With the Qatar World Cup fast approaching, you may be wondering how you can prepare your venue for a winter of sport.
Well-prepared sporting venues are set to do well during the 2022 World Cup as a whopping 76% of fans are keen to watch the matches outside of their homes with friends and family. The World Cup creates the opportunity of an extended festive period. In a normal year 94% of people start their Christmas celebrations in early to mid-December. But with the first matches kicking off on the 21st of November, vendors should see an increase in beer sales and footfall a full 2 weeks earlier than they normally would.
During the 2018 World Cup, sales of beer increased by 4.4% in the UK. A winter tournament could make reaching the same number of sales this year more challenging. In the same way Manchester United, Wolves and Crystal Palace need to change their strategies to stop the scoring machine that is Haaland, venues must also adapt their strategies to draw in beer-thirsty fans this winter. Throughout this period, it will still be important to get the basics right e.g., great customer service and range of products, but going the extra mile in terms of creating the right atmosphere will help your venue stand out (and fill up) all winter long.
Football fans want to watch sport at pubs
The World Cup tournament is a massive cause for celebration considering it only comes every 4 years. This feeling is only going be heightened thanks to the incredible, but heart-breaking run to the finals from Gareth Southgate’s team during the 2020 Euros. Lumina Intelligence revealed the second most common reason to visit a pub was to watch football in the summer of 2021, ranking just behind get-togethers with friends and family.
This year, customers are keen to enjoy the World Cup 2022 in large groups and want to share their moments of joy and frustration together. With pub-goers visiting in a variety of different sized groups, it’s important that spaces are available for them to socialise while having an unobstructed view of live matches. Aswell as getting large group bookings in early, we recommend you start planning how you can make the most of the space in your venue to accommodate excited football fans.
Setting up your indoor space
When it comes to watching football, 46% of under-45s prefer the pub environment and social vibe. With this in mind, it’s important to cater your indoor space to fit the greatest possible number of people, without sacrificing a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. With bigger groups making visits to your venue, you could bring in more or bigger furniture, or make a few rearrangements to maximise on using the full space available to you.
Gary Lloyd in The Morning Advertiser shares that a recently renovated sports bar in Dartford saw great results during the Women’s Euros and the FA community shield. The most prominent change they made was to increase the number of TV’s they had in the venue. This meant there were more spaces available to fans to sit and enjoy a match without obstructions.
Looking at ways to increase customer dwell time in your venue can lead to more money in the till as well as the all-important customer experience. Activities such as football quizzes and karaoke (if you don’t mind hearing Three Lions and Sweet Caroline on repeat for 28 days straight) can help create a buzzing atmosphere and keep customers coming back. At the end of the day, you want to show that you can offer an experience that can’t be recreated at home.
Setting up your outdoor space
British winter doesn’t traditionally go hand-in-hand with an enjoyable beer garden experience. But with more crowds looking to enjoy a match at the pub you might need to invest in creating an inviting, winter-friendly environment with your outdoor spaces. Weatherproof shelter and infrared heaters is a start, but there are some simple extra steps you can take to make your beer garden as inviting as the front bar.
Bring out festive winter decorations and fairy lights to create a cosy atmosphere and encourage patrons to stick around. Ensure there are enough pillows for comfort and leave blankets on chairs in case fans get cold. For families and older customers, furnishing your booths with smaller screens can give them more privacy and a more relaxed environment to enjoy the game.
We also recommend setting up a large projector or screen - shielded from the weather of course - ensuring there is an unobstructed view of it from all angles. Establish designated areas where fans who want to can stand, and others can remain seated without losing sight of the screen. This will make the experience a relaxed and enjoyable one for everyone.
Preparation is key
This winter thousands of fans will be looking to watch the World Cup at different venues and, much like how Harry Maguire lets defenders get past him, you don’t want potential customers to pass you by. Use social media to inform customers of which matches you are showing, put up banners and posters in your venue and begin planning how you will use your indoor and outdoor space effectively.
Check out our website for some free POS kits that will help set your venue up for a fantastic winter of sport!