The world is slowly returning to live events. Sporting events, concerts, and live theater performances are happening again after more than a year without live fans and audiences. 2020 was a horrible year to be in the entertainment business. My plans alone included a country concert, several live theater productions, an entire season of college football, a vacation to popular theme parks, and a subscription series to the Utah Symphony. However, each one was delayed and rescheduled as the world battled the COVID-19 pandemic. One concert has been rescheduled four times. At this point I am starting to wonder if it will happen.
Happily, events and entertainment venues are reopening. Fans are being allowed back in full force and with them come the frustrations of crowds—fighting the stop and go traffic the minute you pull out of your driveway, battling for parking spaces after paying an arm and a leg, and jostling through security and gates to find your seats. Then you get the privilege of fighting the same problems in reverse until you finally pull into your driveway again.
It is natural to assume that the event is what takes place on the field or stage when you are actually in your seat. After all that is what you pay for (and an exorbitant amount for parking). But what if the way you get to and from the venue, and the time it takes to get there, are also part of the event?
I remember going to an annual, popular Christmas concert with my mom in downtown Salt Lake City. It was the weekend before the holiday. We left our home thinking we had plenty of time to get downtown, park, eat, and walk into the venue. However, as soon as we got off of I-15, we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The line didn’t move for most of an hour, and when it did, it crawled forward inch by inch. Literally we could have walked from our home to the concert faster than it took for us to get the short distance from the freeway exit to the parking lot. After the concert, we had the same problem but in reverse. It was frustrating and totally detracted from the concert. In fact, I don’t remember a thing about the performance—just that to get to and from it was perhaps the worst experience I have ever had in a car. I wasn’t moved by the guest performer, the orchestra, or the choir. I can’t name a single song they sang or even who the guest singer was because all I remember was sitting in traffic for hours to go less than two miles.
One LVT client who is in the events business, considers the travel time to and from their stadium as part of the customer experience. This includes the time it took to get to the stadium, park, and walk in and doesn’t end until they are back inside their own homes.
A big part of this is managing traffic. While they can’t control traffic on the roads and freeways, they can control it on their property, including in the parking lot and at the ticket gates. To help with this, they use LVT mobile security trailers as their eyes in the sky. With live footage from LVT cameras, the venue’s manager and his crew can direct cars in real-time to open parking stalls, divert foot traffic to different entry gates, and even direct vehicles to multiple exits after the event to avoid clogs and their accompanying delays. LVT is a tool they use to manage large crowds more efficiently.
The Utah County Sheriff Department also used LVT Units for crowd control. They set up the units outside of COVID-19 vaccination clinics and were able to direct cars according to what they saw on their live feeds. This helped avoid long lines and gatherings while people waited for their vaccination. It also helped the department use their manpower more effectively and cut back on the number of officers needed at each site.
LVT Units are uniquely equipped for helping with crowd management. They are completely mobile so they can go anywhere in your parking lot and can even be moved if a different area becomes a problem across multiple events. Furthermore, their live feeds can be viewed from your phone so you can be in the lot directing traffic and instantly see where the crowds are being bottlenecked. It is a powerful tool that helps increase efficiency as well as creates a better experience for your customers.
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