As Customer Experience consultants who specialise in the live entertainment and sports venue management industry SEMA4’s primary concern has always focused on listening to customers to gain a full understanding of what they both want and need on their journeys. A fan who is willing to travel large distances to see their favourite group or support their team, and who is willing to spend a substantial amount of money not only on a ticket but also on refreshments and merchandise deserves to have the very best experience the venue can offer.
For the customer, safety and security were always implicit expectations. It was taken for granted that the organisers would provide security for fans at the event in the same way that the train or bus companies would deliver them safely to the door of the venue.
For venues, customer security and safety have always been a primary concern, particularly large capacity ones such as arenas or stadiums, which deal with thousands of visitors every week. Risk assessment and actions were traditionally more centred on internal factors such as crowd management, alcohol fuelled incidents, structural safety, fire etc. However, the devastating terrorist attacks at live event venues in Paris, California and Manchester starkly highlighted the need for venues to make changes to existing safety systems and protocols.
The following year a consortium of European live event specialists, with financial support from the European Union’s Erasmus+ Education Formation programme, created the SAFE project in order to develop the skills of adults in charge of safety in the live events industry. The programme is focused on creating a European wide certification and training programme to provide a consistent and high standard safety training across the industry. The programme is also creating a set of toolboxes that include best practices, economic impact studies, new technologies and organisational innovations such as cyber security, monitoring techniques and new systems of crowd control.
Programmes like this one certainly help make the live experience safer and venue operators, faced with a whole new set of circumstances, will undoubtedly rise to the challenge to ensure that music and sports fans continue to experience the joy of live events. As new protocols and technologies are standardised and put into practice the time has never been better for venues to collate and embrace customer input.