ATPI's Secret to Success in the Champions League Final: Blending Technology and Human Connection
ATPI Events is the ultimate game-changer when it comes to organising hospitality programs and unforgettable guest experiences at major sporting events like the Olympics, The Ocean Race, and UEFA competitions such as the coveted Champions League.
With sixteen years of unwavering excellence, ATPI is all set to deliver yet another flawless performance at the 2023 Champions League final in Istanbul on June 10. We caught up with John Bergmann, Commercial Head Corporate & Sports Events at ATPI, to get the inside scoop on the challenges of organising such a spectacular event.
"When it comes to the Champions League final, our first priority is finding the perfect hotels," says Bergmann. "But that's just the tip of the iceberg. We also have to consider the city's logistics - Istanbul, for example, has multiple airports and traffic can be a real headache. We work closely with our clients to determine their needs, preferences, and priorities. Do they want to be at the center of the action or closer to the stadium? These are just a few of the questions we address to ensure a memorable and stress-free experience for everyone involved."
ATPI knows that when it comes to the Champions League final, the players and officials are essentially visitors to a foreign country, especially when it's a destination like Istanbul, with its unique culture and traditions. "While the stakes are high, we always respect the local culture and rules," says Bergmann. "Istanbul is vastly different from cities like Munich or Madrid, so there are some unique challenges we have to tackle."
One of the biggest challenges facing ATPI this year is safety and security, especially in light of the recent bombing and earthquakes that have rocked the country. "We are taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of our guests and our own staff," says Bergmann. "We're even requesting building plans from hotels, something we've never had to do before. We want to make sure that every aspect of the trip is as safe as possible, and that is our number one priority this year." At ATPI, safety always comes first.
Communicating with guests
Last year in Paris, ATPI faced a situation that was out of their control during the Champions League final. Thousands of visitors were stopped outside the stadium, some supporters even tried to climb over the fences, and the police had to intervene. Bergmann recalls the intensity of the situation, "It was a chaotic scene, but in those moments, we had to step up and manage the situation. Communication was key to our success."
And that's where ATPI's digital communication tools came into play. The company has been investing heavily in digital tools in recent years, and one of the most valuable tools they've developed is an app that can be customised to match the corporate identity of their clients.
The app allows customers to invite their guests and for guests to register, making hotel bookings and keeping track of event details a breeze. "The app is practical in that it provides us with the data we need for hotel bookings," says Bergmann. "But it also provides guests with important details like hotel addresses and dress codes for specific events."
In Paris, the event app proved to be a lifesaver. With the chaotic situation outside the stadium, it was crucial to keep guests informed and up to date on the latest developments. "We worked closely with the local security agency to provide timely updates to our guests," says Bergmann. "We even sent a push notification to all guests notifying them to remain seated for half an hour after the match for specific reasons." Thanks to the app, ATPI was able to privately contact individual guests and send messages to all guests at the same time. The security announcement was a success and helped keep everyone informed during the tumultuous situation.
ATPI's event app isn't just about practicalities, it's also designed to take guest experience to the next level. Imagine receiving a personalised message from a former Formula 1 driver, greeting you by name and getting you excited for the upcoming event - that's exactly what the app offers. It's a little touch, but it goes a long way in enhancing the guest experience. And that's not all. The app also features quizzes and surveys, providing guests with the opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback. It's optional, but the response rate is impressive. Completed surveys are highly valued by organisers as they help to improve the event for next year. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
ATPI understands that while digital communication is convenient, there is still a significant value in the human element. They believe in finding a balance between the two.
Even though many guests have been on similar trips before, ATPI still values personal contact. They prioritise complying with the customer's guidelines regarding language, clothing, and even nail polish colour. Additionally, they place a high emphasis on providing excellent digital communication. However, if a guest reports an issue with their hotel key, they understand that having an employee patiently fix it can be more meaningful than simply sending a message.
ATPI's commitment to personal contact extends to their own staff on the trip. They always ensure that someone is available to listen to their employees and address any concerns they may have. For instance, during the Paris event, there was criticism about the limited number of tickets for clubs and the large number for sponsors. To address this, ATPI's employees dressed up in sponsor clothing and waited for their arrival at the airport or train station. However, this sometimes caused tension among supporters. In such situations, the employee would call for assistance, and ATPI would work to resolve the issue. This opportunity to intervene is critical, and ATPI values it greatly.
While ATPI recognises the value of digital communication, they also understand the importance of providing a human touch. They believe that finding a balance between the two is essential. The personal connection that their staff creates with their guests ensures that their needs are met, and they have a memorable experience.
The anticipation is palpable as the ATPI team gears up for the highly anticipated Champions League final in Istanbul. Restlessness has taken hold as the team prepares to embark on yet another challenging yet exhilarating journey. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, a comprehensive briefing is held in the office before departure, with full participation mandatory. Despite the varying levels of experience among the attendees, from rookies to veterans of 16 years, the briefing is a crucial step in the process. It not only helps to align everyone's efforts but also allows guests to connect with familiar faces upon arrival.
With years of experience under their belts and state-of-the-art digital communication capabilities, ATPI is confident in their ability to deliver another successful event. The team is looking forward to the upcoming trip to Istanbul with excitement, knowing that their meticulous preparations will pay off. According to Bergmann, the team is now eager to attend the event, having fine-tuned every aspect and modified scripts to ensure that nothing is left to chance. They are fully prepared for any challenges that may arise and are ready to provide a seamless experience for all attendees.If you would like to find out how ATPI Events can create a bespoke and unforgettable experience for your organisation, get in touch with the team here.