Next Generation Olympics: Elevating the Attendee Experience

Overview Tech innovation is paving the way for the next generation of attendee experience at the Olympic games.

At CES® 2020, thought leaders sat down to discuss how technology continues to play a role in evolving the Olympics environment for those who attend the games.

The Next Generation Olympics” panel of tech leaders from Intel, Dow, Visa, LA28 and the Sports Innovation Lab discussed plans to incorporate new technology into Olympic planning. A common theme was identifying spaces where technology could be used to create a more fluid experience for athletes, fans and staff.

The Olympic games are the perfect place to shake things up, said Rick Echevarria, general manager of the Intel Olympic Program Office.

“The Olympics are synonymous with high performance and with breaking boundaries,” he said.
The global event brings together people of all backgrounds for a shared sports experience, and with all eyes on the host city, tech can be key to showing off in the best light. This creates a space where tech can be used to not only improve the games but also leave a lasting impression of the host city.

 

Perfecting a Cashless System

Even though there are a growing number of ways to make payments without carrying cash, there is room to make it more convenient for those attending the Olympic games.

A conversation with a two-time Olympic gold medalist inspired Visa to reimagine its payment systems at the games.

Heptathlon athlete Ashton Eaton was talking to Chris Curtin, the chief brand and innovation marketing officer at Visa, about how mobile payments are great until you don’t want to carry your phone. This led to Visa developing a ring that enables mobile payments— a project that Curtin said would never have been launched had it not been for his conversation with Eaton.

 

Navigating an Unfamiliar Place

Kathy Carter, the chief revenue officer at LA28, the LA 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, broke down the logistical concerns for fans who are attending a game in a city new to them.

Something as simple as not understanding the different venue names or how to find an entrance can affect the fan experience. Collaboration between different partner companies can create solutions in this space.

“[It’s better] if we can accomplish things like that, if we can make it so the athlete only has to worry about competition and not whether or not their family can get the tickets to watch them compete. Technology can enable us to deliver those solutions for our core constituents,” Carter said.

 

Prepping Personnel

To create a frictionless experience for attendees, the Olympics requires a huge number of event personnel who must be familiar with all aspects of the event.

To ensure that the staff members responsible for on-site logistics and running the venues are set up for success, partner companies, such as Intel, are looking to improve the quality of training through virtual reality. This tech allows event personnel to experience scenarios in a training environment before the games even begin.

As planning continues for future Olympic games, technology will always be part of the conversation. From fan engagement to sustainability to creating a seamless experience for the athletes, there are endless opportunities for innovation.


Check out the full session “The Next Generation Olympics” to learn more. arrow-black

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