Simpler and Better: Vindico MD Jo Polson’s Tech Talk...
Vindico MD Jo Polson’s tech talk won over the audience at TheStadiumBusiness Summit. Here’s why (along with a tricky, but catchy acronym). Jo Polson is the driving force behind some of today’s most innovative tailored tech for some of the UK’s most well-known stadiums. Along with Vindico’s Technical Director Ryan Griffiths and a talented dev team, Jo’s helping stadiums, venues, and arenas use tailored tech to solve old problems and prepare for the future. It’s no wonder then that his recent talk at TheStadiumBusiness Summit struck a chord with the stadium owners, operators, and decision-makers who gathered to hear what he had to say. Starting with the impact of Covid (which saw stadiums, sports, and events grind to a halt), Jo, in his tech talk, explains how he and the team used Covid to not just tackle new problems, but also solve the old ones that have been stopping stadiums, arenas, and venues from reaching their potential. And that’s exactly what Jo and the team set out to achieve. Working with everyone from the Welsh Rugby Union to the Elite Ice Hockey League, Vindico’s SWAPP (Smart Workplace Application) and its tailored tech helped bring UK sporting events – including the Six Nations and the Autumn Internationals – back to our screens during the height of the pandemic. And the premise of this tailored tech is simple: simple and better. “Since Covid, stadiums are now looking for a more robust tech infrastructure,” explains Jo, “But that infrastructure needn’t be complex – and our approach to tailored tech is proving that we can achieve this.” That means no more data overload (and meaningless data for that matter, too), unnecessary features that never get used or can’t be accessed, no more complex systems, and no more time-consuming processes that stop humans from doing the work they know and love. “We’re using automation to help humans get back to doing what they do best,” says Jo. “It’s simpler, better tech for simpler, better business. It’s giving stadiums the tools they need to overcome their obstacles, while giving them the robust infrastructure they need to handle future challenges.” And – here it comes. “WDKWWDKY!” exclaims Jo. Although the acronym rolls off the tip of the tongue, in its long form it means: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know Yet. And it’s WDKWWDKY that’s really got the stadium business talking. “We may not know what we don’t know yet, but we can build a robust tech infrastructure that allows us to prepare as best we can,” insists Jo. “Nobody could have predicted the pandemic – and its ultimate impact on stadiums and events. Stadiums were forced to operate without crowds, which meant that many people in the industry had to look for work elsewhere – or even start different careers. “We can cope with small bumps, but bigger challenges – especially the ones we can’t see coming – are the ones that can cause the most damage. “In the case of Covid, there was no time for the normal knowledge transfer that happens organically. That knowledge simply disappeared. So, we need to put the effort into understanding what knowledge we might have, and, using simple, better tech we’re able to use digital knowledge transfer to help us act, adapt, and solve problems quicker. “As Charles Kettering says, ‘a problem well stated is a problem half-solved’ – and it’s a statement that’s crucial for achieving our aspirations. We want simpler tech, better business, greater ROI, strong growth, and the ability to adapt for the future – whatever that may look like.” To hear more from MD Jo Polson, click here to give him a follow on LinkedIn. To find out more about Vindico’s tailored tech, and how it can help you achiever simpler, better business, get in touch with Vindico’s Head of Partnerships, Rhys Perkins
The Future of Stadium Tech (And Key Take-Aways from TheStadiumBusiness Summit)...
What does the future of tech look like for UK Stadiums? Vindico’s Rhys Perkins sums it up. We have a long history of working with stadiums, venues, and sporting arenas. And we’ve used tailored tech to help some of the biggest names in the business adapt during the pandemic – and after. So, when we travelled to TheStadiumBusiness Summit this month, it was no surprise that the attendees – stadium owners, operators, and developers – were discussing the very same challenges we solve day in, day out. “The same obstacles kept cropping up over and over again,” says Vindico’s Head of Partnerships, Rhys Perkins. “Staffing, loss of knowledge within the sector, keeping fans in the venue for longer, trust, fear, competition, costs – Covid has had a massive impact, and everyone’s looking for a more robust plan for the future.” They’re problems we hear – and solve – every day at Vindico. And most venues are struggling with the same issues. “They want to know how to keep fans returning week after week, and how they can use tech to enhance the fan experience to gain greater emotional buy-in – not just around a team or event, but also around the whole experience. “Everyone wants to make things better and simpler. Whether it’s the work itself, the systems, the processes, the communications, or the delivery of the experience. And that’s where automated tech can help. “We’re using tailored tech to help free up time so staff can do their jobs easier and serve their customers more effectively. Of course, every stadium is unique, but the beauty of tailored tech is that it’s unique to each organisation – giving you only the elements you need for ultimate ease, effectiveness, and ultimately adoption.” And it’s helping stadiums to become greener too. “I heard how Billie Eilish has a ‘green’ rider and wanted to know how venues deal with carbon neutrality, recycling, and waste. And she’s not alone. Gen Z audiences are pushing for greener change, and stadiums are bringing this to the forefront of the business. Our tailored tech is helping our stadium and arena clients to drive greener practices by eliminating the need for hard copies and paper. It also helps to streamline manual processes to further cut emissions.” Key Take-Aways from TheStadiumBusiness Summit Stadiums are looking for simpler and better technology The fan experience – and keeping fans engaged – is a huge focus Stadiums are seeking smarter, automated tech that helps humans do their jobs better Despite Covid, stadiums have been resilient – and the forward-thinking venues are already exploring tailored tech to plan for the future The environmental impact of stadiums is high on the agenda – and, driven by Gen Z, greener practices are coming to the forefront Purple goes with everything and fits everywhere – which made for some stealthy marketing appearances in almost every event photo (from beer mats on every table to shout outs by event speakers to us, “ThePurple Guys”! Rhys is too tall (he gets this a lot) It’s a really hard acronym to pronounce but stands for ‘What We Don’t Know We Don’t Know Yet.’ And it was the core theme of Vindico MD Jo Polson’s speech To find out more about tailored tech, and how we’re helping stadiums, venues, and arena solve old problems and plan for the future, drop Rhys a line today
Vindico Invited to Guest Speak at TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2022...
Vindico MD Jo Polson will be guest speaking at this year’s TheStadiumBusiness Summit, which takes place 5 – 6 July 2022. TheStadiumBusiness Summit is the world’s leading meeting for owners, operators, and developers of stadiums, arenas, and sport venues. And with a focus on embracing technology, innovation, and transformation post-pandemic, it couldn’t be a better fit for Vindico. We’ve got a long history of collaborating with stadiums, sports teams, arenas, and venues. And when Covid hit, Vindico was the first place many turned to adapt their approach, rethink their processes, and implement the tailored tech needed to reopen safely during and post-pandemic. In the last three years, we’ve helped stadiums including the Principality Stadium, the Arms Park, Parc Y Scarlets, Sixways Stadium, Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, and Ice Arena Wales. We’ve also worked with organisations including the WRU, Scarlets Rugby, Cardiff Rugby, Worcester Warriors, the Elite Ice Hockey League, and the IIHF. The reason? Tailored tech. “I sometimes wish we were like other software companies,” says Vindico MD Jo Polson. “You know, companies with that one suite on their shelf. But we’re just not. Our work is as unique as you are. And that means every client is looking for something different.” And that’s where tailored tech comes in. Based on our own innovation – SWAPP (Smart Workplace Application) – our tailored tech solutions didn’t just help our clients in the sporting and events field to tackle new problems presented by Covid, they’re also helping them solve old ones, and prepare for any potential challenges in the future. Or, as Jo puts it, “We don’t know what we don’t know yet. But digital knowledge transfer is helping us create solid, robust foundations that are helping our clients operate smoothly, adapt quickly, and all while putting people’s wellbeing first. And we implement these unique roadmaps at our clients’ own pace, on their own roadmaps, to give them what they need for tomorrow.” So far so synergistic, but what will Jo be sharing at the conference? “We’re not attending the event to push anything. It’s about raising awareness of those sleeping speed bumps the industry faces post-covid. And it’s about sharing an idea to make us all a bit better. “A problem well stated is a problem half solved. “I wish we could take that line as my own, but it belongs to Charles Kettering. He’s one of our favourite people to quote, and a wonderful innovator, whose inventions include the electric starter motor for cars and the electric till register. He was a clever guy! “But using his quote as inspiration, I’ll be asking how well attendees understand their own business, and how everything ties together within that structure. “For most businesses, that process map doesn’t exist. And when does, it’s rarely kept up to date. “If we can share knowledge and spark a conversation that helps businesses become a bit better, then I’ll have done my job.” You can catch Vindico’s MD Jo Polson guest speaking at TheStadiumBusiness Summit on 5 and 6 July at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. You’ll also find our team at the event, who’ll be on hand to share even more