The Stadium Technology Insights Event 2019….a thank you to all those who made it a success!
By Nathan Bethell
On the 24th July 2019, PTI Consulting hosted the inaugural Stadium Technology Insights event at Edgbaston Stadium. No spoiler alert here, the event turned out to be a great success, in both the technology insight the speakers delivered and the attendee engagement throughout the day.
The event messaging must have struck a note with people across the industry as we quickly saw senior leaders from across football, rugby, cricket, golf, horse racing, NFL, hospitality and music venues all register to attend. Thinking back to when we were planning what this event might look like back in December 2018, we ambitiously suggested that we could get 100 people to come along, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking 50 might be more realistic. So, with two weeks to go seeing that we had 141 senior people registered was extremely pleasing…and reflects all the valuable work the PTI team have been delivering over the past year. On the day we saw 94 people attend, with people travelling to Edgbaston from as far as Plymouth to Newcastle, Ireland to Wales….so we say a big ‘thank you’ to all those who made the journey!
The Key Note Speakers
In what turned out to be a beautiful summers day in Birmingham, the session kicked off with a welcome by Edgbaston CEO Neil Snowball. Neil reflected on what a great summer of sport Edgbaston had already seen this summer with the Cricket World Cup and then looked forward to the opening Ashes Test Match.
It can be a tricky path when deciding what topics to cover and what to leave out when planning your key note sessions. Taking guidance from the pre–event survey we were able to curate an agenda that covered the complexity of new stadium build with Ben Wells, Chief Commercial Officer, from Bath Rugby. Ben delivered a fascinating insight of delivering a stadium in a world heritage zone….and ensuring that the technology delivery is future ready…*not proof….as we simply don’t know what will happen in 10 years‘ time!
We then heard from Craig Flindall, Chief Operating Officer at Edgbaston who looked at how the ground and club have changed over the years and looked ahead to some the great plans they have to rebuild the older part of the stadium and ensure they keep the ‘best atmosphere in Cricket’ at Fortress Edgbaston.
One the key areas of technology the delegates wanted to learn more about was the arrival of 5G and the opportunity that it promises, especially given how challenging it is to provide cell reception at any stadium with more than 10,000 people in it. Antony Tomlinson, CEO at Ontix, talked through a brief history of mobile cellular data and where we are today. His view was that 4G will still be with us for at least another 5-10 years, so people need to be factoring this when making plans for their infrastructure.
We finished on panel of speakers from different parts of the industry who delivered some interesting views on how to optimise technology to create an improved fan experience and promote increased engagement.
If you would like to view the slides from the session click here for the Slideshare
Post Event Feedback
The post event feedback provides some interesting insight. As a marketeer you’re conscious to deliver on the promise of the invite, so it was really pleasing to see that we had a satisfaction score in the 90’s…and maybe more so that 100% of responders said they would be keen to attend again depending on the agenda. Some of the consistent key take always people had fed back to us was that ‘Technology is a challenge for everyone, not matter the industry or size of organisation’. Our own Eric Solem put it nicely “Technology is a journey without a definite destination” for me that quote seemed to capture the feeling in the room well.
Next time out
So, now we move onto planning for the Stadium Technology Insights event for 2020. Mindful to continue with all the good stuff that we delivered, whilst keeping it fresh for those attendees who will come again. We’ve began to start looking at possible venues for this, so look out for more information over the next couple of months.