How can event logistics help you get higher satisfaction scores? And, at the same time, increase your profit margins? Kevin asks it to Maarten van Rijn.
21-10-2013 - by Kevin Van der Straeten
How can event logistics help you get higher satisfaction scores? And, at the same time, increase your profit margins? I'll ask it to Maarten van Rijn.
Hi, Maarten. Welcome to our studio.
Well, higher satisfaction scores and more profit for your event with event logistics. You got my attention.
Yes, I understand that that might derive some questions. But, I think that if you organize your event well, in a logistic sense, if you provide more service, that people don’t have to wait in long lines to get their beers, then, if you provide them service, they will consume more. So, you end up with more profit, probably.
The second thing is, and maybe it's even more important, it’s the fact that if people are satisfied and getting their service very well, then they won’t have that much time to get in trouble. So, safety is a very good argument to provide them with good service.
Is it that service can actually help the safety of an event?
Yeah, yeah, I think that, I compare that always with my former job, as a P.E. teacher, where I was, and as a small kid as well, I was waiting in a line to jump over one of those obstacles in the gym, and if I had to wait long, I was always teasing girls, and pushing, and that’s the same thing as what’s happening in an event. People, when they don’t get the real service they want, then they’ve got… Well, you haven’t got their attention, and you should have their attention, and they should be satisfied with the service provided.
Is it also so, that with event logistics, you can make sure your resources are put into action more efficiently?
Yep. If you calculate, and that’s one of the main reasons that I’m into event logistics, you should always base your events and your actions based on figures. So, you should know figures about the use of the toilets; The time they use toilets; How much time you need to draw some beers out of the tap. If you have those figures, you can calculate how much effort you should put in for your customer.
But, you have those figures when you organize an event multiple times, but if you organize something for the first time, where do you start?
Right, that’s a very good thing to mention. That is what I’m trying to teach my students. Try to think in processes. Always try to think in processes. And, if you don’t get those figures, talk to others.
Within my lectures at the university, I’m always trying to find parties that have that knowledge, and want to share the knowledge, so that our students can learn from that. But, that’s one of the difficult things in events people are not really very willing to share their knowledge. Which, is actually quite a pity. A real pity. Because, you can’t professionalize as much as you really would like to. And if they share the knowledge, then the level of, the competence level of organizing events, would be much bigger for all the new students coming in, and really want to join the field of work.
You helped me write a chapter on event logistics in my new book EVENTS 2, and what’s remarkable about that is, when you are describing event logistics, you talk about a process that starts at home, and ends at home. Can you explain a little bit about that?
Yeah, I say that, if you make what I call, since this week, what I call 'fun lanes'...
Since this week?
Since this week. (laughs) I was always thinking about how you should call that, in logistics, you know, the green lanes, where containters are going through customs and everything, as soon and as quick as possible, without too much of a delay. And, I thought, actually, the public should do the same thing. They should stand up in the morning, and go from home, from their beds, to the bar, without any delays. With now waiting lines whatsoever. And, if you organize that, people will be very satisfied about the way you organize your event. They will come back, and it’s not only from bed to bar, but from bar to bed is the same thing. When it’s finished, people should go their way as soon as possible back, without delays and long lines waiting for…
Of course, that sounds really great, but how do you make sure that happens in that way?
Well, I think if the different parties involved in organizing events are really working together and combining their knowledge, and they think in chains, instead of thinking in separate functions, then you can realize things like that. Then, the venue where you organize your event will be able to get the people out of the venues quickly and safely. But, if you play the problem to the next party, and you say, ‘Okay, we’re off, and now it’s your problem,’ then that’s not what I meant by ‘thinking in chains’.
You should try to get people off your grounds, off your premises, and then to the next chain, where they can handle the amount of people you want to get rid of. And, if you do that, and you make those processes fit to each other, with more or less the same capacities, you get one flow out of your event, and people will be happy with the service, and they will come back, I’m sure.
But, for example, when people are coming to your event, one of the main troubles every time is traffic. How do you start with that?
I can imagine that people are very likely to use their cars, because that’s very easy to do, and nowadays a lot of events are very well organized by all kinds of mobility services. For example, in The Netherlands is Trafficsupport, is a very big player in that, in that perspective, and they’re doing quite well, and they organize it, they know their figures, so they know that in the 3 hours time, or the 4 hours time, the people are coming in, it’s well organized. So, with your car, you have more-or-less a green lane. Going to the festival, you enter, and the amount of ticket booths is okay, you get in, and you have your festival. But, in the end, most of the time, it’s like, ‘Okay, this is our final show.’ And, it’s 11 o’clock, and everybody says, and it’s like ‘Bye.’
And then, the same amount of people coming in, in 3 hours time, are going out in one hour. How much capacity do you need then? It’s hardly impossible to organize. And, I mean, if you try to think about those kind of things like, ‘Okay, if we stop at 11 o’clock, because of governmental rules or whatever,’ is it possible that we can negotiate with the government, the local government, to say, ‘Okay, we go on for an hour, but at 3 or 6 dB lower noise level,’ and you have only some beers left, not too many places, but, so that half of the crowd will go out in an hour, and the next hour is the other half going. That gives you a much smoother exit from people, and a much easier-to-handle amount of people getting out. And, that’s what I mean by chain thinking. Local government give them the permission to do it a little bit longer. Event organizer, it takes you an hour extra, an hour and a half extra, BUT, the whole process is much smoother, the customer is more satisfied, the customer will return more easily, in my perspective.
Interesting stuff to think about. Maarten, thank you very much for coming to our show.
And, you at home, thank you for watching the show, I hope to see you next time.