If sports entertainment is part of your bar’s brand, then you need to be taking full advantage of the hundreds of excited fans clamoring to get inside a great sports bar, spend cash on bar bites and beer, and stare straight into a crystal clear picture of the world's most watched sporting event – The World Cup!
Your customers can just as easily stay home and watch the game on their high definition LCD TVs. If you want them to come through the door, talk about the great experience they had and return with more friends over the next couple of weeks, then you need to be bigger and better than your competitors; making sure that you're providing the optimal viewing experience.
There are crucial components to keep in mind when preparing for the viewing of a major sporting event. Choosing projectors and TVs with high-resolution capabilities is a no-brainer and using anything less is a step back from what customers have at home. In this day in age you also need to provide multiple viewing areas. Having one large screen or three TVs over the bar won’t cut it.
Pay special attention to the positioning of the screens with regards to heating and air conditioning vents. The airstream may cause the screen to wave slightly moving the picture in and out of focus. This is primarily a factor in drop down screens, and can be addressed by selecting a tab tensioned screen system.
Size also matters, in terms of viewing surface and space. The larger the screen or TV the more space that you will need to create the best viewing experience. For a screen that is 8 feet wide, ideal viewing distance is 12 feet from the screen (8x1.5=12). When it comes to attracting customers, bigger is always better.
Better clarity, however, cannot happen without clean equipment. Projection equipment and TVs are magnets for dust accumulation. It's very important that you follow your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions so you do not damage the image quality. Optical and first surface coatings vary significantly and require the use of precise cleaning materials and methods. However, the biggest consideration for optimal viewing is lighting.
You do not want natural or ambient lighting shining directly on the front or back of the screen or TV. If you have large windows make sure to take a look at where the light cascades over surfaces during all aspects of the day. Investing in blinds to cover windows that directly affect viewing capabilities is a must. Same goes for ambient lighting, make sure that bar lights are not casting avoidable shadows on screens or TVs.
Proper sound inevitably follows proper lighting to make the overall experience more enjoyable for guests. Bars are noisy to begin with and adding the extra layer of sports commentary during the big game makes the quality of your sound system, which is often overlooked, even more important to the viewing experience. Your speakers are the “voice” and setting them up carefully can help you get the most out of your investment. More speakers dialed in and evenly spaced throughout the venue will be more effective than two large speakers blasting sound at defining levels.
At the end of the day your guests need to walk away having had the best viewing experience possible in order to truly enjoy the game.