Alex Bialek, FanFood and Karlie Haines, HomeTown Ticketing, Inc
August 9, 2022
Fact: Long lines and inefficient processes not only affect your attendee experience, but also impact your game day revenue.
Speed and convenience are at the heart of attendee expectations – from purchasing tickets to the experience while at the event. For school event organizers, identifying how to improve current manual event processes through technology benefits both your fans and staff.
In this blog, we'll explore the right way school event organizers should approach technology to create a better event day experience.
Creating better school event experiences begins with problem identification; what are you solving for, and why?
Maybe the problem is how long it takes to check tickets at the gate. Perhaps your concession stand needs to become more efficient to handle large crowds. Is the issue larger than a single event component, like accepting credit card and other digital payments throughout your venue?
Whatever challenge you’re looking to solve, understanding how technology can help your program is a game-changer. Let’s walk through some common event elements that schools can quickly and easily improve upon with digital tools.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the fastest way to reach the largest audience. For schools, these platforms are reliable ways to get the word out about your upcoming events as quickly as possible.
Having a dedicated point-person to manage your school’s social media accounts works wonders. This individual can be the resource for sending out communications with ticket purchase information, “know-before-you-go” posts, and real-time updates around inclement weather. Social media isn’t solely about posting, either; it’s also about answering questions from your attendees. Your point-person should be able to respond to inquiries in a timely manner.
Schools also benefit from sending regular email communications to parents, students, and the local community. Use email communications to answer any and all questions your attendees may have before they arrive, so they are best prepared to enjoy the evening.
When events are crowded, proper signage ensures your attendees can find where they need to go. The increased popularity of QR codes means your signage can take on new purposes like digital purchasing and check-ins.
As fewer consumers carry physical cash, how has your school responded? This trend will only continue, especially among younger demographics of attendees.
Schools have responded to customers carrying less cash by implementing digital ticketing. HomeTown’s simple-to-use platform allows fans to buy tickets online, in the HomeTown Fan App (for iOS and Android), or purchase tickets at the gate with cash or credit cards. These flexible options ensure that all of your fans have access to tickets in a way that is convenient for them.
For schools, accepting digital payments means quicker transactions and less stress around cash-handling. At the concession stand especially, digital payments can be a lifesaver in fulfilling orders when things are getting busy for your volunteers.
A step in the right direction might be to explore an investment in card readers. Alternatively, offering mobile ordering at your concession stand is likely more cost-effective to quickly get up and running with contactless payments, compared to hefty point of sale investments.
A backed-up concession stand means lost sales and stressed volunteers. If the wait time to place a concession order is 15 minutes or more, fans will re-consider whether it's worth standing in line.
Instead, high schools can offer mobile ordering for concessions and spirit wear pickup. While at the event, an attendee simply scans a QR code to pull up the concession menu on their mobile device – hot dogs, drinks and candies all appear on their device:
From there, they can pay, place their order, and track the order status in real-time. When their food is ready, a text notification tells the fan to come down to the concession stand pickup window.
Related: How the Owasso Band Boosters grew their concession revenue by 20% with FanFood
The same goes for selling spirit wear! If an attendee doesn’t have cash with them, you can easily accommodate the customer with pre-ordering and an order pickup location at the window.
Altogether, athletic departments and booster clubs can be empowered to overcome traditional challenges facing events. With the right plans in place, game day technology can improve experiences for both your attendees and event staff.
If you’re curious about starting with FanFood or HomeTown at your school this season, don’t hesitate to contact your game-day team today!