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Infographic: What do your customers want?

Infographic: What do your customers want?

Infographic: What do your customers want?

The arena is packed to capacity. In about an hour the star of the show will walk out on stage in front of 10,000 screaming fans. Fans who are ready to sing along, dance and – more importantly for the organiser of the event – spend money on food, drink and merchandise. Fans who will hopefully have such a great experience at the arena that they will want to come back again and again, and not only when this artist returns but when other artists they like come to town.

A concert in a large venue is about getting lost in the music, lost in the feeling of community and maybe most of all, lost in the moment. It’s a form of alchemy, of magic.

“When everyone gives everything / And every song everybody sings / Then it’s life / Live is life.”

That’s a line from one of the cheesier pop hits of the 1980’s, “Live is life” by Austrian band Opus. It’s silly and a bit naive but it is also true. Live music is a magical creation of communal life. But it’s a sensitive spell to cast. If the band or artist on stage is not at the top of their game it will fall flatly to the ground but even if they do a perfect job the experience can be less than optimal.

Ask anybody who’s been to a major pop or rock show at a big arena and what they will remember, apart from the music. We bet they say the long lines and waiting. Lines to get into the arena, lines to get a drink before the show, lines to get through the bottleneck into the auditorium, lines to get out of it, lines to buy merchandise and lines to get food or drinks during the intermission.

Earlier this year Preoday carried out a survey at a Swedish stadium. The results are pretty striking; 77 percent of the people we talked to said a long wait for service can create a negative experience of the event. This is not so surprising considering they had to wait on average 30 minutes to make a purchase. In the end, almost half of decided not to buy food and drinks due to the long queues.

Our message is clear. With online or mobile pre-ordering, these queues can be be heavily reduced, perhaps cleared all together.

This is important. We know that lengthy waits reducing sales. This should be course of great concern for venues considering data shows that if a service is faster 45 percent of the visitors would be likely to spend 50 percent more.

Even more important is the fact that 40 percent of the people at the stadium didn’t even leave their seats to try and buy food and drink. Any why would that be? Probably because they’ve already learned from experience that it is not worth the hassle of getting up from their seats just to be stuck in line and perhaps miss the next part of the show.

The end result, whether the person queued for 30 minutes or chose to avoid refreshments because of the queue, is that the concert experience isn’t as good as it could have been. This might then reduce the likelihood of going to more shows at that venue in the future.

The conclusion is equally clear. Queues are detrimental to the hospitality business revenue, if stadiums can find a way to reduce them then their revenues will improve as will the enjoyment of ticket holders.

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