Case Study: How zkipster is an integral part of West Ham United Football Club’s hospitality operations

West Ham United Football Club has been an iconic part of London’s sporting landscape since 1895.

After 104 years playing at the historic Boleyn Ground in East London’s Upton Park, in 2016 “The Hammers” moved a few miles across town to a brand new home at the London Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

This English Premier League football team’s new stadium boasts an overall capacity of 60,000, as well as an impressive, and very popular, hospitality and event operation. This encompasses a total of nine different boxes and lounges under one “Club London” umbrella. These range from small, invite-only executive boxes with fine dining included as part of a luxurious matchday experience, to larger, informal sports lounges for which supporters can purchase seasonal memberships or daily passes for individual matches.

West Ham

Club London welcomes everyone from corporate members and their clients to West Ham’s nucleus of life-long fans, many of whom moved with the team to the new stadium, as well as fans of the opposing teams, and we strive to give every valued supporter a memorable day of football and hospitality.

AIMEE RICHARDSON | CLIENT OPERATIONS & ENGAGEMENT MANAGER | CLUB LONDON

In 2018 the Club London hospitality team turned to zkipster to help digitize and improve their event processes.

On busy match days Club London can host some 800 diners across its boxes and lounges. Currently West Ham uses Ticketmaster to sell tickets for part of this hospitality offering, and then uploads the sales data into zkipster for guest check-in on match days. In fact, this exact scenario inspired us to build our newly-launched Seating API integration. Now, enterprise clients like West Ham have the ability to link Ticketmaster and other ticketing systems to zkipster, enabling automated, real-time ticket sales and forging a direct connection between sales and event operations.

The West Ham team also uses zkipster’s Seating tool to create floor and table plans and allocate seating in advance, with complete flexibility to add or move tables and seats around as needed. Then, when it comes to checking guests in on match day – which is done using the zkipster app, of course – staff can identify exactly where each guest will be seated. Going forward, Club London plans to not only make use of the new Seating API, but to also send Seating plans directly to clients in advance using zkipster’s ‘Share a table’ feature, so that hosts can seat their guests exactly to their liking and highlight any dietary requirements.

zkipster makes life so much easier for us: all the data we need is live and in one place so the entire team can check table availability and create guest bookings in real-time. We can also easily run reports to share with other teams, including catering, so everyone knows when guests are due to arrive and can plan ahead and manage busy times accordingly.

AIMEE RICHARDSON | CLIENT OPERATIONS & ENGAGEMENT MANAGER | CLUB LONDON
West Ham

zkipster empowers event professionals to deliver a seamless, elevated hospitality experience for VIPs.

The team at West Ham utilizes zkipster software in additional, innovative ways to help them better look after their valued guests. For certain VIPs, the Club London experience begins as soon as they drive up to the London Stadium. West Ham’s car parking team uses zkipster to allocate the limited number of VIP parking spaces, uploading relevant data to the app so that attendants can use car registration numbers to accurately park guests on match days.

We hope to introduce another zkipster function to further build on the personalized service our VIPs receive, by using the app to automatically send a text alerting the Club London Relationship Manager as soon as a guest is checked in by the parking team, so they can be on hand to personally greet the VIP.

AIMEE RICHARDSON | CLIENT OPERATIONS & ENGAGEMENT MANAGER | CLUB LONDON

As well as zkipster being an integral part of West Ham’s match day hospitality offering, the team also uses it for events, such as its Player Awards; printing guest name badges and drawing up floor and table plans to allocate seating at external venues. As for COVID, after losing a whole season of hospitality due to social distancing regulations, the team is delighted that supporters are back enjoying the football.

The West Ham example demonstrates how usefully zkipster can be deployed in a sporting context, becoming an indispensable aspect of a Premier League football club’s hospitality and events.

West Ham

We really enjoy working with zkipster. We would love to do more with the software in future, both in terms of utilizing the data it captures for us and trying out new features.

AIMEE RICHARDSON | CLIENT OPERATIONS & ENGAGEMENT MANAGER | CLUB LONDON

zkipster has allowed West Ham United to simplify and streamline guest check-in, floor plans, seating and more throughout our match day hospitality offering, as well as at external events. It has also given us access to a wealth of invaluable data, which can easily be shared across the business to help us plan effectively. zkipster has been a real game changer!

NIC BEE | HEAD OF HOSPITALITY | WHUFC

All images courtesy of West Ham United Football Club.