Events are becoming more commonplace as different industries are attempting to find a balance between safety and practicality. Organizers are eager to give people what they want—more times with friends and family.
People are traveling more, musicals are gearing up for reopening, and $1.9 Billion was projected to be spent in June for the return of sports, concerts, and more. Though we’re cautious—all eyes are on the COVID-19 Delta variant as it threatens to pause the country once again—we’re also thrilled at the idea of sports, music and conferences returning. For parking operators, any addition of contactless services will help consumers feel more comfortable during their travels.
Increased events have been a long-time coming for the parking industry, and many continue to wait to see if the trend lasts. Ideally, operators can take in a more regular flow of revenue. While this is great news, the fact remains that despite its potential exit stage left, the pandemic has forever affected travel. The consumer preferences unearthed by lockdown have turned into new habits for traveling, and operators, particularly those for event venues, need to understand these habits to evolve.
How Travel Has Changed Event Parking Management
One of the big shifts that event managers should be aware of is that people are increasingly choosing to drive their own vehicles rather than use public transit or rideshare in the current travel landscape. The pandemic has shown a greater need for safety, and people are tending to avoid transit with strangers. Threats of new COVID-19 variants such as Delta will likely reinforce and cement these behaviors for the foreseeable future.
This should trigger a re-evaluation of parking best practices for event spaces. If people are driving more, then parking needs to be optimized to handle people’s expectations for safety and convenience. Changes in consumer behavior and mobile technology present an ample opportunity for better event parking planning.
The next step is to ensure you’re maximizing revenue and updating your operations systematically. Below are a few tips you can introduce to begin optimizing your event parking management.
How to Optimize Event Parking
Prior to the pandemic, venues were already trending toward digitizing their operations and consumer-facing tech. Sports teams began building their own apps and pushing for fans to interact via smartphones and social media. COVID-19 has only accelerated the necessity for venues to implement these changes.
Consumers want transactions that are incredibly convenient. Venues have noticed that offering more digital services, like the ability to buy merch from your seat, has been successful. Digitizing your parking can learn from these examples and go further by reducing operational inefficiencies. Our scan-to-pay solution can save revenue by reducing the staff you need in your parking lot—people simply scan QR codes from signs and pay for parking in a touchless transaction.
For some, the dread of finding parking at an event is almost enough to make you think twice about going. Our solutions powered by Arrive aim to fix that by allowing you to pre-purchase or bundle parking directly with your ticket purchase through partnerships with vendors like Ticketmaster.
In fact, our own data shows that parking bundle-ons to event tickets have doubled since before the pandemic. Vendors and event managers should take advantage of this information by ensuring people can pre-purchase parking, so it’s as seamless as ever. Here’s another interesting statistic: Our data shows that people who do pre-purchase parking spend 25-30 percent more in the venue. Parking becomes back of mind, and their focus turns toward things they can buy during the event.
Imagine being ushered straight to your parking space in an event lot. That’s right—skip all of the circling, the stop and go, the waiting…and so on. Integrating with other mobility services makes it even easier for people to get what they came for—to watch the event. And maybe, tailgating, of course.
Reduce congestion and wait time by using a parking system that generates GPS coordinates or directions to a person’s specific space within a parking lot. For example, Arrive’s partnership with Google-owned Waze provides directions after parking has been purchased. The day before an event starts, fans get an email that prompts them to plan their trip. Simple and easy.
What enforcement systems do you use for your event? Scamming and “lost tickets” are a bane for many parking industry verticals—such as airports and events. In some cases, these lots may be gateless, which necessitates added security measures.
Make sure you have a multi-pronged solution to mitigate revenue loss. Our recent merge with OmniPark comes with enforcement tools that may help. And our vision technology, such as FlashVision License Plate Recognition (LPR), allows quick and accurate scanning of license plates to keep track of everyone who enters the lot.
The time to optimize your event parking solutions is now, while traveling is getting back to full steam ahead. A cloud-based technology partner with smart hardware like FLASH that utilizes the powerful pre-purchasing and day-of parking systems of Arrive is sure to maximize your revenue and reduce inefficiencies. Take advantage of the tips above and schedule a free demo if you want to learn more about what we can do for you.
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