First truth. Venue and Event Owners primarily focus on the tangibles. Most of these are physical. Car parking, catering, signage, admission, wifi, seating, toilets and the list goes on. Nothing wrong with this. All very important.

Second truth. Once at a venue there is a strong focus on customer experience and engagement. Also very important. At every touchpoint thought needs to have gone in to how that moment will be experienced by the consumer. If any of these touchpoints fail – that will influence the entire customer experience. We’ve all experienced issues with admission, long queues for drinks or poor-quality food. It’s often the negatives that are reflected when recalling the experience.

So the tangibles are important. Crucial. Time and effort focused here is never time wasted.

But what about the intangibles? The associated experiences away from the actual venue or event are just as important – but often not equally considered. The customer journey starts with the very first point of interaction. For instance, this could be social media or advertising – driving an action. What do I see? What is the message? What are they asking me do and how? This is the first stimulus of the senses. Positive response equals engagement. Anything negative or too taxing leads to secondary consideration or no engagement.

So, a case in point. Tickets have been on sale in the UK for 2 major global sports events. Demand is understandably high. Pre-onsale communication was good. Engagement was good and there was clear encouragement to act – also good. But where both fell short – and ultimately where both will have suffered, is the customer journey and overall experience once the ticketing journey started was poor. Long queues and waiting times – only to discover that there was nothing left when you got there – or it fell over multiple times trying to get there. No engagement whatsoever with the unlucky ones. Consumers who wanted to interact but were left feeling like second class citizens. Not one of the chosen or lucky ones – therefore not important anymore. Intangibles like this are crucial. It’s what people remember. Many not lucky enough first time would not have bothered again. The events will sell out, but you just need to look at social media to understand the fall-out from those left ticketless. It does not reflect well on the event. Not everyone that wants a ticket can get a ticket – but it’s not difficult to treat those with respect – provide access to other content – communicate positively.

This is just an example. At International Venue Management (IVM) the entire customer journey and experiences for all stakeholders sits right at the heart of our planning. The tangibles and intangibles are equally considered at every touchpoint from the moment the event is conceived. Manage the sensory experience as well as the physical and you’ll have the perfect recipe for success.

To find out how IVM can support your venue or event to world-class standards please contact: