The Tournament and Events Technology team at PGA organizes and maintains the infrastructure to support their major championships.
For each event, they build massive grandstands at some of the prime locations around the course. These are first-come-first-serve, so the biggest fans queue for hours to get seats. Once they've got a heart, they can leave, but only by saving their seat with one of the event volunteers.
For years, the volunteers managed this with a pen-and-paper system. But with 40,000+ tickets issued at a significant event, this process was incredibly time-consuming and error-prone.
The team had already built three apps with Glide after being introduced to it by PGA's Director of Technology:
1. Battery Swapper was an app for managing battery swaps in their scoring devices.
2. Lost and Found allowed anybody on-site to quickly find or report lost items.
3. Bunker Buddy was a centralized, internal knowledge base for running live tournaments.
So in early 2021, when they were tasked with improving and digitizing the ticketing system, they returned to Glide to build a solution.
Most importantly, the PGA knew that deploying the app with Glide across multiple devices would be quick and reliable for this event. And, because this was a pilot, they could do it very quickly if they needed to iterate and make changes.
“Building with Glide is just super easy. It gives us this really nice-looking UI out of the box. From a developer's perspective, we loved working with it. We can talk about something in a meeting one day, and I can have something distributed the next day.”
With a button tap, the Seat Saver app allowed volunteers to scfan'sfan’s tickets, log a seat save and tell them when they needed to return.
The app was a massive success with their volunteers. The fans found the system easy to use, and the volunteers needed next-to-no training. The app also enabled volunteers to track the number of people in a grandstand. This allowed staff to monitor capacity easily and to suggest other locations to fans if somewhere was too full. All this resulted in lots of data that they didn't have before, which has helped them analyze the event and helped guide what they will do in future years.