In September, ParkMobile hosted the “How to Reopen Venues Safely” webinar for clients to learn from the experts on best practices for how to navigate the return of large events.

A majority of venues cite the following reopening concerns:

  • Overcrowded locations
  • Accepting cash onsite
  • Safety of guests and staff alike

Each of the four panelists shared how their organizations are making parking safety a top priority as they reopen.

Mike Ahearn manages facility operations throughout North America for Spectra as SVP of Operations. He spoke first about how Spectra has prepared for reopening, creating a blueprint to help the organization’s partner venues come back from the shutdown. “The venue management reopening plan ‘Together AGAIN!’ is a blueprint of best practices, recommendations, and resources intended to safeguard the health and safety of our employees, clients, guests, tenants, talent, and patrons.”

Spectra’s ‘Together AGAIN!’ program and task force focused on the cleaning, sanitation, and legal concerns related to risk management, with a focus on contactless interaction between guests and staff and creating a smooth and safe guest experience.

Ben Weiss, the General Manager of XL Center and the Pratt Whitney Stadium, echoed Ahearn’s plan and shared what his specific stadiums have started to implement regarding parking, entering the stadium, food and beverage, and seating. Weiss laid out the stadium’s plans to create seating pods for groups of two, four, six, and eight, with six feet of distance on each side of the pods. The stadiums have equipped their refreshment and food stations with plexiglass dividers and prewrapped cutlery and began the transition from fountain to bottled beverages. They also added touchless fixtures in bathrooms and implemented stanchions for crowd control in heavily congested areas. Stanchions are designed to ease traffic flow and maximize space, similar to what you see at airport security lines or amusement parks.

As for parking, Weiss admitted that their current system is primarily cash-based, and they are considering moving to a cashless and pre-paid parking program like ParkMobile and Park Hub facilitate.

ParkMobile’s VP of Sales, Verticals and Partnerships, Andy Harman, spoke about how implementing a contactless alternative to cash and meters makes parking safer and more efficient for venues. He also shared how venues can gather more intelligence through ParkMobile’s mobile app to better utilize parking, driving guests to lots that are not full to reduce congestion. ParkMobile’s geo-fencing capabilities allow for push notifications to guests with the information they need related to parking, venue, safety, and more.

Harman also talked about how ParkMobile can help venues use effective load balancing, a real-time way to track how parking lots are filling up. Effective load balancing encourages venues to open and staff the busiest lots based on pre-sale of parking spaces and open additional lots as needed to optimize on-site staffing.

ParkMobile’s gated ‘ticket takeover’ solution enables guests to scan a QR ticket code with their mobile device and pay in-app, allowing for contactless entrance, payment, and exit from their smartphone device. “You can pull into the lot, park, and then handle payment from your phone at any time before you leave, even from the comfort of your seat at the event,” said Harman. This process helps eliminate back-up and congestion when entering or exiting a gated parking lot.

The final webinar speaker was Chris Elliston, SVP of Enterprise at Park Hub, who focused largely on the growing need for contactless parking. He cited that a majority of MasterCard’s transactions are now happening through contactless tapping. He shared about a successful ParkHub campaign for season ticket holders with window clings that required zero personal interaction between the driver and parking lot attendants through a quick scan of the cling. Elliston built upon Harman’s comments about the need for convenient, safe, and stress-free parking as guests return to events and venues.

“Parking is the first and last thing people experience at any events,” noted Elliston, speaking about how the parking experience can leave a lasting impression on customers.

You can now stream the full webinar by clicking here.