Showcasing South Africa to the world
South Africa’s most exciting marketing opportunity to showcase itself to the rest of the globe is here, in the shape of the 2010 World Cup. Visitors are going to experience the country’s natural beauty, football stadiums and world-class cities. And central to the urban experience is going to be tourists’ and locals’ enjoyment of commercial public spaces.
Steve Rennie, managing director at Rennie Property, which manages a R6 billion-portfolio of properties including Melrose Arch, looks at the primary property-related logistics that go into making multi-use public spaces a success during events such as the World Cup. With an estimated 373,000 foreign visitors arriving for the tournament, according to estimates released by Grant Thornton in April 2010, it is paramount that both locals and tourists have a pleasurable experience so that they return, and tell their friends to visit.
The focus for any owner or manager of a public space such as a shopping mall or tourist attraction is on security, ease of access, and showcasing the venue to its full potential and for the maximum enjoyment of visitors.
The biggest challenge for property managers is to maintain the same, or indeed better, standards of service during an event such as the World Cup. It is vital that both tenants and suppliers are kept informed, trained, and motivated to achieve this goal.
Property managers should have been working very hard on setting up the following: 1. Security:
Revised emergency procedures need to take into account additional visitors. Will there be enough hands on deck, and are the staff trained for circumstances they might not encounter in their everyday schedule, such as crowd control, social problems and the arrival of high profile visitors. Cashing up procedures specifically should be revisited, and supplies such as first aid kits should be checked and additional stock brought in. 2. Transport:
Drop-off and parking zones need to be planned, especially if a fan ride service is going to be picking up and dropping off fans attending the games. Road closures need to be taken into account, and ample access and parking for taxis and coaches needs to be provided. Signage and directions should be easily visible and very clear. 3. Supplier management and communication
- making sure all third party suppliers, eg cleaners, are prepared for additional visitors, and know what additional events are being planned. 4. Tenant co-ordination and security:
Tenants need to be up to speed on emergency plans, security requirements and other planning. Any extraordinary marketing activities should be clearly communicated as well so that tenants can maximize these opportunities. Also, in multi-use facilities there are a range of tenants with conflicting requirements, eg the shops and restaurants love the additional foot traffic while offices and residents want to know that it will be business as usual. 5. Managing one-off property alterations:
Many public spaces are seeing the very quick construction of facilities that will only be used for the World Cup, and then dismantled immediately. Timing is tight in order to minimize disruption to every day business, but the structures need to be safe, well-constructed and stylish … and then quickly dismantled and removed.
Any property manager worth their salt would have done their preparation and have these plans in place to ensure a safe, enjoyable and profitable World Cup for their tenants and landlords, as well as laying the groundwork to benefit from this opportunity for years to come.Released on behalf of Rennie Property
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