Hockey star Raymond Bourque had to wait 22 years until he finally got to pose with the Stanley Cup, but for fans that go to professional sporting events the wait seems just as long. That’s because most fans will often stand in line for three to four hours to get their picture taken with the hockey trophy. Long lines and wait times are not only inconvenient for fans, but also detract from these otherwise exciting sporting events. FISH Technologies, which provides data systems that powers large events, wanted a way to cut the long queues for fans at professional hockey and football league events.
"Tens of thousands of people take part in fan days for professional hockey and football leagues, and many of them want to get their photo taken with the athletes and trophies,” says Rick Weldon, President of FISH Technologies. “To make thousands of people spend hours in line isn’t only bad for the fan experience, but it also detracts from the overall events. We needed a way to allow fans to enjoy the events without spending all of their time in a queue. We did a web search and discovered QLess – and the results have been amazing. Thousands of people attended our professional hockey and football league events, and nobody had to wait more than a few minutes. QLess transformed our ability to provide a tremendous experience.”
Fan events can be challenging to navigate because there is so much going on all the time. From sponsored side events and vendors to autograph sessions, it’s almost impossible for fans to do and see everything. It’s even more difficult for passionate fans to participate in all the fun activities when they have to spend hours waiting for a special presentation or event. This is not only frustrating for fans, but vendors lose the opportunity to interact with them because people are stuck in interminable lines. FISH Technologies needed a way to integrate its mobile fan experience tools with a solution to end long lines once and for all.
“Lines are a massive problem at any large event, and we just needed a way to get rid of them,” Weldon says. “QLess enables fans to use their mobile phone to get into a virtual line, freeing them up to go off and enjoy other event activities. When it’s their time to get their photo taken with a trophy, for example, they receive a notification and five minutes later they’re walking around with an amazing piece of memorabilia. It really is that simple, and it worked beautifully from the first time we used it. QLess is definitely part of our offering, and we look forward to using QLess at upcoming major sports events and festivals.”
Anyone who attends large-scale sports events knows that sponsors and vendors play a huge role in the fan experience. From beer tents to 3D simulators, companies pay top dollar to showcase their brand and engage with fans. While many are able to enjoy these promotional experiences, making thousands of fans waiting in a line reduces the effectiveness of their investment. The QLess platform allows FISH Technologies to maximize vendor ROI by ensuring that more fans are able to circulate rather than spend hours in queues. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” Weldon says. “The experience has transformed our events.”
In addition to providing a great technical solution to the line problem, FISH also cited QLess’ commitment to customer service as a key reason why the relationship works so well. “The QLess launch team was incredible, providing top notch customer service, which is rare in our industry and keeps us tied to a partner like QLess," Weldon said. “They have been there for us every step of the way to help us refine the system so it works perfectly. They are really part of our team.”
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