NPB Makes A Secure Mark

NPB Companies was named the small business of the year by the Kansas City, Kan., Chamber of Commerce October 14th, but the risk management firm’s impact in the field of concert and personal security has a global reach.

NPB, which maintained key relationships with members of former client Rage Against The Machine, joined Audioslave in May for the first open-air rock concert by an American band in Cuba.

Going from a start-up in Kansas to being an upstart on the global stage in a mere eight years is no small feat.

“I think it was a combination of performance, business growth, strategies, what we do in the community in terms of public service, things like donations and that nature,” NPB co-founder Pete Beattle said of the award.

“We started out with like $800 and here we are now, one of the biggest companies in the K.C. metro area, and also one of the biggest companies when it comes to touring security services,” Beattle told Pollstar.

The Cuban expedition was an eye-opener, he said, while praising both fans and officials in Havana, and lauding the country as a future hot spot for the concert business once the U.S. economic embargo against the island is lifted.

“From a security standpoint, we had plenty of assistance from the locals. Getting in and out of the country was very easy,” Beattle said. “The accommodations and security at the hotel were great.

“They (Cuban officials) may not have been the best in terms of experience, but enthusiasm and the willingness and eagerness to do well can fill the void when you don’t necessarily have the experience,” he added. “I wish we could have had a little more equipment when it comes to barricade systems and the like, but for performing in front of about 60,000, it was very successful.”

But the day-to-day business of risk management is a little more mundane than that, and much more than just “doing security,” Beattle explained.

His company, which has three principal owners who share the title of “Executive Team Member,” provides risk management consulting services for venues across the globe, security staffing for special events and personal risk management services for entertainers. NPB counts Audioslave, Christina Aguilera, Van Halen, and Weezer among its clients and provides in-house risk management services for Kansas City-area venues from Kemper Arena to Starlight Theatre and others across the country. The company also provides services for large events including the Voodoo Music Experience and Vibe festivals.

“We have a philosophy that you simply do the exact same things for shows on a large scale as you would for a small show,” Beattle said. “It’s the small things that truly count to make sure we’re dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. For big shows, we just do them on a larger scale.”

And despite being based in flyover country, NPB has 16 highly educated risk management agents based nationwide who can come into a venue, meet with its staff and local police to devise a security plan that is comfortable for the building, artist and fan, Beattle said.

“When it came to tour security, people just kind of looked at security guys as being big guys, big oafs without brains behind them,” Beattle said. “We wanted to take it to a different level and show that security was a needed thing in the industry. And we saw that a lot of bands didn’t have people working on their side in their best interest.

“With our experience on both sides, between venues and personal security services, we bring a different thing to the game in terms of professionalism. We’re all on the same page.”

– Deborah Speer