September 28, 2018
Appearing Around the World with Many Benefits
Street festivals and other community events can attract large crowds, but a crowd doesn’t always ensure impressive sales. Events that rely upon food trucks, bars, or merchandise vendors circulating on foot traditionally expect attendees to pay in cash. This limits sales right from the start because attendees are limited to the amount of cash they have on hand. Even if they come across items that they would like to purchase after running out of cash, they are often left to search for an ATM and stand in line. In many cases, that isn’t even an option.
If you have an event coming up and don’t want to restrict the spending power of your guests in this manner, consider creating a cashless event. You will need to secure advanced technology that allows attendees to connect a wristband or other electronic device to their payment source before or during the event, but it can make a significant difference in your overall sales.
Big Events are Going Cashless
Some of the biggest and most prestigious street festivals have experimented with cashless payment systems over the past year. For instance, the 2014 Taste of Toronto culinary festival used Canada’s Intellitix service. Attendees loaded money onto cards which were then swiped by vendors for fast payment. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology was used to enable the cards, and there was one big benefit to going cashless: the cards allowed easy tracking of consumer behaviours, delivering some market information for the event’s hosts.
In the UK, the 2014 Lollapalooza gained worldwide attention as the first large music event to offer an RFID-enabled cashless payment option. Guests were allowed to load their payment information onto wristbands which were quickly scanned at food and drink bars throughout the event. Few events were offering this technology prior to Lollapalooza despite research that showed up to 30 percent increases in sales when cashless payment options were presented.
Both events allowed participants to load money onto their electronic devices before the event, and they had the option to add money to the devices from stations featured at the event. This allowed guests to increase their spending limit at will, and this is likely one of the reasons this advanced technology has proven to increase overall event sales.
Why Not Just Accept Credit Cards?
There are more on-site credit card processing services available today than ever before, but there are some obstacles that often come into play when you accept credit cards at a large event:
- Many attendees are cautious about where they swipe their cards. Hesitation will lead to reduced sales as guests worry about unauthorised use of their banking information.
- It takes time to process a credit card, especially when service lines slow down due to high frequency of use. This often results in long queues and frustrated customers.
Cashless systems allow guests to control access to their credit cards by loading their money directly to a card, wristband, or other electronic device. They can then purchase drinks, food, and merchandise from various vendors without swiping their card each time. This speeds up the purchase process, keeps your customers happier with the level of service delivered, and relieves stress from employees and vendors trying to keep up with large crowds. You can’t do that with most credit card processing systems.
When a customer swipes a credit card, information regarding the purchase is sent to the credit card company. When you track purchases with cards or wearable electronics that are within your control, you get to keep the data produced from those sales. This can help you analyse the behaviours of your customers, leading to profit-enhancing improvements in your next event.
The Wow Factor
Technology is expanding quickly, and there’s no better way to attract more attention to your event than to be one of the first to embrace the newest advances. Cashless events are starting to appear around the world, but many smaller events are still limiting spending to cash or those willing to swipe a credit card. If you bring a cashless system to your next event, you’re likely to get the attention of many guests interested in trying out the latest technological advances.
If you’re interested in increasing sales at an upcoming event of any size, allow Simpli-Fi professionals to guide you through the process. We can help you keep the lines moving with satisfied customers willing to spread the word about your event.
Strategy and Priority
Again, dependent upon your location and venue, you might not be able to provide lightning fast internet speed to every square inch of your space so there may be some strategy necessary to prioritise hot spots. You’ll want to ensure the success of your event and plan accordingly:
Ensure planners, operators and hosts have optimal connectivity. Organisers and key operators should be given top priority to ensure the event runs smoothly.
If there is a ticket area, concessions stand or other type of sales area, they will be in need of faster and more secure processing speeds.
VIP members, special guests, speakers or anyone else who is considered higher on the list than regular attendees.
Security and other staff members will also require their fair share.
Lastly comes the regular audience members. Although they may seem like a priority, running the event itself, making sales, taking care of the safety and security of all everyone must come first and foremost.
In any event, pardon the pun, you’ll want to work closely with your professional, temporary internet service provider to give your audience the best wi-fi solutions available. They will benefit both the host of the event as well as the attendees.