With the home experience becoming more convenient, and less expensive, the in-event experience is one of the more frequently discussed topics when inside the bubble of the sports entertainment industry.
With the quality of television constantly increasing ever so slightly– not to mention acquiring high definition televisions is becoming cheaper and cheaper – in addition to fans wanting to take in action from around the league with the increased popularity of fantasy sports, teams, performers, and venues alike are looking for creative ways to offer the best quality of service for fans in attendance. Even the smallest slip-up from the moment a customer purchases a ticket until they’re back at their home can make customers realize it’s just easier to watch from the couch.
Venues and stadiums have been paying more attention to the wants and needs of the customers to try and create the most valuable experience. Learning more about the audience that walks into the building is the first step to creating what is best for them. At the forefront of the process to develop and home in this knowledge for effective use is San Francisco-based live event solution provider Vendini, which is gathering a wealth of customer data for venues to use at their disposal.
Vendini recently released Patron Connect, an app that culls internal data from event venues and analyzes it to give employees insight into their most loyal fans’ behaviors and preferences. It’s the first CRM to be designed specifically for live event venues and is currently available on iPad for Vendini Members.
Users, which in this case are working for the event locations, stadiums and arenas, can view customer profiles and be enlightened with information like purchase history and patterns, as well as group patrons by household based on cumulative purchase history. “We’re not only giving venues an immediate understanding of the customer at a glance, but we’re giving them data presented in a very actionable way,” said Mark Tacchi, Vendini CEO and founder. “It’s allowing venues to pull up information and, within seconds, know their customer’s buying habits, likes, dislikes, general information and more.”
The app allows its users to attack the customer acquisition process more efficiently, but mainly caters towards creating the best in-event experience while the customers are inside the building. It allows these tasks to be easily shared across any size team if needed, or can also be catered to a need-to-know basis. One example is using text notifications to alert employees when a VIP enters the building so a staff member can be right there and waiting once the VIP walks through the door. The app can help improve anything to enhance the experience for the customer, no matter if it’s a VIP or general admission ticket-holder.
“We wanted to create an app that acts as your own personal assistant for day-of-show,” explained Tacchi. “Along with giving users a detailed dashboard on your top customers, users can take notes that can be shared across your staff and also assign tasks and see if they’ve been completed or not.”
The app can also be geared towards venues that are used for non-profit organizations that rely on donations. Stephanie Phipps, who serves as Thalian Hall in North Carolina’s Development Director, explains that the app will be a powerful tool for her theater. “The donor cultivation process is complex. It’s a bit like dating someone before marriage. You want to establish a solid relationship before you make any kind of ask and Patron Connect makes it easy to do that,” said Phipps. “It also allows me to easily connect with house managers and other employees when I’m not there. I’ll receive a text that a VIP has scanned their ticket, and can assign a task for someone to bring them a glass of champagne to their seat. It makes it easy to make your patrons feel special and appreciated.”
Although it can be used as an experience-enhancing tool for any and all customers, fans looking to get a VIP experience at a venue or stadium are inline to reap the most rewards. This can possibly turn a casual fan into diving into their first VIP experience if they’ve never been a part of one before, as it really opens the door to have better experiences with venues. If employees have more informative details regarding specific patrons, they can give their maximum effort to allow for significantly better in-seat service. Little things make all the difference, like bringing a fan his or her favorite drink or food selection to the seat, or stopping by with a program without having to ask, or giving the customer information about special merchandise offers for that night.
“The word-of-mouth review has gone digital, especially with services like Yelp and Yahoo Local. It’s more important than ever to be giving your attendees the best possible experience and a lot of that comes from this heightened VIP experience,” said Tacchi. “Where one negative fan experience can have a serious impact, one truly great fan experience can quickly turn into new fans, more exposure, and more tickets sold.”
Potentially, Patron Connect can be a positively disruptive app in the live event industry. Once customers are in the building, they want to establish long-lasting relationships to keep them coming back time and time again. Vendini is on a mission to dwindle those at-home, couch-watching numbers with mobile tools like this.