In today’s highly connected world, the word “smart” has been attached to everything from refrigerators to factories.
Despite the growing evidence proving the benefits of digital transformation, some venue operators are skeptical about whether a “smart venue” is necessary, affordable, or even realistic.
That’s totally understandable. After all, most of us resist change.
However, facilities that adopt even a basic level of smart technology are seeing real operational and financial benefits.
Keep reading to learn more about what smart venues are, why they’re beneficial, how to determine your venue’s level of digital maturity, and what you can do to become a more connected venue.
What is a smart venue?
A smart venue is a physical space that uses connected technologies to optimize operations and enhance the customer experience.
Some of the common technologies you’ll find inside a smart venue include:
- Wi-Fi access points
- IoT sensors
- Internet protocol television (IPTV)
- Digital signage
- Mobile apps
- Radio frequency identification (RFID)
By incorporating all of these modern tools into your venue, you can transform the way you serve customers—delivering stronger and stronger experiences along the way. For these reasons, it comes as no surprise that the smart venue market is expected to increase from $14.3 billion in 2023 to $34.5 billion in 2028, a growth of more than 19.2 percent each year.
What are the benefits of smart venues?
There’s a reason today’s leading venues are increasingly embracing technology: Doing so delivers a ton of benefits.
Diversify RevenueSmart venues enable organizations to unlock new revenue streams. With technology baked into the foundation of your facility, you can accommodate a wide range of events, including sports games, concerts, conventions, and trade shows. You can also offer more sponsorship opportunities, leverage targeted advertising options, and capitalize on upselling and cross-selling opportunities in the moment.
Ensure Crowd Safety
Using advanced technology, smart venues employ real-time data analytics, surveillance systems, and crowd management tools to monitor and respond to potential risks. These proactive measures improve overall safety by ensuring rapid responses and better protection for event attendees.In the event an emergency happens, smart venues also enable you to respond faster. Using an incident management system, you can track incidents in real time to rapidly coordinate your responses.
Smart venues optimize operations by leveraging data, automation, and predictive analytics to allocate resources efficiently, thereby reducing costs and waste. This includes managing lighting, climate control, and maintenance based on real-time data, ensuring that the venue provides a seamless experience to visitors and staff alike.
Enhance the Guest Experience
Smart venues enhance the guest experience by offering personalized services and interactive features. Such venues provide real-time information, wayfinding assistance, and mobile apps for easy navigation. By offering high-quality connectivity, augmented reality experiences, and customized services, smart venues ultimately make the visit more memorable for attendees—increasing the chance they’ll come back in the future.
Powered by energy-efficient systems—such as LED lighting and renewable energy sources—smart venues tend to have lower carbon footprints than their counterparts of yesteryear. These modern venues have smart waste management and water conservation measures, further minimizing environmental impact. In an age where customers increasingly care about sustainability, this benefit can’t be overlooked.
Smart venues reduce risk by using advanced technology for early threat detection and crisis management. By employing surveillance systems, sensors, and data analytics to identify potential security, safety, or operational issues, they enable facility managers to take a proactive approach to risks and mitigate them before they spiral out of control.
Using access control systems, surveillance cameras, and robust cybersecurity measures, smart venues safeguard both physical and digital assets. While advanced authentication methods and encryption protect data, AI-powered systems help identify and respond to potential threats. Altogether, this adds up to a much stronger security posture.
How can you assess your smart venue maturity?
The benefits of smart venues speak for themselves. So how does your facility stack up?
There are five stages of digital maturity for venue operations management:
- Computerization: At this stage, your venue is powered by desktops, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices. Hopefully you’re at least here!
- Connectivity: The next stage adds to your tech infrastructure with Wi-Fi connectivity, IoT devices, SMS, MMS, email, and mobile applications.
- Visibility: Graduate to level three by incorporating real-time alerts, mobile incident reporting, and request tracking into your workflows.
- Transparency: Here you add next-level tools to your operations, such as mobile dispatch queues, material and inventory tracking capabilities, and activity trackers to keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s happening across your venue.
- Predictability: Level five involves the ability to conduct predictive and preventative maintenance using data analytics. Additionally, you have the ability to track incident history and automatically generate tasks to assign to the appropriate individual.
Questions to Ask During Your Venue’s IQ Test
As you begin determining how “smart” your venue is, ask yourself these questions:
- Are we using modern technological infrastructure for connectivity, Wi-Fi coverage, and more?
- Does our venue improve sustainability?
- Is our venue able to host hybrid and virtual events?
- Are our lighting and climate control systems adaptable and energy-efficient?
- Does our venue have interactive displays and signage for information and wayfinding?
- Do we have a robust data analytics system that enables us to understand visitor behavior on a deeper level?
- Do we have a mobile app or digital platform for managing our operations?
- Are there enough charging stations and power outlets located throughout the venue so that attendees can charge their devices?
- Do we have a dedicated IT staff on hand to troubleshoot potential issues?
How can you become a more connected venue?
Wondering how you can evolve into a legitimate smart venue?
It starts with having the right tools.
By investing in a modern computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), you get all the tools you need to optimize facility management in one feature-rich interface.
With the right solution in place, you can request and track activities, stay connected throughout the venue via Wi-Fi, cellular, and even offline access, and stay connected to your team wherever they happen to be. With conversation thread histories, the ability to schedule conversations, and event day alerts that notify relevant stakeholders of traffic, weather, and parking updates, it’s the easiest way to keep your team aligned.
Taking your facility to the next level and becoming a smart venue is only possible when you have a feature-rich CMMS powering your operations.
To learn more about how to take the first step in your journey to becoming a smart venue, check this out.