As high schools nationwide begin to welcome back students for another academic year and fans await the return of live events, the emerging conditions of COVID-19 are certainly top of mind. Having the ability to implement additional safety measures can help streamline event planning and management during times of uncertainty.
With digital ticketing, schools can have much more flexibility to minimize contact, limit capacity, facilitate social distancing, reduce wait times, and communicate guidelines to fans. By adopting mobile ticketing technology and rethinking current processes, schools can manage these key safety measures:
- Have completely cashless events. Eliminating cash payments can dramatically improve the event experience for your staff and fans. Exchanging cash requires physical contact that can easily be avoided with digital payment options. According to the Federal Reserve, the average timeframe that paper money remains in circulation ranges from 4.7 to 22.9 years, depending on the note. Lower denominations like $5 and $1 bills tend to pass between users much more frequently than higher denominations, as they are used in more transactions.
By making the switch to digital payments, you can provide more peace of mind to your fans by eliminating the need to handle cash. With cashless payments, your staff members will no longer have close contact with thousands of fans or be required to count cash after the event.
- Limit capacity as needed. Depending on the current circumstances and protocols in your area, you may need to limit capacity at some of your events. With digital ticketing, you can easily reduce capacity at your venue based on your unique requirements. You have flexibility to control the number of tickets to be sold and the ability to break down tickets by type.
- Encourage social distancing. Along with limiting capacity at your events, you can facilitate social distancing by distributing ticket sales among different sections of your venue. You can easily make these seating adjustments as needed based on developing recommendations.
- Send event alerts. Communication is key to running a successful event. With digital tickets, you can set event alerts to notify fans of important information. For example, you can inform fans that face masks or face coverings are required, remind fans to social distance, and let fans know if limited tickets are available due to capacity restrictions. By managing expectations up front, you can help create a safer experience and ensure that your fans are prepared.
- Provide contactless payment and entry. By now, your fans are more than familiar with the concept of contactless payments – and they may even expect them at your events. The pandemic has transformed consumers’ shopping behaviors and preferred methods of payment.
In the third edition of its global study, The Visa Back to Business Study – 2021 Outlook, Visa found that 85% of consumers expect digital options when they shop in person, and nearly half of consumers (49%) suggested that offering contactless payment methods is one of the most important safety measures stores can offer. Another 47% said that they will not shop at a store that does not offer a contactless way to pay. Consumers have grown accustomed to contactless payments in stores, and this preference is expected to continue moving forward for other purchases as well.
- Limit person-to-person contact. In addition to providing contactless payment and encouraging social distancing, digital ticketing can limit person-to-person contact by accelerating crowd flow. Purchasing and redeeming paper tickets takes time, especially when staff members need to accept cash and make change. The time per transaction can add up quickly, resulting in long lines at the gate. Standing in line is not only inconvenient but also forces people to be in close contact with one another for extended periods of time.
With digital ticketing, you can deliver a much faster and safer experience for fans who are eager to get in the game. To expedite entry as much as possible, look for a ticketing provider that doesn't require scanning to redeem tickets. QR codes can be difficult to scan on smartphones, causing prolonged contact and frustrating delays.
As schools continue to navigate the evolving conditions and recommendations related to COVID-19, helping to ensure the safety of students, fans, and staff remains a top priority. By minimizing unnecessary contact, limiting capacity and facilitating social distancing when needed, reducing wait times, and improving communication, schools can provide a safer and more enjoyable experience at events.
To learn more about how digital ticketing can help your school, check out our recent blog on the Top 10 Benefits of Digital Ticketing for High School Sports or contact us for further information.