How Connectivity is Creating new Opportunities for Venues
A new generation of affordable wireless connectivity is quickly improving CX and revenues. How can stadiums, arenas and other venues benefit?
Technology has impacted nearly every area of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic perfectly exemplified this as it sent us home, relying on technology for our connectivity and entertainment. Entertainment venues were forced into hibernation anxiously awaiting the return of live events. In this unpredictable world we must focus on ways to optimize technology use in reopening our spaces to the pent-up demand from event attendees.
Venues now seek ways to make spaces that are convenient, engaging, and centered on their customers. We aim to bridge the gap between safety and entertainment. When looking at trending technology developments for entertainment venues and breaking down the benefits of new opportunities presented with 5G and Wi-Fi technologies, all signs point to smart high-speed connectivity for venues and their visitors.
As stated by technology design and manufacturing leader Intel, “5G technology promises to transform the 2020s into a time of unprecedented connectivity and technological advancement.” This promise is well underway and changing the very fabric of how we relate to and rely on technology.
Technology Developments in Venues
5G technology paired with the better capabilities and accessible hardware of the latest Wi-Fi rollouts opens the door to truly mobile, personal, and fast solutions for the challenges venue managers face today.
As we seek flexible solutions to improve the entertainment experience of event attendees, there have been several key developments trending. Venues are working smarter, not harder, using new technology systems like:
- Cashless, mobile friendly payment systems
- Smart navigation and parking management
- Facilitated ticketing technologies
- In-venue and in-seat A/V technology
- Customer perks and loyalty programs
5G connectivity provides for these benefits while shifting power from Wi-Fi and transferring it to cellular networks.
As Intel puts it,
“Emerging 5G networks feature lower latency, higher capacity, and increased bandwidth compared to 4G. These network improvements will have far-reaching impacts on how people live, work, and play all over the world.”
This new generation of information technologies is opening the door for us to implement these platforms and immediately start reaping the benefits of smoother systems management and simplified logistics. This accomplishes many goals, allowing event attendees to enjoy entertainment without the risk or anxiety associated with sizable crowds and venues.
Breakdown of the Benefits
To break down what this really means from a technological standpoint, there are substantial benefits to using 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity in venue and event management. Our top three benefits include reduced costs, simplified building coordination, and personalized pocketable solutions.
1. Reducing Capital and Operating Expenses
We won’t sugarcoat it. Creating wired networks capable of servicing both venue and customer needs is a massively expensive undertaking. Running endless miles of cable is a time and money vacuum from the standpoint of both labor and material. With reliable Wi-Fi connectivity and 5G speed, this hassle is all but eliminated. This guarantees the most capital gain for the least capital investment.
2. Working With, Not Against, Architectural Structure
Stadium venues today are massive architectural undertakings that transform and transfix. To quote the architectural team of HKS, Inc., the designers of the stadium housing the 2022 Super Bowl, “The sweeping coastline and the beauty and strength of the Pacific Ocean contribute to the clean and dramatic curves of the stadium’s unmistakable architecture that reflects the region’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle.” This kind of architectural intention renders fully wired connective systems improbable if not altogether impossible. To put it simply, Wi-Fi and 5G partnering technology expand the reach for both our visible and invisible infrastructures.
3. Personalized In-Phone Technologies
According to the Pew Research Center, 85% of Americans own a smartphone with Wi-Fi and 4 or 5G capabilities accessible at all times. With the new technological advancements, our Wi-Fi network is under less stress and can therefore deliver more information. We can use this for location and other Wi-Fi-dependent services, and less for simple customer connectivity needs. 5G has many capabilities of its own and can handle a large volume of customers at extremely high data flow rates. Even with venues operating at maximum capacity, this ensures seamless utilization for managers and attendees alike.
What do these technology developments and their benefits mean for venues? Ultimately, smart customer experiences like PAM. These are a crucial component of the customer experience in any large stadium, venue, or arena. At the core of these experiences sits wayfinding. From digital signage to three-dimensional mapping, an event attendee’s entertainment can begin before they even leave home.
As 5G blankets the world with ultrahigh-speed network connectivity, digital signage no longer requires extensive trenching, cabling, and isolated instance management. This presents an opportunity for cheaper and easier signage optimized for real-time flexibility and control. Digital signage next to existing power (site light poles, for instance) can rely on Wi-Fi or a cell receiver to relay information directly to that sign. Where physical signs always direct to the same place, digital signage can change. This allows for directional or advisory and safety information based on operational priorities. Furthermore, connected digital signs can deliver sponsored or brand and advertising messaging for marketing and ticketing. Digital signage is a valuable revenue-positive customer experience. This is flexible signage at the speed of simplicity.
In addition to digital signage, 3D mapping provides a sense of security and direction to event attendees regardless of their location. PAM eXplorer maps adjust in real time to deliver high-quality information in accessible ways through Wi-Fi and 5G connectivity. This hyper-accurate information can even pinpoint a signal within inches of its location. Customers can enjoy entertainment with less hassle and more enjoyment as the confusion that often comes with navigating a new environment is eliminated. With digital signage and three-dimensional mapping combined with push notifications, promotions, safety information and QR codes, the entertainment experience can become fully personalized and protected.
Today’s Technology for Tomorrow
5G connectivity is a crucial component to smarter, safer entertainment experiences for all involved. The Deloitte Center for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications seems to put it best when they stated in a recent study of advanced wireless adoption, “5G is not just a faster and more reliable access technology, but also the genesis of a new communications network architecture.”
As venue managers consider the next steps of embracing these technologies, it is crucial to, “…Think broadly about potential benefits of advanced wireless and how and where you can apply them. Think beyond incremental improvement and imagine how advanced wireless may help with innovation – creating new products, services, and business models – and enhancing interaction with customers and employees.” Today’s technologies cover tomorrow’s uncertainties.