How has the hospitality experience changed in recent years?
Where "all you can eat" and B2B networking used to be crucial, the requirements of the individual target groups have diversified considerably. Rights holders and venues must recognise these changes and respond accordingly. Nowadays, the hospitality experience is no longer limited to the match day, but begins with the search for information on the offer. "This is where SPORTFIVE comes in with digital and automated solutions such as our Official VIP online ticket shop and an after-sales platform to offer customers a state-of-the-art customer experience," says Mario Lucan.
A diversification in the design of the boxes can also be observed in the stadium itself. Many clubs are focusing on alternative box and lounge concepts, where the focus is no longer exclusively on the game. The clubs and their partners are striving to create a holistic experience for the guest.
Current trends in Hospitality
Boxes are still popular for client invitations and networking. However, the trend is now to combine the sporting event with additional content such as keynote speeches or expert talks to further strengthen the business context. In parallel to the consistent demand from companies for boxes, the numbers of private customers for hospitality packages are also on the rise.
Regardless of whether it is a business area, an open bar area, food stations or a sports bar - the facilities must always be geared to the target groups, be versatile and correspond to the circumstances of the venues. In doing so, the stadiums and arenas take their cue from modern event venues with which they are in competition. The goal is to use the sports facilities not only for the home matches, but also for numerous other events. For this reason, the venues are continuously modernised and converted in order to be able to offer ever better multifunctionality.
Without the human factor, hospitality will never work - because the product does not live from maximum efficiency and process optimisation, but from a good time.
Hospitality in German stadiums is becoming increasingly digital
Through digitalisation, many processes can be automated and made efficient, which plays a crucial role in the further development of the experience. "Without the human factor, hospitality will never work - because the product does not live from maximum efficiency and process optimisation, but from a good time. And this good time is created primarily through human contact and exchange," says Lucan. Clubs need to identify the areas where efficiency and optimisation are needed - such as ticketing or admissions. Both the digital and the human are equally indispensable in further development and do not contradict each other.
However, the marketing of hospitality experiences should definitely be made more digital. It can be observed that the average age structure of guests in hospitality areas is getting older. To address younger target groups, traditional methods such as PDFs and presentations are not enough. Instead, digital marketing must be used.
A successful example of digital services: the After Sales App at Borussia Dortmund
The app offers customers an efficient and quick solution for managing their tickets. Instead of a paper ticket, they receive all relevant information about the match and their visit to the hospitality area in the app on match day. In addition, the business network in the app allows customers to network before, during and after the match day via their smartphone.
The future of Hospitality
A customised experience will play a significant role in the coming years as customers increasingly demand to design their hospitality experience independently and individually. A clear line is nevertheless important. "Depending on the club, the product has to stand out from what other clubs offer - for example, through a strong brand as well as specific experiences that are only available at that particular club. Otherwise the experience becomes interchangeable," says Mario Lucan in the Stadionwelt interview.
UEFA EURO 2024™ in Germany
Get the Official Hospitality Package and experience the UEFA EURO 2024™ in an exceptional environment.
The Hospitality Packages will help you building an unforgettable event for your company, your prospective and existing clients or partners.
Did you know that SPORTFIVE is Exclusive Sales Agent in Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, Poland, Spain and Hungary and Member of the 2024 Hospitality Experience AG Group, the Official UEFA EURO 2024™ Hospitality Provider? Learn more about the Hospitality Packages at the tournament.