PW-JUL19-32-36-Ticketing.qxp_Feature 15/07/2019 17:17 Page 34

Ticketing & Access Control

Omnico research

incentivise higher yielding channels with benefits like early park access an hour before other guests. “Leveraging technology at access control points is also critical to preventing

fraud of entry level staff members. While hospitality and empowerment of front-line staff is still forefront in how the industry should operate, we see well run parks ensuring the controls exist through technology to ensure each guest admitted has a

valid entitlement to do so.” Omnico’s Mel Taylor agrees that the commercial opportunities attached to this

type of technology are, if fully realised, worth their weight in gold. “Guests now demand seamlessness and increased personalisation through completely joined up technology,’ he says, adding that Omnico Theme Park Mobile Barometer research found that 95 per cent of visitors will spend more if a park has a dedicated app. Another 82 per cent of visitors expect to be able to buy anything in a resort using a cashless device, such as a wristband or mobile app.

Personalised experiences What began as a drive to speed up purchasing and access, reduce queue times and improve security has also given rise to a more personalised experience for the guest. Omnico’s Mel ??? explains: “Visitors want the technology to take care of payment, enable staff to greet them by name and already know which ride, piece of merchandise or food order they want. They want a restaurant to have their table and their food ready as they arrive. They want the option of having their accommodation, luggage and transport all taken care of through the same single interface. They want personalised loyalty rewards and offers and an optimised daily itinerary that matches

their own or their family’s requirements.” The difficulty for parks then, is not deciding whether or not to invest in these new

technologies, but which of them to invest in. Commenting on the different solutions available, Mel says: “The difference between parks is whether they put the emphasis on wearables like RFID bands or capitalise on the explosive growth of smartphone apps.” Kiran Karanki, director of Semnox Solutions continues: “When it comes to

operations nanagement, no two parks follow the same process,” he says. “Also, unlike other industry business operations, there is no standard or ideal process in the industry that a typical park would or should follow in terms of park operations management. This situation thus leads to varied demands and expectations from one park to another, with little clarity on the final ideal process to be achieved by the park operator. Park operators often want the best of what they have seen or experienced, with little thought on the repercussions of change management.


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“From a solution standpoint for a typical park, it should be comprehensive

enough to cater for the demands of the client end-to-end. The end goal of any typical solution is to blend well with a typical park, in any part of the world, and seamlessly adapt to the specific parks existing operations.” And consideration, he says, should be whether the solution is competent enough to innovate, based on the growing demand for innovation within the industry.” Gateway Ticketing’s Matthew Hoenstine says it’s all about balance:“The

control that each attraction deploys when it comes to ‘access control’ is one area where I see the largest discrepancy and where it is important to leverage technology to maintain control without degrading guest satisfaction. Over controlled access points create long queues, unhappy guests and employees that are robotic and not personable. Under controlled access points are opportunities for employees and bad actors to create thriving side businesses at your expense. Balance between these two ends of the spectrum is critical and where many attractions struggle. “Many visitors to our parks throughout the world are not accustomed to the

process of entering a park. While that sounds ludicrous, the process of entering a park has gotten wildly complex. Tickets that are only valid on certain days, only valid at a certain place, require exchanging to another ticket prior to entering, print the ticket before you arrive, pick your ticket up at a kiosk, tap your finger as you scan, pose for a photo comparison before you reenter, wristband application. For someone that doesn’t spend every day dealing with ticketing, these differences create friction with each guest who decides to visit our great parks and attractions.”

The solution(s) “The key,” says Matthew, is “focusing on the friction and removing it so that the majority of guests who have done all the right things, shelled out the hard earned cash and are trying to enter our parks to continue to spend money with us, can do that without delay. Imagining the frictionless experience is the solution to this. Ensuring that the technology solutions that we deploy remove friction rather than introducing it

is critical. Putting the ticket into the hand of a guest before they arrive and allowing them to head directly to the access control point is the first step. Through every sales channel we need to map the process from purchase to turnstile entry and remove every speed bump and obstacle in the way. If you choose to sell your tickets through a channel, ensure that you make every purchaser a hero. Too often, we cause that purchaser to look like a fool and for them to regret their purchase when they begin to run into the unexpected pitfalls of their chosen path (e.g. queueing at the ticket booths to retrieve tickets that they have already paid for).

JULY 2019

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