Mystery shopping at events

People may not realize that public events can benefit from mystery shopping just as much as any industry.

As the popularity of using mystery shoppers grows, so does the list of the types of clients looking to use the service. Perhaps one of the most entertaining assignments to get as a mystery shopper is for public events.

People may not realize that public events can benefit from mystery shopping just as much as any industry. Sporting events, concerts, conventions, plays and many other public events often look to improve their customer satisfaction. One of the best ways to do so is to hire mystery shoppers to let them know what they can improve from the perspective of a patron. 

Your tasks
If you're fortunate enough to snag an assignment where you get to cover a concert, football game or another public event, you'll be tasked with making note of how facilities are operated from the perspective of a patron. Your job will start with the process of receiving a ticket at the box office or will call, gaining entry into the facility, going through security, participating in the experience and finishing off with your departure afterwards. You'll be keeping track of the most minute details of your experience along the way. You'll also be encouraged to interact with various employees, which you should record in your report later on. Spending at least three hours at the venue is the recommended amount of time it should take to get all of your interactions and observations out of the way, according to Mystery Shopper Magazine. 

The pay for these kinds of jobs isn't expected to be anything phenomenal unless the event isn't as popular and the client hopes to entice mystery shoppers. Some of these jobs will offer mystery shoppers reimbursement for ticket and parking prices, which can get as high as a few hundred dollars. Also, a part of your interactions with employees may include concessions. Sometimes you'll be given a particular item to purchase or a dollar amount to spend. 

Your cover
The benefit to working a job like this is that you'll have a lot of room for creativity when it comes to your cover. If you'll be working a job that's at a popular event and has a lot of business, you may not even feel the need for an in-depth cover given that employees will be mostly occupied. If asked, you could tell people you're a reporter or blogger covering the event for a publication. It'll work even more in your favor if you say you're covering it for your own website so no one feels the need to ask for credentials. You could even use the cover of being an inquisitive patron that's looking to find out as much as possible. It may seem simple, but it gets the job done and is believable. 

Tips 
It's encouraged to get to events well in advance to get all of your required interactions out of the way. This also gives you enough time to properly take note of who you talk to, when and where, for your notes later on. With events of this magnitude, where there's a lot of action going on and a lot of information to take in, it's recommended that you bring someone along to help. 

Making a difference
Some clients use mystery shoppers for more specific aspects of customer service than others. For example, some venues hire mystery shoppers with the specific intent of seeing how accommodating they are to people with disabilities. In some cases, all the mystery shopper will need to do is provide a detailed report of the experience, and he or she  could be completely reimbursed for the price of the ticket and any travel expenses.