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  • Writer's pictureBoss Consulting HR

In Their Eras Era –

How Small Businesses are Prepping for Sold-Out Taylor Swift Shows in Their Cities

After a bitter battle with Ticketmaster, pop star Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour kicked off on March 17th in Glendale Arizona. Swift performed to a staggering 70,000 fans at the city’s State Farm Stadium. And local small businesses saw the effects of the weekend-long tourism boon.

Taylor’s sold-out tour has touched down in Tampa, Houston, and Arlington. With plans to hit the rest of the country throughout the summer.

But fans aren’t just attending the show itself. They’re flooding cities where Taylor is performing throughout her weekend-long stints. And much like they do for Super Bowls and Olympic Games, local small businesses surrounding these sold-out stadiums are prepping for the surge of fans into their cities.

If the Eras tour is coming to a city near you… you should be too.

The Eras Tour vs Small Businesses

Fans are seeking hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, merchandise, and more to keep them entertained beyond their three-hour-long concert experience.

Ahead of her first show in Glendale – which renamed itself Swift City for the sold-out event – small businesses prepared themselves with extra staff and large-event-specific training. As well as making changes to marketing materials menus, and more.

All this to reflect their pride in being the kickoff city for the nationwide tour. And to support the influx of tourism for the weekend.

Other cities have followed suit. Expecting the weekend that Taylor comes to town to be a great boon to the local economy.

Events like sold-out concerts in your area are a tremendous opportunity to promote your small business and enjoy a significant uptick in revenue.

But without proper planning, these events can turn into opportunities for disaster if you’re not careful.

Luckily there’s a few simple changes you can make to set yourself up for success.

Setting Employees & Small Businesses Up for Success

What can you do to prepare your employees if Taylor – or any major entertainment or sporting event – is coming to a venue near you?

Prep for Big Events Ahead of Time

You’ll want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on the venue’s schedule well in advance. Identify events that might attract particularly large crowds.

That way you can “black out” these dates for employees, preventing them from scheduling non-essential PTO time when you need them most.

Make Sure You’re Properly Staffed

The first thing you want to do to prepare your small business for major events like these is to ensure you’re properly staffed. This is true whether you’re a restaurant, retail outlet, hotel, or other customer-facing business.

If you have a large stadium, convention center, or concert venue near you, you may want to consider maintaining a per-diem staff. This helps support your regular staff during these extra-busy periods.

Prep Your Employees

To prepare both your temporary and long-term staff, it’s worth it to invest in additional training, and host staff meetings leading up to big event dates.

Remind your employees of what to expect. And of any changes they’ll need to make from their regular day-to-day job duties and activities.

Make sure to place an emphasis on safety. Dealing with more orders, big crowds, and longer hours can present unique challenges and make it difficult for employees to maintain the business’ normal standards of health and safety.

Put an Emphasis on Customer Service

Customer-service training can help to give employees a timely refresher of your expectations of service quality. Include tools to help them provide the same high level of service they usually do. So they can continue to do so during these exceptionally hectic circumstances.

Ensure too that your staff has the most up-to-date knowledge on your products and services. Especially if you’ll be offering specials or making changes that are tailored to the events coming into town.

This will help you and your employees take full advantage of the earnings opportunity these large events present.

Motivate and Reward Your Employees

Last but certainly not least, motivate and reward your employees appropriately!

It takes a village to serve 70,000 hungry, thirsty, tired Swifities, sports fans, or convention attendees. And you couldn’t do it without your staff.

Show your employees – before, during, and after these rushes – how much you appreciate them. A simple “thank you for all your work today” or a round of drinks and pizza after the hard day is over can go a long way.

But a bonus based on the percentage of additional profit garnered from sales during the event period will go even longer. Especially if it’s shared in advance as a way to incentivize peak employee performance.

Your greatest potential asset – and greatest potential liability – on any day is your employees. This is especially true during times in which your small business is expected to experience much larger than average volume.

Help your employees succeed. And in turn, you’ll help your business succeed. Prepare in advance for these situations. Make sure you provide them with adequate staffing, training, resources, and appreciation for their efforts.

If your employees are “Ready for It,” events like the Eras tour can wind up being beyond your “Wildest Dreams” for your small business.

Need a little extra support to get your employees ready for show day? Schedule a consultation with us to see how we can get you set for the next big event!

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