of folks in the performing arts and entertainment and sports worlds, we certainly see what the pro sports have been working towards. They're trying to get sort of some fans in, but it's a challenge. It's a real challenge. 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. On a personal note, some venues here locally, in Northern Virginia where I live, had drive in concerts and things, just to bring some revenue in and keep the facilities being used. But certainly, it becomes a challenge as we enter winter and we can't do things outdoors, that we've been able to do to maintain social distancing and follow some of the health risk mitigation strategies we've been told to follow. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Right. It definitely seems regional and state based. Obviously different States have different protocols in opening up or shutting down. And in the Northeast, just in the last day or two, we've seen them tightening up. Restaurants closing at 10:00 PM in New York and New Jersey instituted some recent changes as well. And then if you look at the South, if you look at Florida, but also due to the weather, we were talking to some of the entertainment folks we work with down there, and one of the performing arts centers is creating an outdoor venue. So they created pods outside, it's outdoors, it enables them to get the artists back and to get patrons and people to come sort of listen to it. 

Anil Chitkara: 

As I talk to people, it's really important to have these outlets. You mentioned it earlier, people feeling cramped and pent up. Part of it is getting out, but part of it is just enjoying the cultural institutions, right? Whether it's the arts or sports or whatever ways to get out. People are trying to get really creative about how to do that. 

Erica Parker: 

Yeah. And certainly those who are becoming creative are being rewarded with consumers coming back and paying for those activities. 

Anil Chitkara: 

So let's talk about that. Let's talk about what it takes to come back. I talked about it a little bit earlier. I mentioned it that there's a lot of concerns. You talked a lot about the anxieties, some of those anxieties about bad things that can happen. The equal concern around a pandemic and around an active shooter or a mass shooting event, a physical security event. It's some of the information I was looking at. It looked like four out of five people are equally concerned, about those two things. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Which to me says, yes, the pandemic's getting a lot of the news, but they don't forget about their own personal safety as well. And I think some of that ties to the information you were sharing with us earlier. So let's talk about some of the safety measures that people are doing or putting in place and that consumers are looking for, as they go out. Can you share with us some of the findings you've had around that? 

Erica Parker: 

Yeah, absolutely. We've actually asked a lot about different measures people are putting in place to encourage people to come back to different venues. And certainly, some of the things that we've seen that have become common practice in gyms, doctor's offices, et cetera, are things that consumers are looking for, the public is looking forward to be able to return. So there's obviously some of the sort of sanitation and COVID related practices, like more frequent cleaning and sanitizing is expected by 90% of the folks we spoke with. Also, the presence of hand sanitizer stations, flexi glass shields in close proximity areas and social distancing floor markings. 

Erica Parker: 

But also, some newer innovations from both a security perspective, as well as a health perspective. We find that 87% are likely to return to facilities and venues if there was a touchless security screening and 85% likely to return if there's some sort of walkthrough, body temperature measurement, which has been in the news a lot as well. 

Anil Chitkara: 

So essentially what they're saying is, "I'm concerned about the public health risks around COVID, do some sort of mitigation or screening around that," which is the temperature screening. "I am concerned about physical violence and mass shootings, do some screening of weapons to do that. And that will help give me some comfort that I can come back and return." 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. 

Anil Chitkara: 

We have a number of cultural institutions, museums, and various places like that. A lot of them are putting more screening in place to ensure the safety and security of their visitors and also their staff. And what they're recognizing is, having people come into these museums and enjoy them as a very important part of taking the anxiety level down, but they need to do it the right way. So what else have you seen in terms of coming back and what consumers are looking for? 

Erica Parker: 

Like we said, the concern for personal security is there as well. We were asking about some of the traditional ways. Do we want to talk a little bit about some of the traditional secure security methods and what people think about those, but sort of in contrast with the 19 issues? 

Anil Chitkara: 

Yeah. 

Erica Parker: 

When we ask these folks who have a stake in personal security screening process, how necessary metal detector security screening is in schools, workplaces or ticketed venues, we did find that metal detector security screening is viewed as necessary when people are congregating, 82% felt that way. It obviously provides a sense of safety for those folks, and they feel it helps detect obvious threats. But they also see the shortcomings of this. This process also, in light of the pandemic, it's some things that they're not willing to accept when they consider social distancing guidelines. 

Erica Parker: 

I know for sure, there's been times when I've shown up at a restaurant or something and saw a long line, and I absolutely turned around and left. So, the public feels that way as well. If a security screening process is going to create crowds, create long lines, or requires their belongings to be touched, they're not interested in that. They see those as elements of the current security screening process, anywhere from 67% to 79% say that describes the current process. But 62% are not willing to accept that risk of crowds in light of COVID. Americans are seeing the difficulty in maintaining both proper security screening and social distancing. 75% of those we spoke with agree that most physical security screening systems make it impossible to socially distance while waiting in line. That is certainly something that folks need to be aware of. 

Anil Chitkara: 

They're concerned about these risks. They know some of the traditional technologies provide a level of prevention or protection. However, they don't want lines, and they really liked this concept of touch-less screening. Although I'm very curious, how do people actually truly know what it is? 

Erica Parker: 

What that means? 

Anil Chitkara: 

Yeah. I think a lot of it is, they hear about other, they hear about contactless pickup at a restaurant or store. They see you go into a restaurant and use the barcode. The aspect of touchless interactions, has come through in a lot of other parts. And I think they're extending that. What I hear is they're extending that to security as well, where they don't want somebody to security staff to be near you. They don't want them to be touching your bag to look inside, they don't want to hand wand too close to you, they want to maintain a level of distance. 

Erica Parker: 

That's right. I know it is a bit of a sad state when someone comes at you for a hug or something, and you're like, "Ugh." But that is true. That is how we're feeling now. And so certainly, contactless as a phrase, is very appealing to consumers and is what is bringing people to certain behaviors, like you said, with food delivery. I certainly, as a consumer I'm impressed at times when I see creative ways that companies have come up with that. I do agree that they may not completely understand what contactless security screening means to them, but certainly if they're putting it in the frame of reference with other contactless services that they have now, that really came out of the pandemic, they get it. And they say, "Yeah, that sounds like something I'd be game for." 

Anil Chitkara: 

I think you touched on something else that I want to get more insight on, which is, when you were talking about screening, you mentioned lines. You actually mentioned your own sort of thinking around that. As we know, a lot of today's traditional screening approaches, you wait in line to sort of get through, it's just the way they are. How are people feeling about that? I've seen, for people trying to set up lines that are six feet apart, certainly we saw it on election day. Many voting locations were doing that. But I've seen a lot of places where it's difficult to do as well. How are consumers in the US feeling about standing in line to get in and do something they want to do? 

Erica Parker: 

I think consumers and the public are wary of this. And when you think about the intersection of COVID and metal detector screening, and the fact that it can create long security lines, they're not interested in that. So we found that 63% would not join the security line, if they saw that people were not socially distancing. Certainly, you have that feeling of us as they're sort of really close behind you, you're not interested. 

Anil Chitkara: 

So six out of 10 people that show up to go into a venue, that went to a facility, six out of 10 of them say, "I'm going to turn around and not go in." 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. Yeah. 

Anil Chitkara: 

That's astonishing. 

Erica Parker: 

That's a huge number. Yeah. I certainly had conversations like that with my friends about doing all that kind of planning and thinking before you even attend an event, of like, how many people will be there. What will the lines be like? What will that process look like? Absolutely. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Yep. You plan for this. You buy a ticket to go to an event. The event probably has 25% or 50% of the people at capacity to maintain distance. You wear your mask coming up there, you hand sanitize, you're very careful. You're excited to go in and see this concert or this show, and then you have this line and six out of 10 people turn around and go home, because it's not worth the risk. Right? 

Erica Parker: 

Mm-hmm (affirmative). 

Anil Chitkara: 

It's not worth the risk. 

Erica Parker: 

That's exactly right. Yeah. 

Anil Chitkara: 

All the hard work that the venue did to sanitize the location, to get people to come back in, to get the artists to come back in, all of that only four of 10 people are going to walk in through the line more than half are not going to do it.  

Erica Parker: 

Yeah, it is a strong, compelling number there. Yeah, absolutely. And even still, we asked about whether they thought that venues were doing enough or would do enough to regulate the lines leading into these events. And most, around a similar number, 69%, would question it, whether those venues are doing enough to regulate those lines. So back to that whole sort of restoring confidence and faith that different venues and facilities will address those lines and create that level of comfort for consumers will be important in bringing folks back. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Yeah. Well, so this idea that you brought up earlier about touchless screening. Touchless anything, or touchless everything is a good way to look at it, right? Touchless everything, but touchless everything should include, touchless screening as well. If you can truly eliminate that line and get people going through without being touched. So 10 out of 10 people coming, will go into the venue. 

Erica Parker: 

Right. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Good, great. Any other insight on things that venue should do as they think about reopening? We've covered a lot of ground here, but anything else you want to share that you found in the research? 

Erica Parker: 

I'm just trying to think what else I would like to share. Because, we certainly talked a lot about the measures that they should take. A lot of them had to do with health, but certainly others around security screening. I do think there is a lot to restoring consumer confidence in this. It's also sometimes like seeing others do it and being confident. If you hear your friends have done that as well, or you've heard about those who have gone back. Because, sometimes the perception could be worse than the reality. And you're playing this whole scenario in your head, but as you said, if the facility can only have 25% capacity, et cetera, if you actually experience it, it's not as bad as you've sort of worked it out in your head. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Right. One piece of recent news this week, which is hopeful, very hopeful and positive, I'd like to just get your perspective on is, the vaccine. So there's been tremendous amount of discussion around vaccines. We've seen them go through various stages. But Pfizer came out as we know, with their early findings about a potential 90% effective rate. That said, a lot of the experts talk about 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated or inoculated to have herd immunity. And we've seen various studies on the amount of people that will or will not be vaccinated. What's your sense of this new news? I mean, there will be a vaccine at some point we certainly believe it will start sort of affecting people, they will be inoculated. But how do you see this playing out for the next six to 12 months or so? 

Erica Parker: 

Certainly as a citizen, it is exciting and it helps maybe people feel like there might be an end to it. But it is important for us to think about what will people's behaviors be around this? How quickly can the vaccine be rolled out to individuals? And there's plenty of health officials who have mentioned that, we will still have to practice certain social distancing, mask wearing behaviors, until we reach a certain number. The end may not be as soon as we all think it might be. 

Erica Parker: 

We actually just did a study with STAT, they're a healthcare focused media outlet on this topic. And we interviewed 2,000 of the general public at the end of October about the vaccine. And we found there, we were asking about sort of how likely they were to get a vaccine, if it helps cut the risk by 25%, 50%, 75%, et cetera. And we found that six in 10 Americans said they are somewhat or very likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine, if doing so would help them lower the risk of becoming infected by about half. 

Erica Parker: 

And we actually found that even younger generations are more risk averse. So only 56% of those ages, 18 to 34 were likely to get vaccinated if the shot would decrease their odds being infected by half. That still leaves a fairly large chunk of folks who were not going to get vaccinated, unless it guarantees higher efficacy. Certainly, Pfizer said that the early tests were showing 90% efficacy. Obviously, we did conduct this before that. 

Erica Parker: 

But other data we were measuring earlier on about the vaccine shows that there is a segment of the population who are a little resistant to it, whether they don't want to be the first to receive it, or have some concerns over vaccinations. There's various motivations. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Even as the vaccines become approved, they start to get distributed and utilized and inoculated. It's going to take a while to get to that 70% herd immunity number that experts talk about. And so in that period of time... And by the way, that's still 70%, not 100%. It sounds like from your research, that people are going to continue to want to put these protocols in place. They're got to continue to want to use social distancing and sanitizing, face masks, we'll see. But a lot of the measures that you saw people getting comfort around seemed to be here for a while. They're not going to go away early next year. 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. I think the other news outlets and all have talked about that as well, that these kinds of activities we've seen of needing to maintain distance, wearing masks, sanitizing our hands, washing our hands frequently, will remain in place potentially through 2022. The longer we operate under some of these conditions, the more some innovations that we've seen companies be able to do around this will stick around a little longer. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Interesting. If I just think about this conversation and the research that you've found. Talked to a lot of people across the US, got a representative picture of what people are feeling in the US, and there's a lot of anxiety. There's obviously anxiety around the pandemic, there's an anxiety around violence, there's anxiety around jobs and economic situations. So there's a broad set of anxiety out there. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Schools, workplaces, ticketed venues, sports and entertainment type places, want to open and want to help out, but they're dealing with, how do we deal with that anxiety? How do we deal with real risks, public health, risks, physical security risks? They need a lot of money, and they need to sort of be brought back online. And so, there was a good sort of path you found there, which is being able to put measures in place, some screening measures around both physical security and weapons and COVID, with thermal cameras. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Putting protocols in place around sanitizing and face masks. And then I think communicating that, so people, consumers understand that. You used your personal story about talking to other people and if somebody goes and does it, then it works and it's not so bad and you actually can go enjoy the museum or go back to school or go into the office. Having a clear set of protocols and then communicating those protocols as well. 

Erica Parker: 

Yeah. I think we've talked a lot about that even in the travel industry. There are a lot of people who are frightened, frankly, to get on a plane. And there's concerns around the air filtration in the planes and things like that. And then we talked a lot about, again, showing personal consumer stories, maybe folks are posting on Instagram about their experience flying on an airplane. And certainly I have some friends who have gone back to travel for work as well. And hearing their stories like, like I said, is powerful enough to get people to come back. 

Erica Parker: 

And I think that's actually also something similar to that in the data around the COVID-19 vaccine, is that, actually, the more familiar people are with the virus, if they know someone who contracted the virus or had personal experience with it, they're actually more likely to get the vaccine than those who have not had any kind of interaction with someone who experienced the virus. 

Anil Chitkara: 

And as I looked through the data one of the things that I saw relative to security screening, which I know pretty well and talked to a lot of people about was, the old ways not going to work in the future. People just don't want to do it. They don't want that close proximity with the security staff, they don't want the lines that tends to come with it and the risks there. The old way of doing security screening is not going to work in the future. And they need to think about things like touchless security and touchless screening, was exactly sort of how you framed it. And we saw people that are interested in doing that as they go touchless in other areas of their life as well. 

Erica Parker: 

Yeah. I think there is certainly something to the current security screening process and seeing it and feeling comfort in that process. But as we've described, it can't exactly exist exactly as it has been because of the concerns around the lines and social distancing needs. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Great. Well, this has been very interesting, getting a pulse on people in the US and how they're feeling and the kinds of things that need to be in place for them to come back to ticketed venues, to come back to work places, to have their kids go to schools. It's been really insightful and data-driven, which is really what we're looking for. 

Anil Chitkara: 

One question for you, Erica, in closing, and I asked this to all of the guests on our show is, as you think about some of the many changes in the COVID environment, what do you think will last beyond? There will be a point when we are past COVID, hopefully sooner than later, but we'll reach that point. But what do you think will sustain or endure past this COVID period that we're in? 

Erica Parker: 

Yeah. As I said earlier, I think the longer... When we all thought, "Oh, we're only going to be in this for three months," how silly we were to think that in the beginning. But the longer it lasts, the more we realize it's a year, it could be two years that we're operating in some capacity like this. You can see the staying power of some changes. I spoke with some clients who are in the tech industry, actually, and talking about how they've supported even small like mom and pop local restaurants, who maybe before all they had from a digital perspective, was a static website where you could find maybe their menu and their number to contact them, to order over the phone. 

Erica Parker: 

Now, they have essentially an e-commerce platform. You have the ability to order online and place that order, as we said, it's contact delivery or contact pick up options. That is something that COVID-19 was sort of a catalyst to get those folks more advanced in the digital age. And I think some of those behaviors around maybe not always going into the restaurant, but picking up or getting delivery are some that, was a trend that was probably happening, but certainly accelerated because of this. 

Erica Parker: 

And I think we'll see some of that digital behavior for local and smaller businesses to remain. And I also think, again, this is also in some ways related to my personal experience, because I have children who are at home, doing education at home with the public school system here. I've spoken with a lot of clients who are in the education space who have developed different online education platforms to facilitate the online learning that's going on, either in the public school systems or even for private education. And I think some elements of those platforms and that technology will absolutely continue to exist. And I have to say it certainly has prepared my children for the business world. They're going to be great with Zoom calls. 

Anil Chitkara: 

They're Zoomers. Yeah, I know. My kids will help on Zoom when things get stuck. 

Erica Parker: 

Exactly. 

Anil Chitkara: 

It's very interesting. As we see it, this is called Digital Threshold Live and we see the digitization of a lot of aspects of our customer's business, including security. And it's very interesting to see the COVID environment catalyze the digitization of very, very many aspects of how places are operating. 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. 

Anil Chitkara: 

Well, thank you, Erica. It's been really insightful. It's been very informative and it's been a pulse on what people are thinking out there. And it's been really helpful to share your insights. I really do appreciate that. Thank you. 

Erica Parker: 

Absolutely. Thank you for having me. 

Anil Chitkara: 

And for each of you, I want to thank you for the work you're doing to keep people safe and continue finding ways to enhance their visitor experience as they come through. It's really important to balance those things. And that's one of the consistent themes that I hear as I talk to folks out there. So please, stay safe, stay healthy. Thank you. 

 

The Digital Threshold

Enabling Adaptability for Years to Come

Digital transformation is unlocking efficiency and value everywhere as organizations reimagine archaic processes and technology, better equipping themselves with interoperable and flexible capabilities. Within the Digital Threshold vision, venues and facilities can intelligently use data to create a frictionless experience for guests and employees. The result is an entry process that enhances the overall experience instead of diminishing it as it so often does today. Making weapons screening faster and more precise is part of the Digital Threshold vision, but it’s just the beginning.