VENUENEXT TEAMS WITH THE NBA’S CHARLOTTE HORNETS FOR A MOBILE-FIRST FAN EXPERIENCE

VENUENEXT TEAMS WITH THE NBA’S CHARLOTTE HORNETS FOR A MOBILE-FIRST FAN EXPERIENCE

We’re thrilled to announce our newest NBA customer, the Charlotte Hornets. Hornets Sports & Entertainment will implement the VenueNext platform and deliver an all new Hornets fan mobile app that will launch at Spectrum Center in October for the 2017 - 2018 season. The new app will truly be an all-in-one mobile experience - Hornets fans will be able to conveniently access ticketing and payments, as well as food, beverage and retail ordering, right from their phones. They can also use the app during or between games as their main source of real-time scoring and stats, as well as team news and social media.

From Hornets Sports & Entertainment’s President & COO Fred Whitfield: “We look forward to introducing our fans to the increased mobile capabilities provided by VenueNext. We are constantly looking for ways to enhance the guest experience at Spectrum Center and the VenueNext platform offers us a significant change in technology. With these upgrades, our visitors can use their phone to not only enter the arena, but also to order and pay for concessions and retail. They don’t even need to bring their wallets.”

While additional features are expected to be added during the season, one perk that Fred and his team are particularly excited to bring to fans by the home opener is mobile ticketing - before the game, fans will be able to use the VenueNext app to purchase tickets and transfer them to others, as well as simply scan their phone to enter the arena on game day. Inside the arena, patrons can spend more time watching the game and less time in concession and merchandise lines.

Fans will also be able to purchase Hornets VIP experiences. Previously limited to groups and select clients, now more fans can be on the court with the team during the national anthem or high-five players as they come out of the tunnel for warmups.

While the experience that VenueNext and the Hornets will bring to fans will be second to none, we also look forward to the benefits for Hornet Sports & Entertainment, including gaining real-time, valuable data insights that can help the organization make more informed operational decisions to both maximize profits across the board and delight fans.

 

VenueNext Signs on the Timberwolves & Lynx NBA Teams to Deliver Fans a World-Class Mobile Experience

VenueNext Signs on the Timberwolves & Lynx NBA Teams to Deliver Fans a World-Class Mobile Experience

We are excited to announce our newest NBA customer, the Minnesota Timberwolves and our first WNBA customer the Minnesota Lynx! The teams will be rolling out the VenueNext platform at Target Center this fall with an all new mobile app experience for fans to make their game day more enjoyable.

The Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson was formerly with the SF 49er’s management and worked with VenueNext during the inception and debut of the platform at Levi’s Stadium in 2014.  He is very excited to bring the cutting-edge technology to Target Center for fans beginning with the 2017-2018 season. The new unified mobile app experience for both teams at Target Center will connect fans to team content, digital ticketing, arena information and more all in one place.

Timberwolves & Lynx CEO Ethan Casson had this to say about the partnership: “We’re thrilled to partner with VenueNext and look forward to rolling out these new state-of-the-art apps to our fans. With 80 percent of our fanbase entering the arena on game day using a mobile device, we wanted to find a way to better serve those individuals through personalized communication and an amplified fan experience. Having been a part of VenueNext’s inception, it’s exciting for me to continue working with this company and implement their technology for Timberwolves and Lynx fans.”

The teams and VenueNext will look to grow the technology capabilities over time and explore ways to add even more functionality to the apps. They are especially excited for opportunities to provide enhanced services for their most valuable fans, about the data our platform generates and the real-time business insights they can glean during game time and beyond to improve operational strategies and decisions.

Stay tuned for more exciting news coming this summer.

 

Improving the Patient and Guest Experience at Saint Luke’s Health Systems

Improving the Patient and Guest Experience at Saint Luke’s Health Systems

Today, VenueNext achieved a major company milestone and announced our expansion to the healthcare industry with our new customer Saint Luke’s Health Systems. We have always planned to expand beyond sports & entertainment and hospitals are a perfect fit for our technology platform. When visiting a hospital as a patient or guest it is usually under stressful circumstances (even when welcoming a new baby!) and having to figure out where to park, find the right building, get to the correct room, access your health records, find food and beverage, etc. can be very confusing and overwhelming.

Today at Saint Luke’s hospitals and health centers patients and guests have a myriad of mobile apps to help them find their way around the campus, access hospital information, schedule appointments, access their patient portal and other services. But, it is inconvenient for them to have to download multiple apps to connect to all of these services and the experience is taxing which leads to low adoption.

Saint Luke’s came to VenueNext because they wanted an integrated, easy-to-use mobile experience for their patients and guests and they could not find any other vendor that could provide this level of expertise and technology prowess. Over the next couple months VenueNext will work with Saint Luke’s to integrate the hospital’s multiple mobile apps into a new single, easy-to use app that connects patients, employees, and visitors to the hospital services and information they need when visiting a Saint Luke’s location; including managing their health information through the Epic MyChart* patient portal, enabling telehealth services, navigating the hospital, expanding food and beverage ordering and more.

Saint Luke’s Chief Information Officer Debe Gash had this to say about the deal, “At Saint Luke’s we strive to provide our patients, visitors and employees with the best possible experience when visiting our campuses, and we are excited to work with VenueNext to improve upon our current mobile offering.”

We are just as excited to work with Debe and her team to deliver a new and improved mobile app experience at all of their ten locations in and around Kansas City and to have Saint Luke’s be our premier healthcare customer!

Winning With Data

Winning With Data

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Today we are very excited to announce that we have been recognized by industry research leader, Gartner, Inc. and awarded a Gartner Data & Analytics Excellence Award for Best Use of Data in a Product or Service. The awards recognize excellence in data and analytics technology to drive best-in-class initiatives.

This award is in recognition for the amazing results we have delivered for our customers, specifically the San Francisco 49er’s who saw a $2 million dollar revenue gain and the Orlando Magic who increased ticket sales by over $1 million, both team results were from using VenueNext’s technology platform for their first season with us! Our platform provides valuable data insights that help the team engage better with fans and build upon their season ticket holders, as well as increase revenue to the bottom line through data-driven business decisions.

Six winners and 12 finalists were chosen from a pool of 152 submissions across all six categories. While the criteria were different for each category, all submissions were assessed by a team of Gartner analysts, and honorees were selected by benchmarking against world-class performance standards. Gartner looked for submissions with a strong organizational and leadership component, effective use of modern technologies, and most of all clear business outcomes.

We look forward to continue to deliver results for all of our sport and entertainment  customers and our upcoming expansion into the healthcare market to help improve upon  the patient and visitor experience at hospitals.

Improving Safety in Large Public Venues

Improving Safety in Large Public Venues

Feeling safe in public places and large venues is of paramount concern for everyone today. Feeling safe at a venue could be safety from slipping on a wet floor or in a more dire, life-threatening situation.

That’s why we’re excited to announce a partnership with LiveSafe, the world’s leading mobile safety communications platform, to help make venues safer by empowering fans to discretely, and in real time, report intelligence about security and safety issues. LiveSafe’s safety and security solution is in use today at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49er’s, and VenueNext will offer its functionality to all of its customers in 2017.

The new safety feature is seamlessly integrated with the Levi’s Stadium mobile app and allows guests to anonymously report safety concerns, suspicious activity, medical assistance, unattended packages and more to Levi’s Stadium security officials. Users are also able to interact with security officials through two-way communications and send photos, videos and audio to provide specific details.

“The safety and security of every visitor to Levi’s Stadium is the top priority for me and my team whenever we open the building,” said Jim Mercurio, San Francisco 49ers VP of Stadium Operations and General Manager. “It’s imperative that we take every precaution to keep our guests safe and LiveSafe provides another opportunity to empower our guests to report incidents quickly, with privacy and convenience.”

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LiveSafe was launched in 2013 and was borne out of the desire to empower anyone to help keep communities safe. It was founded by Shy Pahlevani, a victim of a violent robbery, and Kristina Anderson, who was injured in the Virginia Tech shooting. The two collaborated and pursued the idea of using crowd sourced intelligence to engage communities to help prevent incidents and improve safety. Having more intelligence inputs makes for faster response and resolutions on security issues before they escalate.

“With this feature, we enable the fans in the venue be the eyes and ears for security,” said John Paul, CEO and founder of VenueNext.  “With LiveSafe, fans can feel confident that they have security officials at their fingertips in case of an emergency.”

The new feature will complement the existing features of the Levi’s Stadium app, which fans already use to enter the stadium with mobile tickets, order in-seat food and beverage delivery, order merchandise express pickup watch instant replays and more.

The new LiveSafe is included in the Levi’s Stadium app that is available in the App Store, and Google Play.  You can find out more about LiveSafe here.

We look forward to working with our customers to roll out LiveSafe functionality at all of the VenueNext-powered stadiums in 2017 and bring peace of mind to fans and guests who visit any of these venues.

 

8 tips for successfully deploying a new technology platform in your business

8 tips for successfully deploying a new technology platform in your business

So you’ve gotten through the budget approval process and executive review on adopting a brand new innovative technology platform that is going to transform your business. The real journey is now just beginning. Leading all the right internal stakeholders through the implementation phase is one of the most important pieces of this process. Communication is key during this phase, and getting everyone literate and comfortable with the new technology can be tricky and labor intensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you have a thoughtful plan.

Through our work and experience in the trenches with leading sports and entertainment brands like the San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Vikings, New York Yankees, Churchill Downs and more, together we’ve learned some of the best practices for a smooth and successful implementation.


Begin with the end in mind

Identify and agree upon goals, priorities and a timeline at the onset of the project. Think about what most excites the team about the platform and will have the biggest impact on customers and the business. Prioritizing features that align with your goals will help you achieve those goals better than trying to tackle too many features at one time.

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Context is crucial

Provide in context examples of how the technology solves a problem. A presentation to hundreds of people is a good scene setter, but there’s nothing like having employees be able to relate how the technology will be used in the context of their daily activities. Making sure your staff sees it in action in your business is essential for them to understand, and feel comfortable with, using the technology.


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Building internal excitement

Work with your internal communications to help build excitement about how this new technology will make a difference to your business and fans— especially around customer experiences. When your employees are excited about it, chances of success are higher. For example, hosting a dry-run with employees to test the technology can be a fun way to show how it works during a low stakes simulation. Also, be aware of how the new technology will affect other parties in the venue. Building excitement with venue vendors, or other groups that will be involved in making it successful, is also important.


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Easy to follow guides

Share simple How To videos, screenshots of the technology in use, training courses, easy-to-use documentation and referral pieces from the technology vendor to help your employees understand how to use the technology that aren’t complicated makes formal initiatives less intimidating. For example, videos may help cashiers walk through how to use an order management system. Technology vendors can make a portal for customers to access all of these materials in one place — like a login for customers on a technology vendor’s website to access these materials. Additionally, it helps to identify an internal team member who understands the technology well to provide support to other employees when needed.


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Start easy and build up from there

Be sure not to overwhelm functional leaders. Build up knowledge through practicing the basics first, and adding additional complexity from there. VenueNext likes to be onsite with clients when the customer is beginning to test and implement the technology, but the ultimate goal for us is to teach our clients well enough to use the technology on their own.


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Test, test, test

Before implementing your new technology it’s crucial to test it in all scenarios before your launch date. It’s much less trouble to remove bugs before the technology gets into the hands of your users. Creating internal events around testing can not only make it fun, but it can make it even more of a learning experience for employees on how to use the technology. With testing, you can more easily identify the critical areas that require training. Testing before each event to make sure the technology is running smoothly is important too.


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Have on-site help present for key milestones

Identify your main point of contact up front before signing an agreement. Be sure to get commitment from your technology vendor that key support staff will be onsite for onboarding, at launch time and during important events. This support can help resolve issues more quickly. Having important dates on a calendar makes the overall process more organized as well.


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Communication

Communication is key and the answer to troubleshooting issues — having the right processes in place and being responsive and in touch with your vendor during critical times is a great investment at the outset. VenueNext uses Slack to quickly collaborate with its own customers. Technology vendors should communicate as much as possible and let the technology vendors know you’re available when they have questions by sharing your contact information with the vendors. 


So with onsite help during key technology implementation days, ample communication, sufficient testing, thought-out planning, internal excitement and more, adopting a new technology will be a much more seamless process for your company.

Have any tips or tricks to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

The VenueNext Playbook: Driving App Adoption & Awareness at Venues

The VenueNext Playbook: Driving App Adoption & Awareness at Venues

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Today we're sharing our first ePlaybook:

The ePlaybook outlines best practices for driving app adoption at venues in a world that's growing 'appathetic' as users are trying to choose from millions of apps daily.


Interested in reading future VenueNext Playbooks right when we publish them? Subscribe here:

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Raising $15 million in Series B funding and scoring our first NHL team the Sharks

Raising $15 million in Series B funding and scoring our first NHL team the Sharks

WE HAVE TWO BIG EXCITING NEWS ITEMS TO SHARE TODAY: 

A NEW ROUND OF FUNDING AND AN ENTRANCE INTO A NEW SPORTS LEAGUE — THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (NHL).


FUNDING

First, we have raised another $15 million in Series B financing led by Causeway Media Partners, bringing us to $26.5 million in total funding.

This investment will help us continue to work hard to improve our platform, grow into other vertical markets like healthcare and hospitality and expand internationally. We are thankful for our investors’ continued faith in our technology and team.

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SHARKS SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

The second is that our latest customer is the Sharks Sports & Entertainment, where our platform will help amplify the guest experience and improve business performance at four different venue experiences for SAP Center, the San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda teams and Sharks Ice Arenas starting with the Sharks Season home opener October 12.

This is our first customer in the NHL, but the Sharks first saw our technology in action at Levi’s Stadium back in 2015 when the team participated in the NHL Stadium Series in 2015. During the game our technology was in place and it powered a synchronized, multi-color lights show using fans’ smartphones.

The Sharks saw our work with other professional sports teams and felt that what we have to offer can really give their fans more control of their experiences at the arena through their smartphones. Valuable features like reducing the number of fraudulent tickets and the ability to resell tickets in the app is one particular feature the team is looking forward to this season.


OTHER SUCCESSES

Fans have already loved our mobile experiences at the Amway Center, Levi’s Stadium, Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, Super Bowl 50, U.S. Bank Stadium and beyond, becoming better able to get around these venues, order food and beverages to their seats, express order their favorite player’s jersey, view valuable content and more. This is all just by using their smartphones.

We’ve started getting fans to engage even more with our apps through polls on stadium big board screens. For example, at a recent 49ers game, we put a trivia question on the big board that asked where Chip Kelly started his coaching career (if you guessed Columbia University, you’re correct). Within 20 seconds, 15,000 votes came through the app.

Our work with the Magic has led to the creation of their own currency, called Magic Money, gives fan a completely new experience. For example, a fan can use Magic Money credits gained to upgrade to a suite or get valet parking to the game. People at the Amway Center are getting real value out of their season tickets.

The competition is the couch so we’re helping these venues to make their experiences compelling and less of a hassle to get to in the first place.

Stay tuned for more news ahead!

Leaders Conference: San Francisco 49ers Set the Bar for the Future Stadium

Leaders Conference: San Francisco 49ers Set the Bar for the Future Stadium

We’re excited the San Francisco 49ers will be speaking at the Leaders Future Stadium Summit in London this week, talking about what the 49ers and VenueNext have done together to enhance the fan experiences at the world-class Levi’s Stadium.

As VenueNext looks to grow internationally, it’s great to have our technology front and center at a conference in Europe. The 49ers will share data on the incredible network connectivity at the state-of-the-art Santa Clara stadium. The football team will also touch on the technology platform VenueNext built while being incubated at Levi’s and how it’s helped the 49ers gather more data on their fans, update the app in real time and customize the fan experience. A case study showing key business benefits of the platform will also be discussed, including millions of dollars in increased revenues. This is all very valuable to audience members: some of the most forward thinking leaders in the sports industry.

Learn more about the Future Stadium Summit here.

VENUENEXT TALKS ABOUT ‘WHAT'S NEXT IS NOW’ IN ATLANTIC CITY

VENUENEXT TALKS ABOUT ‘WHAT'S NEXT IS NOW’ IN ATLANTIC CITY

This week I’m excited to attend the TEAMS Conference & Expo in Atlantic City, where I’ll be talking on a panel about new technologies being deployed in the sports industry, including our connected venue platform. Specifically, we will be discussing how these technologies can help sports organizations better operate, market and entertain.

Other esteemed panelists include Ed O’Brien of the innovative company CLEAR (a VIP membership that helps you breeze past long lines), Nick Horbaczewski of the premier drone racing league Drone Racing League, Jeff Goldberg of Virtually Live, James Giglio of MVP (Motion Virtual Play) Interactive; the discussion will be moderated by Zack Sugarman, VP of Digital at Wasserman Media Group (a sports marketing and talent management company in Los Angeles).

I hope to highlight how our platform allows sports venue operators to deliver personalized mobile experiences at a sports venue. This results in fans returning more often, staying longer and spending more money.

I plan to touch on successes related to using IoT, the smartphone as a remote control and more to boost sports teams’ revenues and the fan experience.

For example, the Orlando Magic, one of the most innovative sports teams, has led to what is essentially the “Orlando Magic club” using our platform. They created their own currency called Magic Money allows fans to do things like exchange seats on the floor, or accumulate points to buy a suite. Fans can even order valet service outside their favorite restaurant for every game.  And the team has seen a $1 million bump in ticket sales and its highest season ticket renewal rates using our platform.

Get the full conference schedule here and Follow us for updates on Twitter under our handle @VenueNext during the 1:45-2:45 p.m. ET panel on Thursday, September 29 to learn insights from the talk.