Queuing for the Entertainment Industry: Keep Guests Engaged

Queuing for the Entertainment Industry: 4 Ways to Keep Guests Engaged

Last updated: May 04, 2017Perry Kuklin

In the era of social media, customer reviews impact all businesses. Event venues, sports stadiums, museums, performance centers, theme parks, and other entertainment businesses are not exempt. In these venues, there is a high bar to reach when it comes to the guest experience and a high price to pay for a poor one. After all, the entire reason guests come to venues like these is to be entertained. When that experience is bogged down with poorly managed crowds, slow-moving queues, or a disorganized flow of foot traffic, the desire to return is diminished and a poor review can have far-reaching consequences. You want to be known for the experience you create, regardless of the crowds. So, how can you improve? Here are 4 ways to keep your guests engaged even during the not-so-fun times of waiting in line or navigating through a crowded environment.

1. Check Off the Basics

Streamline queues and the flow of foot traffic by ensuring you have the basics covered. This TripAdvisor review from a guest at a popular U.S. stadium shows how guests can react to what appears to be a poorly managed process:

“We were up in the second tier behind the baskets and we really enjoyed the game. However, it took us quite a while to get into the arena. There must be some way of speeding up that process…"

The ‘basics’ of good queue management, crowd control, and customer flow are critical to making venues both safer and more efficient. Stanchions and barriers, clear signage, and proper safety-related products can be combined to achieve the following benefits, and more:

  • Smoothly guide guests in, through, and out of your venue
  • Establish clear entrances and wait points for your queues
  • Effectively delineate queuing areas from walkways
  • Expand and contract queues quickly and easily as crowds ebb and flow
  • Keep people safe by temporarily blocking off areas for maintenance or emergencies

2. Bring in Technology

Once you have the basics in place, it’s time to take things to the next level.  Combining physical queuing and crowd control solutions with leading-edge technology can inspire your guests to give you a great review and come back for more. Technologies for queuing and crowd control are far-reaching and include:

  • Virtual queuing, in which guests can hold their place in line and be notified via a mobile app when it’s their turn to be served.
  • Call-forward queuing, in which guests can be called to an open register or ticket booth via digital signage and station lights.
  • Sensors using analytics technology to provide facility managers with real-time visibility of customer flow throughout the venue.

Look at the areas within your venue where crowds build up or lines form and you’ll probably find a place where technology can help.

3. Delight Them

One of the best ways to keep guests entertained while they wait also happens to deliver benefits to your bottom line. In-queue merchandising brings products into the queue to keep customers engaged (and shopping) while they wait to be served. Whether this is in the gift shop or at concessions, giving guests exciting items to touch, feel, and buy can keep their minds off the length of the wait.

4. Track and Communicate Wait Times

Analytics is the name of the game in just about every industry today. Footfall analytics using sensors, video, or other technologies can deliver the real-time and historical data you need to manage wait times, optimize customer flow, and better handle crowds. From a guest experience standpoint, venues looking to reduce wait times and keep expectations in check can publish accurate wait times and even guide guests to the shortest lines (for restrooms, foods, concessions, or whatever!).

Publish wait times and guide people to the optimal places using a mobile app or digital signage placed in key locations. You can even use historical, predictive, or real-time data to help guests know what to expect or plan for an optimal arrival time before they even leave their homes to travel to your venue.

With these tips, you can keep the entertainment in focus and the frustration at bay for your guests.


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