We spent the last two weeks in Detroit and Nashville, attending two sports and entertainment conferences – the Venue Operations Summit and the Coliseum Summit US. As always, we learned a lot and had a chance to see three great venues, the brand-new Little Caesars arena, Ford Field and Nissan Stadium.
At the Venue Ops Summit, hosted by the amazing team at Venue Solutions Groups, the focus was squarely on the operators, the people who stay at a venue for 10, 15, 20 days at a time to make sure that the fans have a safe, memorable experience. Much of the discussion centered on how to make operations smarter, whether that’s how to cut down time on conversions or how to use data to get smarter about how your venue runs.
Speaking of data, something that Mike Wooley, a partner at Venue Solutions Group, said really stuck with me: “We can collect the data, but what can we do with it?” That was a big focus of our presentation at the Summit on setting KPIs that matter. There is so much data that you could collect, but why should you and what does it tell you?
Say you have sensors in each hand soap dispenser, in each restroom. If you’re a facilities manager on a non-event day, should a metric on how many dispensers are full and how many aren’t, be the first thing metric you look at? Probably not. Rather than worrying so much about every possible data point, it’s more important to focus on the quality of the data and how it connects to your key performance indicators.
Andrew Millest from ABM Services shared a valuable reminder, “Every layer of subcontracting diminishes the overall quality of the data.” (We have a ton of tips on how to ensure you get the best data from your vendors; check them out here.)
The Coliseum Summit US put us within walking distance of all three major venues in Detroit: Little Caesars arena, Ford Field, and Comerica Park. The 2-day conference had a global presence, with presenters from China, Australia and other countries discussing everything from venue design to security. A few facts we learned from Mike Lorenc, Head of Industry – Ticketing, Sports & Live Events at Google:
- 30,000 searches are performed every minute related to sports.
- 70% of fans in a stadium got there because of a search.
- People who watch 5+ videos from a sports organization on YouTube are 4 times more likely to buy a ticket.
Putting the fan first, and better leveraging technology, are really what separate new venue builds from the venues that opened even just ten years ago. Technology, in this case, represents a wide category of innovation. It may be facial recognition, ETFE roofing or an immersive mobile application for your fans.
Thank you to both of our hosts for gathering some of the best minds in sports and entertainment to talk about what we can be doing better. Next up on the conference circuit for our team is Realcomm, focused on commercial real estate. You can find us at booth #917.