Friday, February 08, 2013

Taming the Sevens with Hospitality

It's a slow news day domestically, and I'm far too sober to write about the Brennan hearings or drones yet. This one is about rugby. I don't personally enjoy the game, but some of my best friends are rugbyheads. Also Neil Miller, who once lent me his beers at the Old Malthouse on Willis St. Cheers.

Neil Miller was griping on NatRad's Panel today about how the Wellington's Sevens weekend has jumped the shark. More precisely, he despaired at the empty seats during the game, as punters went out on the concourse, or mulled around like pissed mullets around the Wellington CBD.

The Sevens should take a leaf out of the hospitality sector with the airline, restaurant or theatre solutions.

The airline solution is to overbook the seating. Try a 25 percent overbook for the first day next time and see how it works. The same principle is used by political parties in public meetings. Better to squeeze a big crowd into a small hall than have a small gathering in a cavern.

The restaurant solution is to sell the seat to a casual if the punter's not there on time. This only works if you don't allow punters off the premises.

The theatre solution is similar to a mash of the airline and restaurant gambits. Pre-sales ticket holders must enter by a certain time with an exit only policy (no pass outs). The tally of vacant seats is filled by 'standby' hopefuls at the gate. A sales gate could top numbers up if and when punters leave.