fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

The future of contactless payment systems

To get the obvious dark joke out of the way, most festivals literally went cashless in the pandemic-stricken calendar of 2020/21, and not for strategic reasons. But now, after the better part of two years on pause, the survivors are gradually returning to a changed world in which actual cashless systems, once a matter of preference for live events, seem destined to become the standard.

As shows and festivals come back online around the world and begin to thrash out solutions to Covid safety, staff shortages, visitor flow, and our own increasingly cash-free habits, cashless and contactless options are a must-have, whether based on RFID, mobile pay, barcoded tickets, or some hybrid of the above.

“I think [cashless] was maybe 30% before the pandemic,” estimates Event Genius founder Reshad Hossenally, “and now it’s probably close to 80%-odd, maybe more.”

Nor is this likely to be a temporary shift. “In the festival world, the biggest change we are going to see when everyone is back is that cash and tokens will be out,” says David De Wever, CEO and partner at Antwerp-based PlayPass.

Before Covid, cashless festivals weren’t always to everyone’s taste – an NME column from 2018 was unambiguously entitled ‘We need to talk about cashless festivals, because they f***ing suck’ – but things are different now.

“Cash is no longer a preferred payment method, as cashless systems allow for a cleaner and safer experience for everyone”

The pandemic isn’t over yet, but event management technology – of which access control and cashless systems are just the most visible applications – will certainly be an important tool in the process of piloting the live business back out of the wilderness.

According to recent research, 63% of fans have greater event health and safety concerns than before, and 66% of fans are more worried about venue hygiene [source: Performance Research]. Meanwhile, the most mature markets are well along the road of phasing out cash, with hard currency in Sweden down to 9% of transactions in 2020, against 14% in the Netherlands, 23% in the UK and 28% in the US [source: McKinsey].

It all adds up to a major opportunity for cashless specialists, many of whom offer ticketing, access, marketing and travel within the same system, and whose technology easily flexes to encompass any number of testing and vaccine
passport options. Where festivals have returned in 2021, the majority have come back in cashless form, usually in tandem with some form of digital access control – whatever the particular situation has required.

“As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for our solutions,” says Jason Thomas, CEO of global cashless provider Tappit. “Cash is no longer a preferred payment method, as cashless systems allow for a much cleaner and safer experience for fans and staff. RFID solutions work perfectly for festivals, but we’ve seen a real increase in demand for our white-label mobile pay solution, which works for events and venues with their own app or digital ecosystem.”

But while certain markets in well-vaccinated nations have bounced back to life, 2021 has not been quite the wholehearted return to action we were all hoping for – even if early signs were good.

“We’ve seen a real increase in demand for our white-label mobile pay solution”

“Around April, May, suddenly everyone was active,” says De Wever. “At that stage, a lot of them needed proposals for Covid testing and all different kinds of extra technology. Then it went quiet for a bit, particularly the big festivals.”

Most of those big festivals decided against risking a 2021 return, and even now, with pockets of events carefully raising the curtain again, just about everyone in the event technology business has seen too many false dawns to indulge in too much unvarnished optimism.

“What we have seen this year is some of the mid-sized festivals are trying to have an edition, depending on the country,” says De Wever, speaking in late August. “UK, Belgium, France is busy at the moment, but apart from that, it is still really flat in a lot of countries. We are just watching what is happening at each national level, and we also have some promoters who are taking the initiative themselves.”

One such example is Barcelona’s Cruïlla festival at the city’s Parc del Fòrum, which decided to proceed in July, safeguarding fans with an antigen testing regime made possible by PlayPass’s RFID system.

“[Cruïlla director Jordi Herreruela] decided he was going to test everybody, every day, no matter what,” says De Wever. “The procedure was that people had to create an account and buy a test for each of the days they were going to the festival. When you arrived at the festival, you swapped your ticket for an RFID wristband and took a test.

Intellitix saw its 2020 calendar wiped out and executed a quick pivot, developing a Covid-screening and assessment tool

“The company doing the testing linked the ID with the barcode on their tests, and when you got the results back after 15 minutes, that was linked with the wristband. Then you could scan the wristband to see if it was valid and if the result was positive or negative.”

This year’s patchy albeit largely cashless revival comes on the back of an extremely lean period in which, like so many other companies in the live space, the survival of the key cashless players was far from guaranteed.

Most also count sport as another key market, and consequently found themselves hit hard across several sectors. Like many others, Intellitix saw its 2020 calendar wiped out and executed a quick pivot, developing a Covid-screening and assessment tool.

“2020 was getting it into the hands of the essential businesses, making it work for construction, manufacturing, food processing, retirement homes, schools, healthcare,” says Milan Malivuk, chief strategy officer at the Toronto-based global provider.

“But the reality is, as busy as we have been with that, we are very keen to get back to what we do. So, we are obviously trying to bend over backwards to make things happen, but not to the point where we are willing to cobble together some half-assed deployments that aren’t going to be successful.”

“We were in a growing industry where every year you could expect growth and suddenly it was completely finished”

PlayPass and its French rival Weezevent announced a merger in March 2020, retaining both brand names but creating a 100-strong team with offices in Antwerp and Paris, as well as Canada, Switzerland, Spain, and the UK.

“We were in a growing industry where every year you could expect growth,” says De Wever. “And suddenly it was completely finished, and we lost 90% of our revenue, so that was quite confronting. And like a lot of businesses, we started to evaluate the best options of how we make sure we can survive this, and how we can become stronger after.”

The two companies had been in discussions before the pandemic, De Wever reveals, but the tempest of 2020 focused the need for mutual support.

“We had already had some discussions with Weezevent before. For my part I always considered them the biggest competitor. A lot of companies claim to be a European leader, and I don’t think there was one, but now… let’s wait until 2022, but I think we can say we are in a position to be the European leader.”

The immediate function of modern event technology this year has been to help get the show back on the road in difficult circumstances. But the deeper promise of such technology manifests itself on several fronts. As well as timely safety capabilities, it also potentially offers better experiences, shorter queues, and transactional efficiencies in a sector that, as most festivalgoers can probably confirm, could sometimes do with them.

“We are quite optimistic that Covid has pushed technological advancement in a sector that typically is slow to change”

“What Covid has done, in our opinion, is to accelerate something that was coming already – this attitude of ‘what’s the quickest and easiest way to transact?’ That’s the expectation now,” says Sam Biggins, commercial director at UK-based food and drink ordering app Butlr.

“We are quite optimistic that, although Covid was a terrible thing, it has pushed technological advancement in a sector that typically is very slow to change. Music venues have been operating in almost exactly the same way since their inception. Same with festivals. I don’t think the first Glastonbury will have been very different to Glastonbury these days, in terms of technology at least.”

And for promoters, efficiency isn’t the only win to be had here. The promise of teched-up festivals is that they belatedly offer promoters the opportunity to know their customers, learn from their movements around the site and create opportunities to communicate, preview, reward, and strategically market to them.

“We have been doing this since 2010,” says Malivuk. “And the reason people have used us is because they want to know who is inside their event – for marketing, for the ability to re-engage, build brand connections, the ability to improve traffic flow inside the event. And it’s about facilitating cashless transactions and speeding them up, gathering more data and increasing the average spend per person, typically by 30% to 40%.”

Tappit’s Jason Thomas agrees. “In this market, the solution that will provide real value is one that can go beyond simply delivering cashless functionality, to provide a frictionless fan experience and enable event organisers to understand each and every fan – connecting what they bought, when they entered the venue, when they left and how to maximise this,” he says.

“Providing real-time data to deliver real value for organisations will make the difference between success and failure”

“Data is the most valuable element of the cashless solution, and as we work with our clients throughout the process, we help provide insights and ways to make events even more profitable. Making consistent connections between a fan or consumer and ensuring you know their preferences is crucial in building strong brand loyalty. Providing real-time data and insights to deliver real value for organisations will make the difference between success and failure.”

On the one hand, some operators note that avid data capture isn’t necessarily the way the wind is blowing in the wider world. “We were on the BBC recently and it was all around data-less ordering,” says Biggins. “Some solutions will mine users’ data and it’s ludicrous and it’s intrusive. You don’t need someone’s date of birth to place an order. We are of the opinion that the less data you take, the more seamless the experience.”

But for broad-ranging event management systems, suggests Hossenally, a restrained data-driven approach, deploying closed-loop systems that enable organisers to bank all the data generated by their events, offers benefits on both sides.

“With the onsite experience now, there’s a lot more that can be enabled that promoters didn’t really think about before, because they didn’t have the technology solutions to do so,” he says. “It’s a real opportunity to be able to create that full end-to-end journey, from the company buying the ticket to accessing the event to paying onsite.

“It’s about understanding that customer and having a 360-degree view of their spending habits. It’s not necessarily all about Big Brother but how, in order to generate more revenue, promoters have to give more to the customers in the form of a better, more tailored experience: rewards, loyalty, all that sort of stuff that promoters couldn’t really do before.”

“Now with 5G, you can have 150,000 people in one place and have reliable connectivity”

Gradually, other barriers to seamless operation are being removed, too, including the perennial difficulty of networks for mobile solutions. “We have held off on releasing a mobile solution for a very long time, purely because network infrastructure wasn’t there,” says Malivuk. “But now with 5G, you can have 150,000 people in one place and have reliable connectivity.”

Intellitix acquired a mobile-first company called CrowdBlink in January 2020, on which it has built “a lightweight version of Intellitix, with a ticketing solution, access control, and cashless.” The future, Malivuk suggests, isn’t necessarily increasingly complex systems but more accessible ones, aimed at smaller events.

“Intellitix has always been a no-brainer for events over a certain size,” he says. “But we always also had a lot of demand from events that want what we do but the numbers don’t make sense. CrowdBlink doesn’t do everything Intellitix does, because that’s kind of the enterprise option, but for smaller events that just want to sell tickets, scan people in, conduct transactions but at a lower price point – that’s what this is for.”

As a dedicated payment system, UK-based Butlr also has an ambition to strengthen the technological hand of those it works with, which includes independent festivals and up to 700 venues. At Brighton’s On The Beach, Butlr displayed QR codes on posters and screens around the event, which allowed customers to order using their phones and receive a push notification when their order was ready to collect.

“We had four members of staff, compared to 50 on the main bar, and we were responsible for 50% of the takings,” says Biggins. “We want to avoid those scrums at the bar, five-deep. In my opinion, those should be a thing of the past. But as with all things, it takes time for adoption.”

“We want to avoid those scrums at the bar, five-deep. In my opinion, those should be a thing of the past”

At festivals of the future, he says, Butlr plans to spread its PickUp points around a site. “So rather than having one big bar miles away, we will have points really close to the stage. You scan a QR code, choose a PickUp point, and pick up pre-made drinks. That’s our vision of the future and we are starting to do it now.”

The wider future, of course, is a carefully managed return to business, as events attempt to gauge demand in a market where they haven’t drawn an audience in eighteen months or so. For cashless technology, the picture is a combination of the highly ambitious and the very down to earth.

“In five years from now, I think we can expect truly immersive and customised event experiences,” says Thomas.

“The launch of ABBA’s live event experience has shown just how creative events can become. Connected devices and 5G will all create the perfect environment to deliver a unique and tailored event experience for each and every fan. The right cashless solution will connect the fan’s experience to their purchasing preferences. Delivering deep and meaningful engagement can be endless, and the connection between brand and consumer will continue to grow stronger.”

And then there is the down-to-earth side.“I think there’s core tenets that are fundamentals, like, can we make it more invisible?” says Malivuk. “That’s the future of it – being less obtrusive. That’s where everyone’s interests align. If you improve the festival experience, that’s where you are going to see more revenues. Just make it suck less to buy things onsite. If you focus on that piece, everything else follows. Make all those steps that suck, suck less.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Why technology needs teamwork for festival success

Festivals pride themselves on the all-encompassing experience they provide fans, transporting attendees into an entirely new world over the course of a few days. The widespread integration of technology at festivals in recent years has been revolutionary in transforming the festival experience for fans and allowing them to become more immersed than ever before, while also making it a more seamless experience from start to finish.

For organisers, new technologies have also opened the door to data-based insights that have never been actionable before. Whether it’s via chatbots or RFID wristbands, technology is making it possible for organisers to analyse the habits of attendees in order to personalise and curate an experience around their needs and desires.

These unique insights have never been more important for event organisers. Competition is higher than ever due to the ease of access to festivals all over the world and tans’ expectations are higher than ever. Organisers can’t afford to fall at any hurdles or be left trailing behind the rest of the industry.

It’s easy for eager event organisers to get lured into implementing complex technologies on the promise that they will catapult festivals into another realm. However, there is often a misconception that implementing new technologies will remove the necessity for human resource. This is rarely the case: technology is only truly successful with the guidance of human expertise. New technologies can only be implemented effectively with good training, support and a strong relationship between organisers and their technology partners.

When a piece of vital technology fails to function properly, the reputational damage it can cause events can take years to put right

Select your partners carefully
Before choosing a technology partner, you first need to understand what you want to achieve and how it’ll benefit your short and long-term goals as a festival. There are countless innovations that can help elevate festivals and improve the overall experience for attendees, but it’s important to consider who will be there to support you during the integration of the technology. Take the time to look at their credentials, expertise and how much guidance they can provide – don’t just go for the cheapest option, go for the option that best aligns with your vision.

When enhancing the festival experience with new technologies, adequate support must be there to support and guide implementation. Take the time to choose a vendor that provides holistic support as well as industry leading expertise and guidance to ensure seamless integration of new technologies. Inevitably, there will be hiccups to overcome; however, with the support and foresight of the right partner, it will cause minor repercussions for attendees.

Adequate support must be there to support and guide implementation

The importance of education
Education is an incredibly important element of the planning, and the implementation process needs to extend well beyond the immediate festival team to include safety and security staff, external food suppliers and even customers themselves.

If integrating RFID technology, for example, organisers must align with all external vendors to make sure they have enough time to familiarise themselves with the new devices and payment process. A pitfall of many organisers is sacrificing a thorough education process, thinking that it’ll take up too much time or be too costly. The reality is that for most, it can be integrated and rolled out with minimal friction. Sharing a step-by-step guide and providing hands-on training sessions on how the technology functions are fundamental, but teaching operators about what to do if the technology should fail is also imperative.

When a piece of vital technology fails to function properly, the reputational damage it can cause events can take years to put right. By putting clear processes in place, outlining how to continue serving the attendees the best they can, the impact on the customer will be minimised. When forming a new relationship with providers, event organisers need to ensure that a crisis plan is in place and ready to implement if something were to go wrong. Communication is vital, so having this in place beforehand will ensure a unified and seamless response.

technology is only truly successful with the guidance of human expertise

Use your insights to learn and review
The attraction of having access to data insights is being able to tailor future events to the demands and behaviours of real attendees. It’s important to closely examine these insights to make strategic decisions based on data, not gut feel. Previously, organisers would have had to predict what the demands on capacity will be at specific times and dates. However, new technologies, such as cashless systems, can collect and provide data on queuing times at particular food and drink stands. This can help organisers with future location planning and also help vendors analyse which food and drink items are most popular so they can ensure that supplies don’t run low.

In addition, data provides a great opportunity for organisers to learn about their fans’ behaviour and as such, market relevant offers personalised to each attendee. The long-term benefits of this behaviour are huge, both in cost effectiveness and in retaining long term customer relationships.

Technology can help support festivals, match fans’ evolving expectations and provide a more seamless and enjoyable experience for both organisers and attendees. By working together closely with experienced technology vendors, educating festival staff on new systems, and utilising existing technology available effectively, organisers can provide memorable experiences (for all the right reasons) to their customers throughout the festival period and beyond.

 


Jason Thomas is CEO of cashless payment specialist Tappit.

Smart money: Put your money where your wrist is

Since bursting onto the festival circuit around five years ago, the popularity of cashless payment technology has grown exponentially, with cashless solutions – usually delivered via an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip attached to a wristband or festival pass – now a familiar sight at some of the world’s most popular events.

After a bumpy start (including high-profile failures at events such as Download and Hurricane Festival), cashless tech has shed its growing pains and is now common across much of mainland Europe. It’s also fast making inroads into largely cashless-resistant markets such as the UK and US, where event promoters, like their continental cousins, are drawn to its sales uplift potential – 15-30%, according to Payzone – and contactless-native audiences to its security and ease of use.

A French revolution
According to Steve Jenner, UK business development director for Belgium-based PlayPass, Britain is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to cashless payment take-up – although it is catching up fast. “Outside the UK, it is now uncommon for an event not to use RFID for payments – to the extent that there is very little noise generated by it, with no debate needed beforehand and no audience fuss after,” he explains. “The established systems now work offline, avoiding the well-publicised issues that affected some of the earlier adopters, like Download in the UK and Hurricane in Germany, both in 2015.

“The UK – while later to the party than most other markets – is now catching up rapidly, following three highly successful summers of cashless festival implementations. PlayPass has doubled its overall worldwide growth in 2018, but we have tripled the number of UK events we work with, and are on course to do at least the same in 2019.”

“On the whole, the UK market has not yet switched to cashless,” agrees Pierre-Henri Deballon, co-founder and CEO of Dijon-based Weezevent, which provides cashless solutions for some of the biggest events in France. Referencing Download 2015 – whose cashless-only set-up was criticised by many festivalgoers after it failed on the first day, leading to the reinstatement of cash payments the following year – Deballon compares barriers to adoption in the UK and other largely non-cashless markets to flying: “It’s similar to aviation,” he says. “It’s the safest way to travel but if one aircraft fails then people become scared of flying.”

“The UK – while later to the party than most other markets – is now catching up rapidly, following three highly successful summers of cashless festival implementations”

Weezevent’s system – which, like PlayPass’s, works offline, avoiding the risk posed by an unstable Internet connection – is used by the majority of France’s cashless festivals, says Deballon, which account for nearly three quarters of the French market. “Of the 100 biggest festivals, 70% of them are cashless,” he says, “and we’re doing 95% of them.”

Weezevent was founded in 2008 by Deballon, Sébastien Tonglet and Yann Pagès, and went cashless with its first major client, France’s biggest festival, les Vieilles Charrues, in 2015. “All the other festivals looked at what they were doing, saw how successful it was and decided to switch,” Deballon explains. “Maybe if Download [2015] had succeeded, it would have been the same in the UK market.”

Reshad Hossenally, founder and managing director of UK- based Event Genius, says the market for cashless technology “is always rising. As a relatively new technology, when compared with the likes of online ticketing and traditional access control, there is a big pool of events and festivals that have the potential to make the switch to cashless and benefit as a result.

“Between 2017 and 2018, we have doubled the number of events we have serviced,” he continues, “with lots more events for the winter booked in on top of this.

“As the technology becomes more widely adopted, it is also opening up a broader range of industries. We’ve used our technology at music festivals; food and drink festivals; winter and Christmas carnival events; large-scale clubbing and warehouse events and more, and are targeting even more sectors for 2019.”

“Like all technologies, cashless technology develops at a mile a minute, and the technology used back in 2015 is well and truly a thing of the past”

Hossenally says RFID payment technology has come on in leaps and bounds since the dark days of 2015 – something the company is keen to make clear to event organisers. “What we always try to communicate is that, like all technologies, cashless technology develops at a mile a minute,” he explains, “and the technology used back in 2015 is well and truly a thing of the past. Today the tech is far more advanced, reliable and robust.

“Major failures are often related to networking issues. At Event Genius, we have developed our solution, Event Genius Pay, to be able to run completely offline, mitigating any possibility of downtime.”

Triple threat
It’s easy to see why downtime is such a major concern for cashless events: for festivals, especially – where the trading ‘year’ is compressed into just two or three days – any outage could be catastrophic. “If the system fails, it would have many impacts,” says Deballon. “We service over 200 festivals, and often have maybe 10-20 on any one weekend, and we’ve never had the organiser not being able to sell – if a festival can’t process payments, that’s like a normal business being closed for weeks…”

When it works, however – and it’s worth noting there have been no major festival RFID failures for nearly four years – cashless payment technology benefits event organisers and punters alike. The chief advantages of going cashless, says Jason Thomas, global CEO of Tappit, whose clients include Bestival and Creamfields Hong Kong, as well as several major sporting venues, “can all be summed up in three main points: Firstly, it improves the fan experience. Secondly, it increases revenues through speeding up transactions and significantly reducing fraud. And thirdly, it gives event organisers valuable data and insights.”

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 80, or subscribe to the magazine here

Fyre Festival: lessons learnt and myths debunked

The launch of two Fyre Festival documentaries earlier this month must have been the highlight of many event professionals’ week, or even year. Online streaming platforms Hulu and Netflix released separate documentaries revisiting the disastrous Bahamas-based Fyre Festival, and they have been the talk of the town ever since.

Aside from lashings of schadenfreude and a huge amount of empathy for those who lost money and livelihoods, a few things emerged from Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Hulu’s Fyre Fraud that are important to set straight.

True: Social media, influencers and brands can make or break an event
Get these three things right and the world is your oyster. The fact that Fyre sold out instantly was an incredible testament to the care taken by agencies surrounding the brand and design, as well as the power of social media and influencers. But the terrible fact was that this marketing was not based on reality.

While a set of supermodels sold the event, a simple tweet broke the horror story to the world: that pitiful, sweaty cheese sandwich. So, please be careful – the terrible experience of one customer can make global headlines in seconds.

Future launches of festivals and events will reveal whether consumer trust in new brands “selling the dream” has been broken, or at least whether fans will require more substantiation before deciding to part with their cash.

False: You can’t use cashless wristbands if there is no wifi
Thankfully, the Tappit team had no involvement with Fyre Festival. However, what we do know is that our solution does not require wifi to operate. Reporting and analytics by events organisers might be marginally slower as a result, but a lack of wifi does not cause a problem with regards to implementation. Even on a far-flung island – which Pablo Escobar may or may not have owned – you can integrate the Tappit solution seamlessly.

The fact that Fyre sold out instantly was an incredible testament to the care taken by agencies surrounding the brand and design

True: Going cashless is the future of events
Fyre correctly tapped into a major trend for customers and event owners alike: going cashless is the future. Cash is used in less than 1% of transactions in Sweden — and Tappit’s recent global survey of 800 festivalgoers found that 73% prefer being cashless at festivals.

For organisers, too, there are huge benefits to going cashless. Valuable data and insights are gained, helping organisers to understand their fanbase and target their marketing. Profits increase due to faster transactions, increased spending and a reduction in administrative costs and, of course, theft and fraud are virtually eliminated. Sadly, in the case of Fyre Festival, no one benefited at all.

True and false: The fans’ money was at risk on the wristband
One of the benefits of going cashless as an event organiser is to understand how much people are willing to spend at your event. This, in turn, gives greater insight into how to create a memorable experience and provide the products that customers want to buy.

At Fyre, from what it seems the fans did lose their money. However, this is an issue wherever and whenever people buy something long distance. Whether it is a gift card or a holiday, if a retailer goes bankrupt before the customer receives the goods, then their money is at risk.

If event organisers choose to work with Tappit, our dedicated account management team helps them to create the right solution for their audience. We work together to ascertain whether keeping funds in escrow or ensuring the transactions are stored on our partner’s merchant account is the best way to reassure customers or aid cash flow.

Being honest with fans might not have saved Fyre Festival, but it certainly would not have created a global story that provided enough content for two full-length documentaries

True: Honesty and timely communication make a difference
When things turned sour for Fyre, they went downhill quickly. Yet, as many people mentioned in the documentary, simple and fast communication might have made a difference. Being honest with fans might not have saved Fyre Festival, but it certainly would not have created a global story that provided enough content for two full-length documentaries.

So, while everyone is discussing Fyre around the water cooler for the next few weeks, please think about what you can learn and what you can do to ensure that your event is making the headlines for the right reasons.

 


Jenni Young is chief marketing officer of Tappit.

Tappit appoints former Eventbrite exec as CCO

RFID and cashless payment specialist Tappit has appointed Duco Smit, formerly director of business development at Eventbrite, as chief commercial officer.

Smit was the first employee of Ticketscript, which grew to become Europe’s largest self-service ticketing platform, and rose to become sales director for Europe before the company was sold to Eventbrite last January. At Eventbrite, he became director of business development for continental Europe.

In his new role, Smit will be based in the Netherlands, leading UK-based Tappit’s plans for international expansion and supporting the company in growing its roster of cashless festivals, events and venues. The company is the cashless payments partner of Bestival and Camp Bestival, as well as Creamfields Hong Kong and the after-race concerts at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“Duco shares our passion for live events and he joins at a very exciting time for the business”

“The growth of Tappit is clear, as they are rapidly becoming a leader in the live event space,” he comments. “It’s a great time to become involved, as businesses realise they can constantly improve their customer offer – and event safety – by analysing spend and footfall data throughout their venues.”

Jason Thomas, CEO of tappit, adds: “We’re extremely excited about Duco joining our global team. He brings invaluable experience from one of the largest event companies in the world and will play a key role in the company continuing to increase its global presence.

“Duco shares our passion for live events and he joins at a very exciting time for the business, as the global events market increasingly continues to embrace cashless solutions.”

 

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Bestival goes cashless for 2018

UK festivals Bestival and Camp Bestival are to go partially cashless after agreeing a three-year strategic partnership with RFID specialist Tappit.

Festivalgoers at both Camp Bestival (26–29 July) and Bestival (2–5 August) will use Tappit’s contactless payment wristbands for the first time, streamlining the payment process while allowing the festivals to capture more data from their ticket buyers.

“Bestival has always been about escapism, creating an otherworldly wonderland where you can leave all the stresses of real life behind,” says Bestival co-founder and curator Rob da Bank. “We think Tappit’s wristbands can be a big part of that, reducing queues and hassles and making things a bit more carefree for festivalgoers. They also give us the sort of real-time data insights that can help us with a lot of things like crowd management.

“We are looking forward to bringing this experience to two of the UK’s leading festivals”

“We eventually foresee it all going totally cashless, which will make the whole Bestival experience even more easygoing for everyone.”

Adds Tappit CEO Jason Thomas: “The process of going cashless isn’t as costly, complicated or time consuming as people may think. Working at a strategic level with Bestival, we’ve been able to establish a cashless payments infrastructure in less than a month. Event owners using Tappit benefit from a proven return on investment, improved customer satisfaction and greater business insight.

“We’ve worked with major events all around the world and we are looking forward to bringing this experience to two of the UK’s leading festivals.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.