In last week’s webinar, “Creating a Better Fan Experience with Parking,” we heard from David Hoyt, SVP of Sales at ParkMobile, and Tony Albanese, Chief Strategy Officer at ParkHub, on employing smarter event parking solutions to elevate the fan experience. Check out our top takeaways from the session below.
Top 5 Takeaways from “Creating a Better Fan Experience with Parking”
- Understand your fan. One of the most critical elements in improving the fan experience is to accommodate the parking needs of the thousands of spectators arriving to an event. To improve the experience, you have to understand the fan’s parking purchase process. The average ticket launch is 150 days before the event, while 70-75% of prepaid parking is actually sold during the last three days before the event. For the consumer, purchasing parking is often an after-thought, but it’s still an impending need. You have to understand your stakeholders – suite-holders/donors, season ticket purchasers, single-game purchasers, partners/volunteers, and staff – to make sure you introduce a parking program that releases parking accordingly based off of their stake in the event.
- Digitize the entire parking purchase process. The goal is to reduce friction so that event attendees can flow effortlessly into the venue. From end to end, the parking purchase process should be enabled by technology. At ParkMobile, we use multiple channels to make it easy for fans to purchase parking, including ParkMobile’s website and app, the partnering venue’s website and app, and in-dash vehicle integration. We link to our site directly from the venue’s and create a true white-labeled experience. We make it easy to search, display available parking packages clearly, and provide an interactive map view that allows fans to view available parking locations in relation to the venue. Once parking has been purchased, we provide turn-by-turn directions through our website, our app, or our Waze integration to prevent attendees from aimlessly searching for their lot the day of the event.
- Develop a multi-faceted parking and transportation program. For any event, the arrival experience is negatively impacted by congestion. In order to combat day-of congestion surrounding the venue, you have to take a multi-faceted transportation approach. You can’t accommodate parking for every single attendee. Apart from promoting pre-paid parking reservations, encourage alternative modes of transportation, like biking, ride-share, and public transit, to help reduce the number of fans searching for a parking spot the day of the event. You will not be successful with your parking program without taking a multi-faceted approach that helps manage the influx of thousands of attendees who want to get seated on-time for their event.
- Focus on arrivals and departures. The first touch and last touch at any event occurs in the parking lot. This means you have to make the arrival and departure experience the best it can possibly be. Make parking easy to find with pre-sale marketing and communications, pre-event email reminders, fan-facing app integration, and on-site signage. Make it easy for fans to pay for parking on-site by accepting all forms of payment and employing a mobile POS system to reduce transaction time. In order to minimize congestion upon arrival, continuously train event staff to push fans to pre-paid parking scans first, then to on-site purchases using credit, then to on-site purchases using cash. Use variable pricing to drive desired behavior and leverage historical data to anticipate demand and optimize staff deployment.
- Communicate effectively and often. You have to communicate before, during, and after an event to make your parking program effective. At ParkMobile, we provide parking location-specific details to the consumer, including rules and regulations, available amenities, and turn-by-turn directions, during and after purchase. To drive parking reservations, we create awareness through venue-specific and event-specific email campaigns. We geo-fence in-app messaging around partnering venues to target visitors who already have the app, letting them know they can reserve event parking in advance. We use video marketing to educate our users about how to reserve parking before events, and we offer customer support through every channel – phone, email, and social media – in case anything goes awry.
To learn more about the different ways you can improve the fan experience through event parking solutions, you can watch the on-demand version of the webinar here. To catch ParkMobile in person, come see at the upcoming NPA Convention in Orlando from October 21-24 at Booth #913. Our next webinar, “ParkMobile 360: Policy Management and Reporting for Your Parking Operation,” is October 30th at 2:00 pm EST. See you then!