Think about this. The last time you attended a sporting event, what was the first question you were asked by someone who did not go with you? Odds are, it was some form of “How was the game?”.
Did you respond with stats and the score? Maybe to start, but 95% of your conversation was spent talking about anything and everything of your EXPERIENCE. From how you secured your tickets, pre-game festivities, concessions, halftime show, up until exiting the building. You chronicled the good and bad of your day spent at the ballpark/stadium/arena. Our jobs are to make sure that regardless of the outcome of the game, our guests have an incredible day from start to finish at our venues.
Here are a few ways to maximize fan experience to keep your fans coming back for more!
“It’s Always Someone’s Opening Day”
Every time the gates open, at least one person will be walking into your stadium for their first time. This can be a sensory overload for many, so we need to make it easy on them! Send a “Know Before You Go” email that details stadium policies, restrictions and helpful information on where they should enter their gates to alleviate unnecessary stress before they even enter inside the building. Make navigating the stadium easy via a virtual map on your team’s app, or easy to follow signage around the stadium. Have your staff knowledgeable about locations of seating areas and concessions items. You only get one chance at a first impression, and you want your guests to be blown away before they even get to their seats!
Choose Their Own Adventure
We don’t have 67,000 identical people attending our event. Give your guests the autonomy to choose how they spend their day. Provide information on partner activation areas, tailgate options, kids zones, silent auctions, mascot appearances and more to those attending. This will allow each guest to create their own unique experience based on their interests.
Taking Advantage of Down Time
All sports will have some sort of downtime during the game. It is important to be able to keep the crowd captivated so they don’t experience the lull in play. On field games, video packages and music are tried and true, but with the advances in technology fans can now access highlights with alternate camera angles, advanced stats and even utilize interactive elements such as AI to extend the in-person experience during a timeout!
Lending a Listening Ear
Sending a short survey to those in attendance is a great way to get a pulse on what is working and what isn’t. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and there are going to be times when we encounter negative experiences. In this case, have a staff member reach out to those with concerns in a prompt manner. Thank them for bringing the issue to the attention of the organization and see how you can turn that negative experience to a positive. Humans like to be heard.