Webinars are intended to be informative, insightful, educational, useful, professional, and maybe even a little fun. They should draw attention to a topic in a way that is meaningful, well-illustrated, and well-communicated, sending an important message while adding value to the audience, the industry, and/or the community in general.

To be eligible for nomination, the Outstanding Webinar of the Year must have taken place during the calendar year of nomination. Webinars must be nominated by someone other than those that hosted or took part in the presentation and must be submitted by those with first-hand knowledge of the presentation.
Nominations for 2020 are closed. Your 2020 finalists are listed below.
2021 nominations will open in September 2021.

and The finalists are...

Here are the finalists for Outstanding Webinar or Webinar Series:
  • AXIS RETAIL OPEN MIC  - AXIS Communications
  • ORCAS IN ACTION 2020 SUMMIT - Coalition of 26 ORCAS, facilitated by LPM
  • The Power of Teamwork: LP and LE combatting ORC and Gangs, 3Si and LPF
FINALIST:                AXIS RETAIL OPEN MIC  - AXIS Communications   [Hedgie Bartol & Rick Snook]
Hedgie and Rick implemented a series of WebEx meetings with LP/AP leadership form both the US and Canada when COVID-19 began. With lock downs and restrictions rolling out throughout both countries these two guys rallied the troops. Through their WebEx series Hedgie and Rick kept industry leaders connected in an open format discussing a day-to-day challenges, solutions and best practices.
For me, what separated this from others was the focus on communication and supporting LP/AP leaders in our real-world situations. There was little to no mention of new technology AXIS had that could solve our problems. It was about listening, learning and connecting. A true industry outreach and support hosted by two class acts and true partners in the industry.    

As we all know, 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges for the retail industry. It was particularly acute in the US, with the convergence of COVID-19 alongside long-periods of civil unrest impacting retail stores across the country. Despite the sheer scale and ferocity of these challenges the loss prevention industry stood up, and this nomination for Industry Initiative of the Year is a prime example of this.

As the impacts of COVID-19 started to grip the country, it became evident that in-person events would likely be canceled or rescheduled. Like many other industry associations, we made the decision to cancel our annual CLEAR conference. These events are the cornerstone of how we as an industry come together to share and learn, so to cancel alongside other events was a real blow.

It was at this point that we were approached by the Auror team to partner on the Global Retail Crime Summit. The virtual summit hoped to bring AP/LP professionals and law enforcement partners from around the world together to discover, network, and learn at a time when our industry needed it more than ever. We got behind it straight away and were joined by the LPF, LPRC, D&D, LPM, and LPM EU. It was a unique and humbling experience to see a number of industry partners come together for the betterment of the LP industry.

In less than 12 weeks, we worked alongside the other partners to launch the Global Retail Crime Summit. With 25 unique sessions from leading AP/LP professionals and law enforcement, including Mike Lamb, Scott Glenn, and Rick Peck, and headlined by retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal it promised to be one of the largest virtual events in our industry's history. This promise was fulfilled with over 1,000 AP/LP professionals and law enforcement partners, representing over 220 organizations from around the world, tuned in to learn and network for free, watching over 5,000 hours of sessions.

It’s hard to imagine a better contender for Initiative of the Year that brought together so many of the leading AP/LP contributors and industry associations including the Loss Prevention Foundation, Loss Prevention Research Council, Loss Prevention Magazine, D&D, CLEAR, and Auror.

Quotes from attendees:
  • Just wow! Great content and worth every minute!
  • Overall this was an extremely well-organized experience. I would love to see the virtual summit continue in the future
  • I thought it was a great experience, lots of great presentations and speakers. Really enjoyed y’all putting this together virtually!

FINALIST:     COVID-19 LESSONS FROM SPAIN - ALTO Alliance, facilitated by LPM
At the very onset of the pandemic and systemic shutdowns across the globe, Alto Alliance, in partnership with LPM, hosted an important webinar titled COVID-19 Lessons from Spain. Spain then had one of the highest infection rates in the world that started several weeks before North America, the lessons learned from Spain discussed in this webinar would help all retailers prepare for the next several weeks and months to come.
As of the webinar broadcast, Spain had the fourth largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 behind China, Italy, and Iran. With the impact to Spanish retailers starting several weeks prior to what we were then currently facing here in the US, their response would provide North American asset protection and operations professionals valuable insights into how the pandemic has affected their stores and customers.
This webinar featured a discussion with ALTO Country Manager Todd Hooper speaking from Madrid, Spain, offering a first-hand account of how the response has unfolded in Spain, along with some suggestions for improving the US response in the days and weeks ahead. Talking points for this discussion included:  Store closings and operational changes, Grocery store operations, Supply chain challenges and disruptions, Crowd control, Priorities and decision-making, Internal and external theft concerns, Social distancing challenges, community and personal impact of shutdowns and government restrictions on persons traveling – nationally, internationally and locally within their own neighborhoods.  The attendance for this webinar was tremendous and the insights and lessons learned were invaluable to many at a time when there were no answers, only questions.

FINALIST:     ORCAS IN ACTION 2020 SUMMIT, Coalition of 26 ORCA organizations, facilitated by LPM
In early December of 2020 the first ORCAs in Action Conference was hosted online, one of the most productive and highly-attended virtual events of the year across the loss prevention industry.
The ORCAs in Action initiative was established to provide a conduit for our nation’s organized retail crime associations, working together for mutual benefit and support. Every state and regional organized retail crime association in the United States is currently involved in this ongoing initiative. While respecting the value and independence of the individual associations and understanding the unique qualities that each brings to the communities they serve, we also see the strength in working together to meet common objectives.
Professionals from across the loss prevention and law enforcement communities were invited to join to learn more from industry leaders and top subject matter experts about organized retail crime associations, how they operate, the essential work that they do in communities across the country, and how to get more involved in these critically important public/private partnerships. Among the presentations:

Defeating ORC through Teamwork. Featuring Nathan Bandaries with the Colorado Organized Retail Crime Association and Sgt. Dave Beyer of the Douglas County Colorado Sheriff’s Department, this presentation focused on the importance of organized retail crime associations, how they operate, what they’re all about, and the critical role of building public-private partnerships in the battle against organized retail crime.

Building, Managing, and Growing a Successful ORC Program. This discussion featured a panel of ORC experts offering key insights into the nuts and bolts of building a successful organized retail crime program, how to work with one of the world’s largest online marketplaces to fight ORC, current organized retail crime trends, and the importance of building relationships in the ongoing battle against this pandemic within a pandemic. The presentation featured Tony Sheppard, LPC, director of ORC at Ulta Beauty, Christian Hardman, LPQ, supervisor of global asset protection at eBay, and Caitlin Blake, CFI, corporate investigations and ORC program manager at Abercrombie & Fitch. Moderated by well-known asset protection executive Paul Jones, LPC.

Technology and Teamwork: Inside Chicago’s Looting Task Force. This exceptional presentation featured officials from the Chicago Police Department whom discussed Chicago’s Looting Task Force, a unit made up of Chicago police detectives who specifically work to identify and arrest those suspected of being involved in looting incidents and burglaries. Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan, Sergeant Alex Wolinski, and Officer David Neberieza with the Chicago Police Department reviewed what the task force is all about, how it originated, how it operates, some of the successes that the program has had thus far, and how retailers can partner with police to mitigate incidents and help solve these crimes that are devastating Chicago communities.

The Latest from RILA on Protecting Retailers and Retail Customers. Michael Hanson with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) discussed RILA’s most recent initiatives in the battle against retail crime, including the “Buy Safe” initiative as well as his role in leading the push for the INFORM Act, a bi-partisan legislative initiative requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify third-party sellers’ basic seller information, and for sellers to provide that information to consumers.

Strong Enough to Bend: The National Shoplifting Prevention Coalition. Director of Communications Barbara Staib with the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) offered a closer look at the National Shoplifting Prevention Coalition (NSPC)—a retail industry collaboration that harnesses the power of a collective retail voice to create permanent change in the way the nation regards, prevents, and responds to shoplifting to positively impact shrink and store safety.

A Shoplifter Is Suspected of Being Involved in ORC—What’s Next? Whenever a shoplifter has been apprehended and is suspected of being involved in organized retail crime activity, it’s critical that loss prevention representatives know what questions to ask, and the right way to ask those questions to maximize the potential intelligence information gathered and assist law enforcement and ORC investigators in case development. Wayne Hoover of Wicklander-Zulawski and the International Association of Interviewers led an insightful presentation providing important tips on how to interview these suspects as part of organized retail crime case identification and development.

All these presentations provided exceptional learning opportunities for professionals at every level of loss prevention while underscoring the exceptional talent and teamwork of those supporting the ORCAs in Action initiative. It is through these efforts that everyone involved in the battle against organized retail crime has the opportunity to hone critical skills and grow as professionals.

FINALIST:     The Power of Teamwork: How Retail Loss Prevention can work with Law Enforcement to Combat the Double Problem of ORC & Violent Gangs,  3Si and LPF
This webinar investigates how partnering with law enforcement is helping retailers fight back against ORC offering expert insight into this complex problem.  Every retailer knows that ORC is growing, both in scope and violence. The growing availability of data can give retailers the upper hand, and IoT offers a great solution to leverage this information. On top of that, retailers are increasingly partnering with law enforcement to coordinate bait-and-sting operations. Whether the focus is to immediately apprehend the ORC gang or to follow the stolen product all the way through the fencing chain, the strategy finally allows retailers to proactively fight back with valuable real time data tracks for ORC investigators and police. This enlightening webinar brought forward input from retail industry experts Tony Donofrio of TD Insights and Dan Reynolds of 3SI, and the law enforcement perspective from Richard Long, 3SI’s Senior VP & Director of Law Enforcement.  There are a number of webinars focused on ORC out there but this one stands out as one I found very informative and useful.