Netherlands-based event technology firm XLNT-Operations offers a complete solution for event organisers and sports competitions, from payments through to ticketing.

TheStadiumBusiness.com caught up with XLNT chief executive Rob Rijsenbrij for a quick-fire Q&A…

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

A: People (audience), bread and games (still going strong)…

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

A: It bridges the old and new school (the real and digital worlds) and stimulates new markets and brings people together.

Q: And what’s your biggest bugbear?

A: That the live event industry is getting a tool for politics and that live events will need the giants within the digital industry for covering the costs. It will always be the money which rules.

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

A: When social and geographical origin played no role…

Q: …and what’s the worst?

A: When social and geographical origins were just used for demonstrations and riots.

Q: What’s most important issues for the industry in the next five years?

A: Not only big, bigger, biggest, but creating events that are open for every person’s wallet. I also think the event industry will merge with the digital industry.

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

A: Live events will shift to semi-live and being part of games and/or a combination with digitalisation (special goggles, the smartphone, will give extra “live” information).

Also, sports will develop more to a digital experience for the audience, due to the rapid changing target groups being more adjusted to the digital world

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

A: The influence of digitalisation will change the event market, stimulating new business and sponsorship models.

In addition, ticketing as a financing model for events will be debatable (this is subject to legislation and the consumer not accepting “no show and no money back” anymore.

And finally, we will see more online payment models by bank and/or credit cards. Apple Pay will change into a new ”closed loop” payment model to minimise the costs of payments (payment is becoming more and more expensive due to the stacking of costs by intermediary parties).

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

A: FC Ajax (just kidding)…

The new markets (China, India, Arabic countries) will show their muscles and money as sponsors and/or new owners of events. The ‘why’ is simple… they have a huge audience market now approachable via the online world.

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

A: As a former athlete; the 1st Olympic Games in Athens. Pure sport and athletes going at a nonprofit base, for the highest achievement.

Image: Pxhere