Smart Venue Technology Revolutionizes the Stadium Experience
Creating the ultimate guest experience is critical to many event venues, and there is great incentive to cater to the crowds. As of 2017, Americans spend more than $56 billion per year on live sporting events, and the live concert industry expects to see revenues reaching $31 billion annually by 2022.
Today’s smart venue technology, which combines a robust network infrastructure, high-speed Wi-Fi, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, cameras, event apps and much more, provides the best live experience for guests and keeps them engaged. And exceeding guest expectations keeps them coming back.
But smart venue technology also provides new business opportunities through data analytics and more efficient operations.
Let’s see how a smart venue changes the path of events.
Providing an End-to-End Guest Experience
Fans value experiences, and convenience. With 81% of Americans owning a smartphone, delivering on experience and convenience requires technology that centers on mobile devices and connectivity.
To meet the growing demand, smart venues provide free, reliable Wi-Fi in the stadium as well as the surrounding entertainment and shopping area, along with branded, real-time apps.
That means a guest first uses the app to purchase tickets. Pulling into the stadium parking lot, the app guides them to a parking spot to avoid congestion and then helps them navigate to their seats. Throughout the event, they use the app to watch instant replays and also to order food and drinks from stadium vendors, which can be delivered directly to their seats.
Fan engagement walls build a sense of community and excitement by streaming event activities and team statistics, and let guests use the app to respond to polls and other live communications. Guests also share (and share and share!) the entire experience on social media.
Gaining Better Insights through Data
Event apps, kiosks, sensors and social media provide a rich source of data for event organizers. As guests use the technology, data is collected and profiles are built. Organizers can use real-time data to steer guests toward less congested concession stands or restrooms (through the app or by adjusting digital signage), move staff around the stadium as needed and accommodate people with special needs.
Over time, deeper profiles give an accurate picture of both individual and group behavior and preferences. These insights help organizers push relevant, targeted offers to customers for gameday or future purchases, as well as fine-tune future strategy, planning and decision-making.
Managing Stadiums More Efficiently
Smart venue technology is also a boon to operations staff. A stadium with ample Wi-Fi access points and IoT sensors, Internet Protocol television (IPTV), digital signage and Wi-Fi connected lighting allow management to work more efficiently and evaluate and react to situations and opportunities in real time.
Digital signage, inside and outside the venue, displays customized content that can be updated on the spot. For example, signs outside the stadium may provide parking availability or information on the day’s event (or a preview of future events), and screens in private suites welcome guests to their exclusive area and constantly update them on event activities.
The IPTV platform streams images and video to the fan engagement wall and other screens, as well as hundreds of video displays used by central command staff. At the heart of the IPTV system are video cameras mounted throughout the venue. In addition to augmenting the guest experience, they also provide surveillance, enabling staff to monitor the entire complex and detect security incidents quickly. Combined with smart lighting, which is remotely tracked and managed, guest safety is greatly increased.
Smart venue technology is truly a game-changer for the entire event experience. Today’s advances in smart technology let organizers create an end-to-end guest experience, while capitalizing on data analytics and improving operational efficiency.
The Texas Rangers are proud to be partnering with CenturyLink to provide our fans with a world-class digital experience at our new stadium, Globe Life Field, which will open for play next year. In addition to assisting us in the early planning and development stages of this complex project, they are working to implement a broad range of innovative digital capabilities throughout the stadium. These include a powerful local area network, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi, compute/storage, firewalls and a flexible IP telephony system. In addition, CenturyLink is fully integrating our new “smart stadium” solution with concessions point-of-sale, parking, ticketing, building management and more. They’re also providing us with digital connectivity to all Rangers structures adjacent to the stadium and globally. In my opinion, our close and productive collaboration with the CenturyLink team could be considered the first grand slam at this new venue.
– Mike Bullock, Texas Rangers Vice President-Information Technology