Most Gold Coasters can't remember a time before the Commonwealth Games became the city's hottest topic.
Now, the event which once seemed like an eternity down the track is just a few short months away, and businesses are kicking into overdrive to get ready for the influx of a lifetime.
In the days leading up to April 4, business owners are in a crucial preparation phase, one which will likely involve overhauling structures to support customers who flock to the biggest sporting event in the city's history.
For those who don't have much capital to splash on a complete overhaul, experts are saying that owners should, at the very least, make sure their tech capabilities are infallible.
Brett Aspel, IT manager for theme parks at Ardent Leisure, has enlisted local company BITS Technology Group to ensure that one of its key attractions, Skypoint at Q1, has systems which remain efficient and user-friendly over the next few months.
BITS is primarily working to overhaul Skypoint's WiFi network to create a seamless experience for its customers.
SkyPoint Observation Deck
"While we've always offered WiFi for visitors, what we are doing in preparation for the Games is to greatly increase the availability and capacity of WiFi across all of our guest areas," says Aspel.
"One of the great benefits of the platform being installed is the visibility it gives us as to how our guests are using the platform."
The new technology will allow SkyPoint to see which social media platforms its customers are using the most, how much bandwidth is being consumed and see clearly what needs to be tweaked to improve the customer service.
Aspel says BITS has become "an extension" of his own team, and that the company was an ideal choice to complete the overhaul.
"They know our business, they know what's important to us from both a technology point of view and our overall business focus, and they're really proactive in supporting those goals," says Aspel.
BITS Technology Group, led by co-founders Bernard Mangesldorf and Kane Sajdak, first started working with SkyPoint's ASX-listed parent Ardent Leisure to provide support and advice across the company's cloud platforms.
Bernard Mangelsdorf & Kane Sajdak, BITS Technology Group founders
From there, Aspel says they were the natural choice to carry out the WiFi works on SkyPoint.
"The level of support they have provided has been outstanding, and with the wide range of services they offer, it just made sense to bring them in on this project," says Aspel.
"They're competitive on pricing, they know their stuff, and the service so far has been great."
Aspel's key advice for business owners who are panicking about preparation to have confidence in their own skills, alleviate pain points for their customers and ensure that all systems are go in the tech department.
"Obviously, Gold Coast tourism businesses know how to handle waves of incoming visitors, it's what we do best," says Aspel.
"What the Games brings is a particular type of visitor who is trying to fit in their tourism activities in and around a very fixed Games schedule."
"Make sure customers have everything they need to maximise their time at your venue; all systems are firing, staff have the tools they need to deal with larger than normal crowds, and guests are able to access the information they need for planning the next step on their Games trip."
Three tech tips every business should consider prior to the Commonwealth Games
- Remove customer pain points. If your tech systems are sluggish or slow to respond during rush periods then you need to focus on removing those types of roadblocks, especially considering the entire Commonwealth Games will be a period of influx.
- Prepare your staff thoroughly. In the hands of uninformed staff, all the system and tech upgrades in the world will do you no good. Set aside time to train your staff in the new systems and teach them how to solve issues independently.
- Increase connectivity. Something as simple as upgrading your WiFi service will go a long way when it comes to improving customer experiences during the Commonwealth Games. Keep in mind, many visitors will be coming from overseas and will likely be heavily reliant on WiFi to connect with home and manage their trip.
This article was written in partnership with BITS Technology Group.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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