Celebrity Access Industry Profile: Allen Cook

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Allen Cook, founder and CEO, TOURtech.

So much technology at today’s music events, including RFID wristbands, payment systems, and video streaming, relies not just on a dependable internet connection, but on a dependable local network as well.

Founded by its CEO Allen Cook, and headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, TOURtech provides temporary network solutions for the entertainment industry, specializing in high-profile projects where connectivity is vital.

TOURtech is among a handful of innovative companies reshaping live events by offering site design and consultation, hardwired connectivity, targeted Wi-Fi, network monitoring and analytics, VoIP services, and mobile office systems for music festivals, concert tours, corporate events, and product launches.

While providing network connectivity for production, stages, sponsor areas, merch stands, security, artist, media tents etc., TOURtech supports many new evolving technologies such as live streaming, RFID access control, and cashless payment systems that all depend on its custom network in order to seamlessly operate.

When Cook launched TOURtech during the 2008/2009 festival season, back-of-house Internet access was considered nice to have. If it failed nobody got alarmed. As the live music sector has become increasingly connected, reliable IT has become mission critical.

At the same time promoters and advertisers are both increasingly seeking analytics indicating which audience demographic likes which features of an event. Promoters also welcome information on how to reduce queuing snafus, and improve management of which individuals have access to which areas.

According to Nielsen Entertainment’s Audience Insights Report on Music Festivals, collected in 2014, approximately 32 million people attended at least one music festival in the U.S. each year. Nearly half (46%) are aged 18-34, highlighting a huge opportunity for marketers to reach the coveted millennial demographic.

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