ESSMA Fan Entertainment Workshop: The Key Takeaways

By November 02, 2017

Some sixty members of the European Stadium & Safety Management Association (ESSMA) assembled for the sold-out Fan Entertainment Workshop in Turin, Italy, on 3-4 October. The venue for the two-day event was Allianz Stadium, home of Juventus FC.


The key takeaways from the ESSMA Fan Entertainment Workshop were as follows:

  • Data is key: Only by having the right kind of information on your fans can you activate and engage them with the right messaging and content. You need to first identify and then segment your fans. Once you have this data, you can set about tailoring loyalty programmes and the like to increase fans’ perceived value and satisfaction


  • Incentivise behaviour: Fans are more likely and willing to volunteer their data in return for experiential offerings, this costs you nothing but means you have a fan for life!


  • Develop and manage your front-of-house staff: Your match day stewards can greatly enhance the type of ‘welcome’ fans experience when entering your venues, which is vital to ensuring the best possible fan experience


  • Have a long-term vision: Invest in the right fan entertainment innovations and technologies now, and ensure they are focused on your business objectives, but also remember the ROI for fans could take 2-3 years to be realised


  • Entertainment is king: To ensure the highest levels of fan entertainment at your venues, make sure entertainment is a major part of every event that you host


  • Remember the founding pillars: Technology, safety and security, connectivity and comfort all play a vital role when it comes to optimising fan attendance rates at your venues


  • Update and engage your fans: Keep your fans updated and engaged with unique and interesting post-match news, updates, photos, videos, player interviews, stats, ticket alerts, etc. Use tailored content to reward and retain your loyal fans, and monitor both commercial activity and open rates to ensure you are delivering the right message


  • Use touchpoints to gather data: You can use your stadiums, team stores, museums, fan zones and stadium tours as touchpoints to capture invaluable contact data and profile fan behaviours


  • Don’t collect data for data’s sake: Set objectives according to your business goals and priorities, and take advantage of things like Google Analytics to mine your data for free


  • Knowledge-sharing and effective communications are key: Only by having effective communications and close working relationships with all departments and stakeholders can you hope to ensure you have the right data


  • Understanding your fans is vital when it comes to implementing different marketing strategies based on the specific fan group’s needs


  • Evolve the stadium experience: You need to evolve the stadium experience in the same way that shopping centres have, with things like wireless parking, digital wayfinding, interactive digital displays, location-based messaging, Click & Collect, free Wi-Fi & charging points, personalised push offers, mobile & tablet POS, and frictionless payments. Just as there is an expectation from visitors of food, drink, public facilities and parking, this same expectation is quickly extending to Wi-Fi


  • Make sure you have visibility on every penny spent in the stadium: Real-time data from every till, including spend per head, and headline reports should be sent to management every 15 minutes. Live in-event analytics can equal cost savings, which can then be reinvested into things like Wi-Fi


  • Try to identify all fans entering your venue: You can try to identify every person who enters your stadium using technologies such as RFID and Wi-Fi, and also try to track everyone who visits your website


  • Generation Z expect a new kind of fan experience: Under 30’s are used to using multiple screens/devices at the same time. You need to analyse your targets, find out their behaviours, and then target them accordingly. The three pillars to achieving this are: Connect-Communicate-Conduct. And note, for this fan group, connectivity is viewed as a necessity rather than a nicety


  • Grey is still king: don't ignore the over 55’s!


  • Technology is here to serve: A club or stadium business model must be dedicated and dictated by its goals. Deploy innovations and technologies with these specific objectives at the forefront. Invest wisely and have a long-term strategy to work towards


An overview of all articles related to the ESSMA Fan Entertainment Workshop



Presentations of the Fan Entertainment Workshop are available for all ESSMA Members. Login to the ESSMA Knowledge Platform to access the presentations.

Questions about the content discussed during the workshops? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.


All ESSMA Workshops are put together with the core philosophy of sharing content, organizing discussions, introducing new technologies and trends and facilitating networking opportunities among industry peers. Representatives of ESSMA Leagues, Federations, Clubs and Stadiums and ESSMA Stadium Partners and Strategic Partners are brought together for a useful 2-day event. 

ESSMA's next workshop will take participants to Dortmund, where Borussia Dortmund will be hosting the ESSMA Safety Management Workshop, 7 to 8 november 2017: More details

We offer a wide range of services to our member base, always striving to bring the best possible value. Go to the ESSMA Services website: for more information.


Login to the ESSMA Knowledge Platform to access the presentations

ESSMA offers a platform to stadium professionals where they can share, learn and discuss topics related to ESSMA’s areas of expertise: Stadium Development, Operations & Ticketing, Sustainability & SMART, Safety & Security, Fan Experience & Hospitality and Pitch Management.