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Ticket Addons are making experiences personal

Each individual is unique. A perfect experience is only perfect if it’s personal and catered to individuals. While most event planners like to think they plan amazing experiences – they’re not personal. From a business point of view, you cannot build personal experiences for thousands of visitors. Or can you? We think so and that’s why we developed ticket addons.

Let’s start with a simple idea: What if you want to include a beer with every ticket you sell? Or add a t-shirt? How about a well-tailored experience that guides a couple to a special seminar, a cruise line, two drinks and a romantic dinner in two? It doesn’t seem very easy if you have to hand out 10 tickets just for this. But there’s a better way of looking at the problem.

Scenarios like these are the reason we started redesigning the concept of how access to experiences and goods work, starting with the ticket.

This post is a follow up on the post on new technologies we’ve developed at Oveit. The previous post described the ways we are making event management more accessible.

But let’s return to the topic at hand: at it’s core the concept of a ticket is pretty simple: you get a digital or physical token that guarantees you access to an event. That’s it – a binary gateway for your entry in an event. You’re either allowed in or not.

If we want to extend this concept we have to work with a more complex idea of a digital wallet, where you can add all sorts of perks and benefits one has access to.

Adding access to goods and services to a ticket

In the end the concept of a ticket addon is one that’s very old and well established. We think of the addon as a something (good, service or whatever else) that comes on top of your right to access an event or venue. Basically, the question can be distilled to: how do we trade non-fungible payment tokens? Fungible means something that can be broken down in smaller parts (like money) and these sub-parts are similar. Non fungible means you cannot break it into smaller parts. Also, in our case – you cannot trade it.

Version 1.0 : tickets with addons

The first thing we did is make it easy for addons and benefits to be added to a certain ticket. Once you purchase a certain ticket, this ticket gives you access to some specific addons. Let’s say you buy the “Gold” version of a ticket. This entitles you to access to the VIP area, dinner, 2 beers and the event’s t-shirt. Your friend, who purchased the “Silver” ticket can only get access to the event, in the General access area and one beer. Tough luck.

The process is fairly simple too: when setting up a ticket you can add as many benefits as needed, with the proper quantity. In our flow, 0 stands for infinity. Yes, you can hand out an infinity amount of beers for your buddies.

Ticket addons
Ticket addons

As you see – it’s all pretty simple to use. Set up an addon per ticket, select its quantity and publish your event.

When visitors come in, they can either show their electronic ticket (their QR code) or have their NFC wristbands scanned. To scan for perks you can use our free iOS and Android apps. Once it’s scanned, the full amount of ticket addons is showed and whenever visitors are claiming one of their benefits, just tap the proper button in the app (see the mobile app screenshot below) and one unit will be decreased.

Ticket addons on mobile apps
Mobile app perks scanning

Pretty cool, right? That’s what we thought. And then we ran into a problem of complexity: what if you have a limited number of perks but many ways of combining them? The number of needed tickets explodes. What if someone wants to reload their addons. For example they had 2 coffees as addons on their tickets but want one more. There was no way of doing this in the past. So we went further with …

Version 1.5: Addons that can be bundled or unbundled

What is a bundled ticket addon? Very simple – it’s the addon that is surely attached to a ticket. In contrast – the unbundled ticket addon is one which might or might not be attached to a ticket.

Here’s a scenario where these types of addons come into play: someone has purchased the Silver version of a ticket. They don’t have any addon included but access to the event and a hamburger. You, as the event planner, feel generous and you’re working on your loyalty program. You can add the Champagne tour and your event’s branded cap to their ticket.

Bundled and unbundled perks and benefits
Bundled and unbundled ticket addons

Have a look above. This guy or gal is getting a hamburger for sure. But the event cap, champagne tour and the virtual tokes are all up to you, the event owner. You can add them, remove them and in the end track their usage.

Here’s how you can add them. See the screenshot below. Mike (that’s me) can surely have the first 4 ticket addons but it’s up to you if you enable the last 3 and how many of those benefits they will have access to:

Enable ticket addons

Let’s say I want to allow Mike to get 10 caps, just because I’m feeling generous and and he’s also a famous Formula 1 driver.

I can just click “Enable” and add the 10 caps that he is now entitled to:

Add usages to ticket addons
Adding ticket addons

Really simple, right? Yes it is. I can add ticket benefits and addons and create custom experiences for my boutique managed event.

But what happens if I manage a 10 000 people event? What if I want to allow anyone to manage their own custom experience? What if I want each of those 10 000 people to create the perfect package for themselves. Meanwhile I just sit back and see my visitors happy and everything rolling out perfectly. Here’s where the next version of ticket addons comes into play: Allowing visitors to design their own, personal experience.

Version 2.0 : personal experiences for each visitor with self service ticket addons

Right from the beginning we wanted visitors to configure their own personal experiences by choosing the goods and services they want to have access to.

This goes well beyond events. It’s meant to create personalized experiences for an upcoming wave of generations that are used to personal experiences online. Now we bring this convenience offline. Millenials and Gen-X’s want custom tailored experiences and affordable prices.

You, as the event designer or venue owner understand that at its core, this is a problem of logistics. From our perspective unfungible tokens are a great way to deliver these personal experiences and make it usable in real world scenarios.

Sell ticket addons
Purchasable ticket addons

What happens is that you can set whether your addons are prepacked or can be purchased separately and whether they are free or not.

In the frontend visitors can choose the right ticket addons for their private experiences, purchase them in a bundled electronic ticket and than they can access them in the venue.

Pay for ticket addons
Custom selection of ticket addons

What are ticket addons useful for?

We think ticket addons are useful for lots of things but most importantly – safer events and better experiences. Large events tend to be crowded and people tend to get sucked into the experience. They might lose their wallet or credit card and neither you or them want that.

With the prepacked perks we add a special dimension to visitors identity at events – the ownership of goods and services. They don’t need to carry anything with them, as long as they’ve purchased the right addons.

These can be products such as food and beverages, access to experiences or sub-events. Alternatively, addons can also work as the event’s digital currency, allowing all sorts of interactions that are limited by your imagination.

The perfect experience

To summarize – so far event and venue experiences where tightly curated by event planners as they could handle only that much in terms of logistics. Now this experience can become a personal one, engineered by the visitors themselves. The burden of providing it has been lifted using technology.

I hope this was as good for you as it was for us. I’ve saved the best for last: next week we’re talking cashless payments technology for events and venues. Check back soon and see how we developed the technology to help you build your own venue economy. See how edge payments (BTW – what are these ? ) can help increase your revenue by 30 to 60% and improve what you know about your visitors.

Making ticketing and registration better with our new features

In 2019 we’ve worked hard to bring you the best of what we think event management can be. It’s more than ticketing and registration – we thought of new concepts to make your event and venue really stand out.

We focused on three specific areas:

  1. cashless payments for events and venues
  2. prepacked perks and benefits
  3. making ticketing, registration and access control more accessible

I’ll start with number three and in the following days continue with prepacked perks and benefits and ending with cashless payments for events and venues.

Making ticketing and registration accessible to anyone

We noticed that a lot of what we offer is great for mid-sized to large events but to smaller ones it might be a bit too expensive, especially if they’re designing boutique, designer events. In these cases our current business model, where we charge a certain percentage of ticket sales is not really working, as that percentage, however small, might be to much.

At Oveit, we’re working towards a more open model where anyone can set up their own event economy. To make this possible we need to get you started, even when you can’t pay our ticketing software fees. So we made it free for small(er) events.

Small is beautiful: the free software plan for small events

After careful consideration we decided that we could offer our basic plan (ticketing and registration) for events under 500 visitors, for free. Yes, you can now get free event software for all your events under 500 attendees. This includes both paid and free events. This is our way of supporting you and our passionate community of event planners for their startup events. Just like you, we’re builders and entrepreneurs and we’re here to help you.

So what do you get with the free plan for event management?

Let’s have a look at the main features you’re getting with the free plan:

  • ticketing and registration: create multiple types of tickets, set different pricing points and start selling them instantly;
  • direct payments in your account: connect your PayPal or Stripe account and get payments directly into your account, no waiting time required;
  • registration forms: create registration forms for your attendees and buyers, extending the data you collect from your visitors;
  • seated / non-seated: easily create seating maps or just allow for general access for your events
  • customize follow up messages: add a personal touch to the follow up emails, after your visitors buy the tickets;
  • discount vouchers: an easy way to create special promotions for your visitors;
  • embed registration on your website: we think your registration, for your event, should be happening on your website, without competing events distracting your customers. It’s really easy to set up too: just copy and paste a short embed code;
  • get your team on board: easily create sub-accounts for your colleagues, whether they are checkin staff, event marketers or any other type of staff;
  • scanning apps for Android and iOS: the tickets are sent to your visitors by email and they can bring them with them either in printed form or digitally. Use our free apps to scan your visitors in fast and securely.

If this sounds interesting to you – check out an extended list of features for the free event app and signup now. If you registered sometimes in the past and your plan is not yet free – login to your account and go to the Pricing plan section. There you can choose the Starter account, free for up to 500 visitors.

Now I have to be open: there’s some great features that are not included in the free plan, like cashless payments or prepacked perks. Larger events (those with more than 500 visitors) also start paying after they’ve crossed the threshold. But we think this is a great start in helping you get your event off the ground.

Invite only tickets

We noticed there is a need for invite-only tickets, for all sorts of events, ranging from corporate, to conferences, to festivals.

The invitation only ticket can be easily set up in the ticket categories section by choosing “Private invitation” and entering an invite code:

Choose private invitation, enter the invite code and publish.

When your visitors will see the embedded registration widget, they can enter the invitation code in the checkout process, as seen below:

Invite only tickets claiming

Timezone settings

As Oveit has grown to be a tool used by event planners all over the world we felt the need to make it a bit more local.

At first we’ve integrated several languages (we started with English and added German, French, Spanish, Nederlands ).

But that didn’t seem to be enough. One thing that was really necessary was a time zone setting. By default, when you register now your timezone is set automatically, together with date/time display settings. You can change them in your account settings later on.

However, we know you might organize events all over the world and now there is a setting for each event to have its own date-time option, according to where it’s happening.

One more thing – what happens when you need to register visitors at the entrance?

Box office ticket sales and registration

We have been receiving requests from our users about how they could reliably register visitors at the entrance. For a long time this feature posed challenges on how can it be used reliably.

Good news – we think we cracked it. You can now use Oveit for registrations at the entrance or issuing tickets on the fly in in the box office.

We are still testing it with some of our most loyal customers so if you don’t have it – shoot us a message or contact us via live chat and we’ll make sure you can use it too.

So here’s how you start selling tickets at the entrance:

  • Press the + button right next to the ticket counter
  • Choose the type of ticket you want to generate
  • [ Optional ] enter the visitor details
  • [ Optional ] enter registration form details, if any
  • Generate & print ticket

That’s pretty much it in terms of ticketing and registration. We hope it makes your life easier and your events better. We’ll soon show you more details on the features we’ve been working on, especially in the prepacked perks and benefits area, as well as cashless payments.

IBTM 2019: What did we showcase in Barcelona ?

Last week Oveit attended IBTM 2019 in Barcelona as one of the leading Tech Watch Award shortlisted startups. IBTM is the largest business and travel meetings event in the world, where professionals meet to discuss the future trends of the event industry.

We’ve had a blast. It was an overwhelming event and the good people at Reed Exhibitions do a great job at running it and making it the global center of business and travel meetings.

Cashless payments for event professionals and the travel industry at IBTM 2019

In the past two years Oveit has been steadily evolving from events registration and access control to cashless payments, audience engagement and prepacked benefits. We’ve basically moved from an event registration tool to one which event planners can use to create an event economy. This is what we presented at IBTM 2019.

Cashless payments on mobile - Oveit

What we noticed was that a lot of the revenue and the experience around an event is outside of the planers’ traditionally accessible channels. For festivals, as an example, most of the revenue is generated not in ticket sales but in the economy developed around the festivals. Local vendors, bars, merchandising and more.

Our technology relies at heart on NFC contactless payment tokens (such as wristbands or cards) which visitors can top up and use to pay within the event venue. In the background, the event organizer manages the cashflow and distributes funds to vendors, usually retaining a certain management fee.

A new way to see the business of events and venues

With what is usually called “closed loop payments“, events and venues generate an extra stream of revenue but most important – they get access to relevant data.

With our technology event planners are able to plan their future events based on actual behavior data. They get an insight on what is popular and what is not, what is a key consumer driver and what are the most loyal visitors for their experiences.

This creates a virtuous cycle of better experiences, which generate more revenue and data and better options for the planner to improve on previous experiences.

Prepacked perks and benefits launched at IBTM 2019

At one point we’ve asked ourselves – what makes a ticket valuable? What do people care about when they’re buying a ticket. We asked the event visitors and the event planners. The answer is a bit of common sense: they are actually buying the experience that ticket entitles them to.

Cashless payments end user apps on mobile - Oveit

With this in mind we went on and developed our prepacked perks technology where one ticket can hold more than just the access to an event. It can hold access to specific sub-events, goods such as a t-shirt or a hamburger, services such as a cruise line or accommodations to the hotel.

With the prepacked perks, which can be stored on mobile devices, on RFID wristbands or even on biometric signatures, the experience can be vastly extended. Perks make the conventional limitations fade away for event planners and venues.

Facial biometrics access and payments

We’ve worked with some of the best experts in machine learning in computer vision to provide event planners a way to use biometrics in their event.

Facial biometrics for events and venues - Oveit
FacePay can hold digital balances and prepacked perks

By pairing facial features with access control rights, visitors can just
walk in, without a need to take out their ticket or unlock their smartphone. The scanning apps are loaded on smartphones, without a need to buy or rent hard to install equipment such as HD cameras or powerful computers.

At the same time they can use their face to pay for goods within the venue, just as they would when buying with a contactless card.

Edge Payments

Probably the most interesting technology we have presented at IBTM 2019 in Barcelona was edge payments .

Edge payments equipment. Edge computing for large events and venues.
Oveit’s Edge Payments box and interfaces.

So what are edge payments? For one – they are a hybrid between closed and open loop payments. A way for visitors to top up a digital balance in a closed loop economy and use it to pay for goods.

The second attribute and the most important one is that this technology allows operating payments even when the internet is down. This is usually due to massive numbers of visitors in one place, overloading the network or just plain old technology crashes. It’s great for large venues or conferences and especially festivals.

Oveit’s tech operates at the edge of the cloud, making sure that everything is operational even when all other systems have fallen.

It was a pleasure meeting all the people that stopped by our booth and the ones we visited at theirs, especially in the hospitality industry, where we see great opportunities for our technology to improve experiences.

Barcelona is an amazing city and IBTM fits right in, especially for event and
hospitality professionals. See y’all soon!