Behind-the-scenes at SoFi Stadium with PAM Wayfinding

Read Time: 5 minutes

The 2022 SEGD Wayfinding + Placemaking Symposium will feature an in-person, behind-the-scenes tour of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday, August 4, 2022. 

PAM Wayfinding provides a digital navigation platform to its customers that complements physical signage and allows designers and architects to implement a smart navigation solution for clients. In 2018, PAM was chosen to help Hollywood Park — home to SoFi Stadium, YouTube Theater and American Airlines Plaza — implement a digital navigation system that provides the wayfinding flexibility required by modern entertainment districts. The Hollywood Park team uses PAM to control wayfinding, marketing and regulatory messaging across more than 200 digital signs.

SoFi Stadium architect HKS used the PAMOS, PAM’s intelligent wayfinding and digital directional signage platform, to help produce a series of wayfinding strategies for adaptive use at major stadium events — called the Smart Navigation Playbooks. These consist of changeable ‘Scenes’ containing contextual messaging for each operating scenario to deliver adaptive control of traffic and better crowd flow across directional digital signage. For Hollywood Park, it was important to consider the agile nature and evolving needs of the campus, which can be used to support many kinds of events, from a temporary drive-in cinema in a parking lot during COVID, to activations during the NFL football season, to major musical concerts.

How can content be planned that will cover all scenarios for both vehicles and pedestrians, without overwhelming visitors? This is a common problem wayfinding designers face when strategizing content and journeys for most projects. With digital wayfinding, designers in the past have generally been given screens with fixed content capability. The content often has been provided by others, with fonts and pictograms out of the designer’s control or design guidelines. Does it really work once it is handed over to the client or management team?

Each Scene at Hollywood Park was developed with the opportunity to name, sponsor or color code parking lots according to the situation. Parking lots are color coded to make it easy and fast for the sizable influx of visitors, media, staff and teams. On directional signage, PAM can show this color coding for each message. 

User experience consultants aim to provide a seamless experience for the visitors, but also keep clients happy. PAM meets the needs of the designer, using the fonts, colors, icons and messaging design as envisaged by the design team, complementary to the physical signage and other wayfinding and placemaking efforts. 

For this project, Hollywood Park, HKS and PAM together considered the everyday wayfinding content users will need to navigate the campus, including SoFi Stadium and the retail area. This initial ‘everyday’ strategy provides directions to parking, gates, amenities and events, depending on current happenings at the Stadium.

With the initial strategy implemented, additional wayfinding scenes were developed to facilitate different operating scenarios: NFL game day inbound and outbound journeys, game day scenarios, events at YouTube Theater, and emergency scenes. 

Each Scene was planned in the PAM platform and tested around the site with the client, a tablet at hand. Any changes could be implemented in real time using the tablet and then tested again on site. PAM provides this effective, efficient experience, which benefits both wayfinding planners and clients alike.

Having the flexibility to plan content according to each event enables the client and gives them flexibility to use the platform to make updates as needed. The designer can hand over a variety of solutions based on client needs, all ready to go with a click. PAM has an approval process which ensures the client approves each Scene, and can then internally manage any ongoing changes according to their own approval process.

For each scene, routes and terminologies change automatically, which makes it easy and intuitive for visitors to find their car, the best entrance for their section or seat, and events, experiences and amenities around them. If the Parking team needs to close a road to make way for pedestrians during any event, vehicles will automatically be guided down another route, with each directional sign reflecting this new route.

Designers aiming to provide an improved wayfinding experience appreciate that navigation information provided by the kiosk can be passed over to any mobile device using a QR code. There is no need for the visitor to download an app. The QR code generated for this mobile handoff experience happens automatically, so no additional work is required from the client.

Several teams at Hollywood Park leverage the PAM platform. Through the entire project, PAM and the design team worked in partnership with Operations to ensure the “Day One” system met business needs. By having directional signage, interactive and mobile navigation all in one platform, Operations has simple and immediate control over all visitor touchpoints. In the event of an unforeseen issue, Operations can quickly make a change that redirects crowds around trouble spots. The team can also evolve Scenes over time to account for growth in the campus and optimize operations gradually, based on both their experiences and the data PAM provides back to them via their control center.

A campus of this size, with millions of annual visitors, is also focused on maximizing marketing reach. The platform allows Marketing to provide better value for sponsors by activating brands, highlighting offers and promoting upcoming events. The Marketing team can take advantage of templates in PAM and a clear set of messaging rules to ensure every opportunity reaches fans when the time is right. As different departments take advantage of the digital wayfinding platform across the campus, revenues increase and customer satisfaction grows.

From a successful Opening Day through several globally significant concerts and events, Hollywood Park is continuing to evolve and improve. The ability to iterate and instantly implement changes to the way visitors navigate and experience the site is critical for Hollywood Park. New buildings will continue to go into a construction phase and then open, adding new wayfinding needs and complexity to the campus. As Hollywood Park grows, the wayfinding experience evolves with it. It is exactly what is needed for the agile venues and properties that are being built in response to evolving fan and business needs.

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