Everyone loves entertainment venues. They’re where we connect with our friends, listen to good music and unwind after a long week. But it’s been very difficult to enjoy venues since COVID-19.
More than 87% of in-person events were canceled in the early days of the pandemic. All-in, companies have lost more than $1 billion in revenue because of this. Thankfully, as vaccines start to roll out, more and more entertainment venues are getting the go-ahead to reopen from local, state and federal governments.
This is good news. But it doesn’t mean that venues can simply return to normal and expect their profits to do the same. Instead, venues need to adjust their offerings to align with consumer preferences in the post-pandemic world.
Digital signage makes this easy to achieve. It can bring safe, contactless fun to your entertainment venue. Keep reading to learn how:
- Entertainment venues are changing in the wake of the pandemic
- Why venues need to be contactless
- How to build safe, contactless fun into your venue
How entertainment venues are changing in the post-COVID world
COVID-19 is changing the entertainment venue industry in several significant ways.
Heightened health protocols
People are becoming increasingly aware of their health and safety. Both your employees and your guests will expect you to do more to protect them in the post-pandemic world. Heightened health and safety protocols will likely become the norm because of this.
This may play out in a few different ways. For example, employers may ask their employees to go through health screening checks before working. Venues will also continue utilizing heightened cleaning standards and personal protective equipment.
Accelerating rate of digitization
Digitization was already increasing before the pandemic. But COVID-19 has made the shift to digital even more rapid than it was. This will be particularly impactful to entertainment venues.
Digitization will impact venues in several different ways:
- Increased use of digital tickets
- Mobile food and merchandise ordering
- Options for contactless pickup
- Distanced entertainment events
- Greater access to online customer service options
People are more aware of how the spaces they frequent can impact their health. They know that spending a ton of time cramped closely together with others may not be good for them. Entertainment venues (and most other businesses for that matter) will have to respond to this.
Venues can do that by reorganizing their interior spaces. For example, some will want to create a layout that offers more space so that social distancing can occur when needed or wanted by consumers. FCM Hospitality restaurants, for instance, are emphasizing outdoor dining to keep guests and employees safer.
A higher bar for content
COVID-19 has introduced a new variable people need to consider when deciding whether to go out. Consumers have to weigh the health risk presented by crowded entertainment venues against the perceived value of attending the events they hold.
That means entertainment venues may need to be more creative to deliver better content to their guests. One way that you might achieve that is by using digital signage. You can even use exciting emerging technologies like AR to keep your guests entertained. More information on how to do that is included below.
Why do venues need to be contactless?
COVID-19 has increased consumers’ awareness of how viruses spread and how to avoid infection. Many will prefer to purchase tickets, order food and interact with your venue digitally as often as possible. Venues who want to satisfy their customers will become contactless because of this.
Going contactless has a measurable impact on your bottom line. Depending on your business model, going contactless could reduce the number of employees you need to schedule at any given time or eliminate the recurring cost of traditional, paper signage. For example, with digitization, customers can order food on their phone and pick their order up without ever having to speak to an employee.
Venue owners can also leverage contactless devices, such as tablets, TVs, and customers’ own mobile devices, to increase customer engagement. This could help your entertainment thrive in the post-pandemic world.
8 ways to build safe, contactless fun for your in-venue entertainment
DIY Instagram photobooths
Social media is everything nowadays, so your venue might as well get in on the action. Consider setting up a permanent DIY Instagram photo booth. You can place your logo on the booth and customize it to align with your brand’s image.
Encourage your guests to share their photos on social media and you could even score some free advertising.
Arcade or trivia game tablets at the table
Tablet gaming is on the rise. You can tap into that growing market by bringing arcade and trivia games to your tables. They can be a fun way for your guests to compete with other people in the venue as well as people across the world.
You can set game tablets at each table, or create a truly contactless experience by using your TV screens and allowing guests to interact via their mobile phones.
Contactless ordering and digital tickets
Contactless ordering and digital tickets will be almost essential in the post-pandemic world. These features make it easier for customers to get into your venue and get what they need while they’re there.
As more and more entertainment venues begin offering contactless ordering and digital tickets, it will become the norm for the industry.
Distanced entertainment events (concerts, trivia nights)
Special events like concerts and trivia nights are a great way to get people into your establishment. You may just need to rethink how you host them in the wake of the pandemic.
For example, if you have an outdoor space, you might want to host a concert out there instead of inside. Doing so could make it easier to space out your guests. Another strategy is to sell fewer tickets than you normally would.
Trivia nights are a bit easier to host in a distanced way. You can spread your tables out to an appropriate distance before the event starts and have guests order food and drinks from tablets or their own mobile devices instead of going up to your bar themselves.
If you host concerts and other special events, you might ask your guests to check in with a ticket as they arrive. Making this process digital is a good idea for a few reasons.
First, doing so can reduce the amount of time that a guest has to spend waiting to get into your venue. Second, when you reduce the amount of time a guest has to spend in line, you make it easier for them to remain socially distanced and safe.
Use QR codes to bring AR to your venue
Augmented Reality (AR) is a fantastic way to add a unique touch to your events. You can use it to provide your guests with another way to entertain themselves. Or you can use AR to keep them informed with directions and important pieces of information.
You won’t need to provide your guests with any specialized equipment to get this going. Instead, you can just create a QR code that a guest can scan with their phone to view your AR setup directly through their device.
Large events have used AR to enhance their guest experience for a while now. For example, at Computex 2016, VNTANA used its AR technology to allow consumers to interact with a wide range of concepts, products, and people. This same technology can be leveraged in smaller spaces.
Personalized push notifications
Personalized push notifications can be a great way to provide your customers with important health and safety information before a big event.
For example, you might send out a push notification with the latest health information for a guest’s area a few days before the event.
This will show your patrons that you care and will help them keep safe while they visit your establishment.
Want to learn more about how push notifications can help you drive revenue? You can get our free white paper here.
Provide a personalized customer service touch with digital means
Providing quality customer service is an essential part of keeping your venue safe and fun for your guests. You can do this digitally now thanks to modern technology.
For example, you might create an app with a knowledge base that contains answers to the most common questions you get. You could even create a live chat function within the app so that your clients can speak with an employee without having to wade through a crowd of people to do so.
Putting it all together
You can coordinate your digital signage displays to get more out of the contactless entertainment options discussed in this article. For example, after your guests use your DIY Instagram photo booth, you can display the pictures they post on your screens to drive more engagement.
Similarly, you can advertise your app on digital signage to ensure your guests know what they’ll get from using it. You could even display QR codes on your digital signs to make it easier for your guests to access your AR offerings or find your contactless ordering page.
Use UPshow to make your entertainment venue safe, fun and contactless
Adding digital signage to your venue is a fantastic way to provide safe, contactless fun to your guests. Digital signs make it easier to share important health and safety information, keep your guests engaged and provide them with the entertainment experience that they want.
Digital signage could be just what you need to prepare your entertainment venue for the post-COVID world. So why wait? Get in touch with UPshow today to learn more about how our digital signs can help you improve your venue.
Fill out this form and we’ll set you up with a custom demo so that you can experience the benefits of digital signage for yourself.