Quickfire Q&A with 3D Digital Venue’s Francis Casado

3D Digital Venue provides interactive digital solutions to venues across the sports and entertainment sectors. The company is based in Barcelona, Spain and its clients include Camp Nou and Wembley Stadium.

TheStadiumBusiness.com caught up with Francis Casado, co-founder and head of business development at 3D Digital Venue, to get his thoughts on the live-events industry…

Q: Sum up the live event industry in three words…

A: Artists, emotion, people.

Q: What’s the best thing about the industry?

For us it is interesting since it combines technology, arts, fashion and especially business and math. If you take a look at the majority of people who work in entertainment, they have backgrounds and educations that have little if any relation to the industry. There is always room for improvement. You can always learn about any of the previously described topics from your peers.

And what’s your biggest bugbear?

As Marco Gilberti from Vesuvio Ventures said, the live events industry is ready for disruption but honestly, we are still in the very early days, and nobody knows when, how and how dramatic that disruption could be.

Each live events category is different, but there are obvious similar problems and opportunities in areas like customer engagement/fan experience or measuring and maximising return on investment that are common to every single live event category.

What’s the best experience you’ve had at a sports/entertainment venue?

Personally, the best experience was when France played against England in Wembley after the Paris attacks. It was impressive how respectful everyone was regardless of their origin, singing the French anthem to pay tribute to the victims. The atmosphere was so powerful and exciting.

…and what’s the worst?

The worst was when I attended a David Guetta concert during one of his Pacha appearances and it was packed with people. Some people had problems to breathe, some fainted and it was close to a tragedy. Hopefully security acted fast and it was solved.

What are the most important issues for the industry in the next five years?

1) Cyber

Cyber risk takes on multiple forms in the entertainment industry. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify are reliant on uninterrupted service. A cyber-attack that renders those platforms inaccessible could anger advertisers seeking a certain amount of visibility and will certainly frustrate viewers paying a monthly membership fee for on-demand content.

2) Violence

Paris. Manchester. Las Vegas. All are grim demonstrations of the vulnerability of entertainment industry events to violent acts. Anywhere a lot of people are gathered in a confined space, there’s an opportunity for a mass casualty event.

3) Business models

Advances in technology have helped content creators eliminate the middleman and push their work directly to consumers across a variety of platforms. User-friendly production software enables aspiring start-ups to create high-quality content and deliver it to consumers via YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or their own websites.

How do you expect the live experience for fans/spectators to change in the coming years?

The first change will be tied to new technologies and how consumers continue using streaming for both video (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon) and audio consumption (Spotify, Apple Music).

“When it comes to live events, the more innovative, independent festival promoters rely on developing an experience, rather than on booking top-tier talent,” Eventbrite’s Tommy Goodwin says. One change we’re noticing is a propensity for people to buy tickets at the last minute.

What do you think will be the most important technological change in the industry over the next five years?

Again, I am super aligned with Marco Gilberti. Disruption is not about technology. It’s about culture. Those companies who are able to keep their culture flexible, open and entrepreneurial in order to engage with innovation regularly are going to be ready to capitalise any future disruption as an opportunity and not as a challenge. With a ramp up in deployment of 5G networks, which will make content delivery up to 100 times faster, the trends above will only be compounded.

Consumers will continue in their love affair with video, whether it’s film, television, video games, or viral amateur content. Demand for mobile video consumption will increase as download speeds and streaming quality improve, including for virtual reality content and for new tech mobile settings like self-driving cars.

Prediction time: for this industry, 2019 will be the year of…?

An important phenomenon is the fact that proliferation of user-generated content online is fuelling new forms of production beyond the professional content production of traditional film studios, just to show an example.

One might expect the losses in traditional channels to be higher, in line with what happened to music. But traditional print sectors have been able to weather the storm by increasing their online presence and monetising content through digital advertising, although digital channels have not fully compensated for their losses in traditional channels.

If you could travel back in time and attend any historic event in the sports and entertainment industry, what would it be?

As a Real Madrid fan, I would travel back in time to attend the Champions League final where Zinedine Zidane scored and Madrid won against Bayern Leverkusen in 2002.