Frictionless fan experience will be top of the 2021 agenda

Sports and stadium technology experts Sports Tech World Series (STWS) have published their top 10 sports tech predictions for 2021. Among their predictions is the rise of the frictionless fan experience. The frictionless fan experience is focused on removing barriers, bottlenecks and discomfort from a fan’s visit to a sporting venue. It’s particularly important in the Covid era. Reducing friction can take the form of improved parking flow, clearer stadium precinct navigation, better messaging and communications, or less invasive security protocols.

Technology and the frictionless journey

Technology plays a significant part in removing friction from the precinct. At PAM, frictionless fan experience has long been a focus. We’re providing navigation touchpoints that adapt throughout the day, so fans are clear what’s on, when, and exactly how to get there. Directional signage can be switched to allow for changed parking configurations. Dynamic pedestrian signs and kiosks help fans to negotiate the crowds and make it where they need to be with a minimum of fuss. Fans can use their mobile device to carry all the information they need right in the palm of their hand, which means they have real-time knowledge and the comfort that comes with it.

The rise of the entertainment precinct

Improving the fan’s value-for-time has been a huge challenge for venues in recent years, with competition from home entertainment and other external entertainment avenues. It’s increased pressure on stadiums to provide more than a simple game or concert. The result has been the rise of the entertainment precinct, which offers retail, indoor and outdoor events, parks, restaurant districts and other amenities, all to make sure fans have a memorable experience. The rise of Covid has only increased the need for frictionless fan experiences.

Data-driven customer experience

STWS also note the rise of cashless, contactless payments, and even facial recognition to help speed up traffic flow. Easing congestion around stadium entrances is a high priority. The success of technology in reducing environmental friction is largely driven by data, gathered at both the macro and micro levels. While concerns remain regarding privacy, the ability for fans to have a safe, easy visit to the stadium is priority #1 for stadium managers. With that in mind, 2021 will be a big year for stadium technology and frictionless fan experiences in particular.

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