How Data From Venues can Enhance Visitor Experience, Sustainability and Revenues

pencil By Ashwini Chharia & Wayne Arvidson
calendar 18 May 2022

The Sports and Entertainment industry has seen tremendous loss in revenue and resources over the last few years. As the economy begins to turn around, organizations are under pressure to rebound with lower budgets and labor shortages, spurring efforts to find ways to be more efficient.

Safety remains a key requirement across venues, often requiring quick decisions. How to monitor and anticipate people flow before a bottle neck occurs? Additionally, the number of committed fans for many sports is dropping with a 7% drop from one generation to the next.  Where there are less committed fans, there will be fewer attendees and lower revenues for venues. Many fans are used to more information at their fingertips and expect a more seamless experience without many hurdles.

Data offers a reliable solution to face all these challenges. A security infrastructure can provide a foundation to capture audio and video data, data from IoT devices, gate ticket data, or visitor data, which a smart platform then combines and analyzes, producing insights that can be used to positively impact safety, visitor experience, operational efficiencies, sustainability, and revenue generation.

A significant part of fans, visitors and personnel experience is to ensure that the venue provides a safe atmosphere, and the security staff can react quickly to potential unsafe situations. For example, smart solutions can determine how many people are in a location, information that is very valuable to make sure that crowds are maintained under capacity limits or if an evacuation is necessary.

Also, if an unauthorized person enters a secure area or if any person is in area at a time nobody is expected to be there, the system can alert security personnel to take immediate action. Smart solutions can also help with mask compliance detection. Especially with children, there can also be situations of someone getting lost. Using cameras and sensors, these solutions enable easier lookout for missing persons or identifying any personnel not allowed to be in the venue.

When we talk about visitor experience, it is important to consider it across the entirety and not just at the venue. It begins right from home when considering and booking the tickets to the journey to get to the venue, time spent at the event and back to home, and any customer service follow-up beyond that as well.

All the data being gathered and analyzed from cameras and sensors can not only provide an assessment of current occupancy conditions at a location but can also form a key foundation to predict what the likely occupancy conditions will be over the course of the event (e.g., potential queue or wait times at a concession stand and predicting most busy or least busy times at concessions). Such information can be critical in making operational decisions and allowing allocation and adjustment of scarce resources in the most effective ways, or even in informing the visitor and suggesting best times for various actions thereby vastly improving their experience.

Venues are also realizing the impact and their responsibility with respect to sustainable development, and this is also helping them connect better with their visitors or customers. In a sports and entertainment venue, just like with a city, we have an ecosystem of commercial entities, people, goods and vehicles that are moving from place to place. Any efficiencies to reduce unnecessary movement of vehicles or to conserve energy and resources such as electricity and water can lead to a more sustainable environment. By leveraging IoT systems, venues can provide real time and predicted parking availability information. Data analytics can help determine the number of people waiting to be shuttled from parking lots to main venue and make more efficient operational decisions on when and how many shuttles should move. Potential leaks in facility pipes could also be detected and repaired to avoid wastes.

Smart solutions can be used to detect waste conditions or assess crowd conditions at different locations and times to make more effective decisions on waste collection efforts and influencing lighting or HVAC operations to minimize energy use.

Finally, when it comes to opportunities to generate additional revenue streams for venues, studies have showed that teams have seen up to a 25% increase in ticket renewals because of improved customer service, while 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people. Customers spend money in the venue whether it is at the concession stand or the memorabilia retailers or parking. Broadcasters and advertisers will be willing to pay more if they can get more eyeballs on their names. Vendors at the venue will pay more to get a spot to sell in the venue if more visitors are present as its larger pool of potential customers.

Discover how NTT Smart Solutions can help your venue improve safety, customer experience, operational efficiencies, sustainability, and revenue generation.


Ashwini Chharia

Sr. Director NTT Smart World


Wayne Arvidson

Director, Market Development & Strategy, Dell Technologies