The König-Pilsener-ARENA has had nationwide user Wi-Fi for over a year. This was implemented together with the companies ITZ GmbH and LOOP21 GmbH. As a technology partner, the König-Pilsener-ARENA has chosen the HPE-Aruba. Stadionwelt spoke to Arena Managing Director Henrik Häcker and LOOP21 Managing Director Christian Cramer.
Stadionwelt: Why did you choose nationwide visitor Wi-Fi?
Häcker: That is an elementary pillar of the digitization strategy for companies. On the one hand it is about internal processes, on the other hand we can offer our visitors a service with the area-wide Wi-Fi, which is actually taken for granted these days and is also required. The live experiences want to be shared and you want to report on your hopefully great evening. We also have more opportunities to inform our visitors and guests. As a rule, our visitors do not come to us regularly, and there are often longer intervals between visits. So we can provide information about the event and specials. This gives us modern digital communication.
Stadionwelt: What were your requirements for the project?
Häcker: The Wi-Fi must cover our capacity, there should not be any dead spots. Each of the up to 12,500 visitors should be able to use the Wi-Fi without any problems. For the implementation of the visitor Wi-Fi, the network experts at ITZ GmbH worked out a Wi-Fi concept together with the company HPE-Aruba. It shouldn’t be a problem to send large amounts of data such as pictures or videos via our Wi-Fi. On the other hand, we would also like to be able to reach everyone in our Wi-Fi in order to inform them. Either right or not at all.
Stadionwelt: You have decided to bring an additional partner for Wi-Fi marketing on board with LOOP21 GmbH. How did that happen?
Häcker: We obtained various offers in advance. Various service providers then presented their products. LOOP21 convinced us with both the presentation and the expertise. They have also equipped the most famous ski areas in Austria and Switzerland with comprehensive Wi-Fi. You are not only well versed in theory, but also in practice. One of the main advantages of LOOP21 is that the thousands of visitors have access to the Wi-Fi via a browser and not via an additional app that would have to be downloaded. LOOP21 is really a competent partner with whom you can tackle the challenge.
Stadionwelt: The LOOP21 solution is based on the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. What are the advantages for the visitor and the operator?
Cramer: The LOOP21 technology package is basically hardware-independent with regard to WLAN hardware. For the operator, this means that he is not bound to a hardware solution specified by LOOP21, but can use the hardware that is pre-installed – or is to be installed.
This not only creates financial benefits. An existing system that meets the requirements for ticketing or event service does not have to be changed for the LOOP21 system. It can be further developed and the LOOP21 solution continues to run in the usual quality.
The LOOP21 system can be adapted to hardware solutions that were not supplied by the major manufacturers.
Stadionwelt: The free Wi-Fi has been available to visitors for over a year. What is your interim conclusion?
Häcker: We also get information from operational business. We can react in order to be flexible at the point of sale as well. We can also approach partners and offer promotions. At a normal event we have around 30,000 log-ins, which are due to the fact that we currently have limited access of 30 free minutes. But we plan to expand that. There was a lot of positive feedback. We always think about how we can make our events even safer. We can offer tracking here in the event that tracking is necessary, for this a stable and secure WLAN is essential.
Stadionwelt: Please outline the use of the ARENA WIFI from the user’s point of view.
Cramer: Choose – Klick – Surf
During the events, the guests select the public ARENA WiFi and are directed to the landing page. In addition to the one-click login to the Internet, there are various own and third-party marketing options in a walled garden. Only content that has been defined in advance via a whitelist is permitted here. The button elements can be assigned external content (Internet pages), LOOP21 modules or pages from the internal editor. The editor is used in the König-Pilsener-ARENA e.g. used for the timetables of the individual events – but is also a tool for creating informative pages quickly and easily. Use of the WLAN in the König-Pilsener-ARENA is limited to 30 minutes per session. It can be called as often as you like.
The login to the Internet is a LOOP21 module in which the first Internet page accessed is determined. In the König-Pilsener-ARENA this is a website that has been created only for the public WLAN and contains special information.
Banner elements can only be assigned external content, but have the advantage of being able to set up third-party advertising quickly and easily. This can be displayed indefinitely, but also depending on the duration, clicks or views.
Stadionwelt: Your technology is to a certain extent the interface to the fan or visitor – how flexible is the communication from the operator’s point of view? Are there any other features such as surveys planned?
Häcker: We work with the Wi-Fi in a marketing-specific manner. We can therefore offer products or services such as upgrades. We can also run partner campaigns through the app. We also provide additional information about the respective event. Another aspect is traceability, so we can inform people if something happens at an event. This is also important in the current Corona period. In the event of potential danger, we can communicate information points.
The LOOP21 system is characterized by great flexibility for the operator:
– Time planning
– customer groups
– Third party advertising
The scheduler enables the landing pages to be planned in advance and adapted to each event. It is up to the organizer to choose whether landing pages for events are created weekly or monthly in advance or promptly. Access rights can be assigned hierarchically.
The Customer Survey module (not in use in the arena) offers the possibility of creating very precise customer surveys. The survey is displayed in front of the landing page and the results can be called up in real time in the backend. Surveys can be skipped by the guests – operators can set a time interval after which the survey is called up again.
Customized landing pages can be played out for different customer groups. This is done by asking about special interests before the landing page is called up for the first time. An instrument to get even closer to the target groups.
Of course, new modules are always being developed, such as the notification module, with which general or event-specific information can be passed on to the guests before the landing page is called up.
Third-party advertising for local companies, external caterers, service providers, etc. can be set up quickly and easily using the banner advertising module. The display of banner advertising is controlled by time, clicks or views, which allow precise billing.
And of course the system can be used for extensive self-promotion.
Stadionwelt: How will the additional touchpoint as a marketing area be accepted by partner? Have you already had your first campaigns?
Häcker: We had a campaign with our beer partner König Pilsener. We have different banners that are displayed after logging in. If you clicked on the corresponding banner during the red beer campaign, you received information about where you can pick up a free red beer after showing your smartphone.
We have also had various competitions, for example with Energieversorgung Oberhausen. A subpage was generated behind the banner, then you landed on the EVO homepage, where the competition for the corresponding evening could be found.
Stadionwelt: Which analyzes and evaluations are possible with your software? Can you give us some insight into the numbers?
Cramer: he statistics module of our solution contains analyzes regarding the users, the end devices and the behavior of the users within the system.
This includes statistics about the unique users, the number of logins, new and returning users, the set languages of the browser and languages and operating systems of the end devices as well as the times of use. Just like the average duration of use, use of the banners and buttons, data consumption and the number of landing page views. Which can be used as an indicator of the prices of third party advertising.
All statistics are available in the backend for freely selectable periods and can be downloaded as PDF or CSV. There is also the option of sending weekly, monthly and annual reports in various combinations by email.
The use of WiFi is certainly different depending on the event and audience, but it still achieves access rates of up to 45% for events with around 12,000 guests. This shows that the investment in the customer WLAN is a worthwhile one.
Stadionwelt: In which areas is the LOOP21 solution still used?
Cramer: The LOOP21 solution runs in a wide variety of sizes and expansion stages in the areas of tourism, retail and urban WLAN and information systems.
Ski areas, hotels, retail chains, department stores and cities use the variability of the LOOP21 system to set up a WLAN system that is appropriate for their customers.
Stadionwelt: Are there any plans to expand the offer or are you satisfied with the current status?
Häcker: Standing still means going backwards. We have additional needs. The cash register systems should run over it in the future, we want to rely more on e-tickets. The entrance control could also change. The need is huge in the digital world. But you have to be able to act accordingly. Of course, it must also be certain what it is now. No expansion may lead to our data being accessible. Of course, we also have requests as to whether we offer tracking with our access points for the health authorities if the visitors have given their prior consent. We are currently in discussion with HPE-Aruba about this. (Stadionwelt, May 19, 2020)
“We work with the Wi-Fi in a marketing-specific manner”
The Internet of Things continues to evolve in the age of the smartphone, but the enormous potential of Wi-Fi networks is far from being exhausted.