Session 1 – Strategies to Get Fans Back
On March 25th, 2021 IIFX hosted a one-day, virtual summit – Prepping for the Return of Fans!, tailored to share information and innovative solutions between sports and entertainment industry leaders as they prepare to welcome fans and spectators to live entertainment.
The first session was sponsored by rZero, a biosafety company focused on designing the most effective and innovative hospital-grade infection prevention technologies. In this session, IIFX Director and Co-founder, Dr. Lou Marciani, spoke with Lee Zeidman, the President of the Staples Center and the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, about the strategies he and his partners are using to prepare their facilities to meet local public health and safety requirements and to win over the fans. From Lee’s perspective, reopening is not about competing to be first, it is about the sports and entertainment industry cooperating to protect people’s health and ensure they are safe and secure when the venues reopen.
Lee knows how unique and special the in-person spectator experience is to anyone who enters the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, and the hub of many other big events. The memories of the spectacle, smells, and sounds of big events can draw people to return and watch a sports or entertainment event in person.
Lee stressed the importance of early, honest, transparent, and continuous communication with staff to educate them about changes to their jobs and new challenges that may arise from those changes. In the modern age, with information so easy to obtain, leadership must ensure that staff hear the correct information (that which is learned first is remembered best). A well-informed staff is confident and ready when the doors open to fans. However, Lee reminds us that fans need constant reassurance that their health, safety, and security are high priorities for venue leaders and staff. Communicating with fans early and often helps build their confidence about returning. The sports and entertainment industry must allay guest concerns about their health, safety, and security. Whether new medical protocols, service changes, entry procedures, cashless systems, and an updated Code of Conduct, the venue must show they are keeping the customers safe and secure during any event.
Check back in tomorrow for the next blog recap for the Prepping for The Return of Fans Summit!