As Customer Experience consultants for live entertainment and sports venues, SEMA4’s primary concern has always focused on listening to customers to gain a full understanding of what they both want and need on their journeys. A fan who is willing to travel large distances to see their favourite group or support their team, and who is willing to spend a substantial amount of money not only on a ticket but also on refreshments and merchandise deserves to have the very best experience the venue can offer.
For the customer, safety and security were always implicit expectations. It was taken for granted that the organisers would provide security for fans at the event in the same way that the train or bus companies would deliver them safely to the door of the venue.
For venues, customer security and safety have always been a primary concern, particularly large capacity ones such as arenas or stadiums, which deal with thousands of visitors every week. However risk assessment and actions were traditionally more centred on internal factors such as crowd management, alcohol fuelled incidents, structural safety, fire etc. Recent events in Paris and Manchester have starkly highlighted the need for venues to make changes to existing safety systems and protocols.
At a music industry event in March earlier this year, a panel discussion on security at venues after the Paris tragedy concluded, quite rightly, that people did still want live entertainment, that fans wanted to know security was strong, although without necessarily knowing the details, and that sharing information between venues, promoters, production staff, local authorities and police was key to keeping people safe.
The industry is now faced with a whole new set of circumstances and venue owners and operators will undoubtedly rise to the challenge to ensure that music and sports fans continue to experience the joy of live events. As new protocols are researched, created and put into practice, it might however be a good time for venues to collate and embrace customer input.