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Hospitality Guide '10 trends in hospitality': the most important takeaways

We are delighted to present to you our practical guide to 10 trends in stadium hospitality. As the European Stadium and Safety Management Association, it is our mission to provide you, our members representing over 350 stadiums from all around Europe, with the latest insights and best practices in the ever-evolving stadium industry. In today's fast-paced and dynamic world, stadiums have become more than mere venues for sporting events. In this article, we give you a brief overview of the most important takeaways per trend: 

Read the full Hospitality Guide here with all examples

Trend 1 - Hospitality Pyramid 

  1. Hospitality ratio has increased over the last decade and continues to grow
  2. Importance of the hospitality section to a stadium’s revenues can not be underestimated
  3. The variety of hospitality offer is growing, thereby allowing clubs to reach a larger potential audience from the casual business client to the VVIP
  4. Hospitality pyramid concept can be introduced to create top-down offer with variety for all clients
  5. Hospitality pyramid concept can be implemented in different ways and different sized stadiums

Trend 2 - The modern catering concept

  1. Hospitality clients value high-quality offer, speed of service and the option to choose
  2. Create a flexible concept with high-quality and unique experiences 
  3. Create a wide offer in types of food for varying needs
  4. Provide the option to open the catering facilities on non-matchdays for conferences, seminars, weddings, business dinners, dinner on the pitch or even ghost kitchens.
  5. Define persona’s to know who you are targetting with each offer

Trend 3 - Increasing networking opportunities

  1. Top-down access stadium stands create logical networking opportunities
  2. Smaller skyboxes are increasingly being redeveloped into larger networking areas
  3. Business clubs offer an alternative interactive way for business clients to network
  4. Membership lounges can be introduced as exclusive spaces where season ticket holders are rewarded for their loyalty and get an opportunity to network as well

Trend 4 - Pre- & post-game content & entertainment creation 

  1. Engage former players to harness the power of nostalgia
  2. Reimagine how hospitality facilities can be used before and after the game. Can an old locker room house a DJ set? Can a skybox be an exclusive storefront? 
  3. Mix high-end, exclusive entertainment with informal settings
  4. Think about all age groups. Entertainment can vary from mascots for the youngest fans, to visits from old players for older fans.
  5. Create unique “money can’t buy” experiences.

Trend 5 - Reimagining underused spaces

  1. Identify and analyse which areas in your stadium are underused 
  2. Identify possible eyecatchers, unique expereiences taht your fanbase would enjoy
  3. Redevelop and renovate the underused areas
  4. Create a unique offer for the hospitality clients with your new facilities
  5. These spaces could include: sensory rooms, speak-easy bar, DJ boot, Stadium pool, high-end retail outlets, babershop, fan zones….

Trend 6 - Optimisation for non-matchday usage through increased flexibility 

  1. Implementing succesfull non-matchday business models starts with changing the mindset of the team
  2. External partners can help develop a business plan and bring a new point of view
  3. Infrastructure can and shoul be develloped to be flexible and allow for a quick turn-around from one event to the other 
  4. Dare to reimagine how spaces can be used in a formal setting, for a party, ceremony…

Trend 7 - Streamlining hospitality management through tech solutions 

  1. Technology solutions like client management portals, live support chatbots, the IoT, iBeacons and many more can help create the customer experience of the future

Trend 8 - Sustainability as a driving force

  1. Embrace Eco-Conscious Mindset: Recognize that sustainability isn't just a trend; it's a fundamental shift towards responsible event hosting. Incorporate sustainable practices into all facets of stadium operations to reduce environmental impact and foster a positive image.
  2. Integrated Waste Management: Implement comprehensive waste management strategies that prioritize recycling, composting, and minimizing waste. Educate fans and stakeholders on proper waste disposal to create a culture of environmental responsibility.
  3. Leverage Technology for Paperless Solutions: Harness technology to create a paperless stadium environment. Invest in digital ticketing, mobile apps, and digital signage to minimize paper usage and streamline fan experiences.
  4. Energy Efficiency Matters: Explore innovative energy management solutions to reduce energy consumption and lower carbon emissions. Invest in energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and renewable energy sources to pave the way for a greener future.
  5. Collaborate Across the Supply Chain: Work closely with suppliers and partners who share your sustainability values. Prioritize eco-friendly sourcing, from food and beverage vendors to construction materials, to ensure a sustainable supply chain that aligns with your stadium's ethos.

Trend 9 - Enabling upselling & cross-selling opportunities 

  1. Personalisation is Key: Implement personalised messaging and offers to engage fans at the right moment. Tailor promotions to each fan's preferences, whether it's seat upgrades, merchandise, or dining options, enhancing their overall experience.
  2. Seamless Integration: Invest in technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with fan engagement. Ensure that push messages and offers are easily accessible via mobile apps, enhancing convenience and driving participation.
  3. Diverse Revenue Streams: Recognize that ticket sales are just one part of your revenue potential. By offering a variety of upselling and cross-selling options, from premium seating to exclusive merchandise, you can diversify your income sources.
  4. Fan-Centric Approach: Put fans at the centre of the experience. Listen to their feedback, analyse their behaviours, and adjust your offerings accordingly. This fan-centric approach can lead to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
  5. Data-Driven Decision Making: Leverage data analytics to refine your upselling and cross-selling strategies continually. Use insights from fan interactions to refine your offers, target the right audience, and maximise revenue while enhancing fan experiences.

Trend 10 - Continuous infrastructure renovation to fit evolving needs

  1. Embrace Change as a Constant: Recognize that the needs and expectations of fans and hospitality clients are continually evolving. Embracing change as an ongoing process is essential to staying competitive and relevant in the stadium industry.
  2. Invest in Versatile Infrastructure: Prioritize infrastructure renovations that enhance versatility. Ensure that stadium facilities can adapt to various types of events, from sports matches to concerts, conferences, and more, without compromising the fan or client experience.
  3. Sustainability as a Guiding Principle: Integrate sustainability into renovation projects. Implement eco-friendly technologies and practices to reduce the stadium's environmental footprint, aligning with global sustainability goals and enhancing the venue's appeal to eco-conscious clients and fans.
  4. Fan-Centric Improvements: Focus on fan experience enhancements during renovations. Consider factors like improved seating, better technology, accessibility, and amenities to ensure that fans continue to enjoy their time at the stadium.
  5. Collaboration and Feedback: Engage with fans, clients, and stakeholders to gather feedback and insights on necessary renovations. Collaboration fosters a sense of community and ensures that infrastructure changes align with the desires of those who use the stadium.

Posted on 26/10/2023 in: