Meygan Gerber Associate
Today is the start of one of the major sport events in the world, 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. With an expectation of more than 3 million spectators, 32 teams, their staff and the volunteers, Hospitality is an unmistakable part of this football competition.
But what does Hospitality mean in a sports environment?
Visitors are willing to pay sum of money that often runs into the hundreds to participate to such an event. But in reality they want much more than watching a football match. When they buy a ticket, they want to live a whole experience and more and more, a personalized one. As an organizer, we have to think “Anticipation and Adaptation” to be the most successful. With all the technology that is coming up around us, we should be able to say for each visitor, this is the kind of seats they like and this is the kind of food and drink they will have during the break, this is anticipation. We are not there yet, but on our way. We are now starting to talk about smart stadiums. As an example, in Russia all the stadiums will be equipped with powerful wireless network, easy and smart parking systems, and non-cash payment services for shopping, which should create maximum comfort for the visitors and more adaptation to their needs. Another topic/tool that the sport event industry will face in the future is Virtual Reality for multiple purpose. One of them will be for selecting your seat while buying your ticket. This will allow the spectator to have a better understanding of why they pay more for a better view.
Hospitality is a big word now in the sport event industry. If you go on the official FIFA website to buy tickets, you can find a specific tab for “Hospitality packages”. From a selection of 8 products you can select your desired level of hospitality. These products would never have been promoted 10 years ago. We are now facing exactly the same phenomenon that the hotel industry is facing. Guest is king, if they can afford it, they can customize their experience.
Providing enough rooms for the visitors, the athletes, staff and volunteers, is not something you can take lightly. The city of Lausanne will host in 2020 the Youth Olympic Games, and one of the biggest projects is to build a village for the young athletes. This kind of infrastructure has to be big enough to welcome all the participants, but also have a purpose for a future use after the event. Also as it is a hot topic, the infrastructure has to follow the green standards with buildings that are environmental-friendly which will naturally increase even more the cost of the organization. But the cost aspect of these events is another topic in itself.
Food & Beverage
When we talk about F&B in such an event, we automatically talk about mass food production. The providers of food service have to be efficient in terms of pace because of the amount that has to be produce in a short period of time but also keep the quality of the service and the food. The main challenges for the organizer, are to provide a wide range of food, both local and global. They also have to respect and take into consideration the customers’ needs in terms of allergies, as well as recruiting appropriate staff. As a matter of fact, during the last edition of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, more than 15’000 jobs were created by the Food & Beverage operations (excluding Hospitality areas). This number shows the impact that those events have on the host country, at least temporarily!
Now the question is what happens once it all comes to an end? We all know that organizing such events are challenging before it starts, but what we often forget is the impact of those after the final ceremony. Could you think of any long-term benefit for Brazil after the 2016 FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games?
Meygan Gerber Associate
After receiving her Bachelor degree in International Hospitality Management from the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Meygan joined Lausanne Hospitality Consulting in March 2018, as an associate.
Her responsibilities at LHC include supporting and coordinating various projects in the learning centres and executive education departments.
Prior to joining LHC, Meygan worked in several hotels in Switzerland and Panama. With the willingness to explore more about the hospitality industry, she joined the Science Consulate of Switzerland in Boston as Junior Project Manager. Besides her studies at EHL, she was highly involved in the Admissions department to recruit future potential students.
Meygan was born and raised in Switzerland and speaks French, English and Spanish. Her German skills are still in progress. While not being in the office, she enjoys being with her family and friends, discovering new countries, and taking picture to keep great memories.