Event Industry News – Tailgating with Technology

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Event, event industry news | Comments Off on Event Industry News – Tailgating with Technology

 event industry trends

Tailgating has been a popular activity for countless sporting enthusiasts and aficionados. From barbecues and beer bashes to family events – these events continue to attract thousands of football fans across the nation. With the Super Bowl right around the corner, there will be non-stop tailgating parties happening throughout the country. In recent years, however, the practice of tailgating has also developed into a networking forum for professionals. Imagine eating scrumptious cheeseburgers and downing cold beverages while discussing potential business deals with colleagues and new friends? This trend continues to grow in popularity, and is rapidly becoming the norm at tailgating events from coast to coast.

Technology and Networking

As part of our ongoing series on event industry happenings – we last touched on the importance of shared technologies at public events. This includes restrictions on bandwidth and network access – which ensures guests will only Tweet and post Facebook pictures on the event itself. This growing trend has also crossed into the world of tailgating. According to industry experts, sporting arenas are now limiting access for fans that want to check e-mail and browse the web while the game is in progress. Now what exactly does this have to do with tailgating you might ask? It has a lot to do with professionals who rely on tailgating to network with potential clients and customers. In fact, this trend guarantees that fans attending the game – or outside the arena at tailgating parties – will only be able to post updates and photos about the event itself.

According to IT experts, the growing limits on shared Wi-Fi has resulted in the following:

·         A decrease in business owners attending tailgating events or games to market their products and services.

·         These business owners must now hand out traditional business cards – since access to their blogs, sites, and commercial Facebook accounts may be limited or blocked.

·         Business owners have been forced to accept the “no solicitation” policies many stadiums and arenas have in effect.

While this may seem negative in nature and a violation of personal privacy and rights – stadiums are within their legal right to determine Wi-Fi access for public events. There are also a number of positive aspects associated with these rules, including:

·         Fans are able to enjoy tailgating parties and football games – and can share their posts and photos about the game online –and in real-time.

·         While networking is still popular, business owners can simply opt to make new friends – and contact them later about business opportunities and other matters.

·         The “no solicitation” rules guarantee that all patrons and fans should not be bothered by business owners looking to market products and services. Any violations can be reported to security personnel or the stadium itself.

Double Standards?

Even with these rules supposedly in place, they revolve around grey and murky areas. After all, how can you limit solicitation when vendors are always trying to sell you snacks and beer? This has become an issue with no concrete responses or resolutions. Even with restricted Wi-Fi access, can anyone truly guarantee that people will not try to market their businesses and services to unsuspecting fans? Similarly, how can stadiums fully ensure that the only marketing taking place will be about the games?

Stay tuned.