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Everything you need to know about hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting

There is no doubt that we all miss our normal lives and activities. A year into the pandemic and most of us still live under imposed restrictions. Well, the good news is that part of our in-person activities which are put on pause as we speak can be replicated in a virtual environment, even when we talk about a virtual wine tasting.

In this post, we’re going to place the focus on virtual wine tastings. The end result replicates really well in-person wine tastings but setting up such an experience is slightly different. For those that would rather experience new wines from the comfort of their own homes, a virtual wine tasting can be a great alternative.

If you are thinking to host a virtual wine tasting, here are some tips that will help you create a memorable experience. 

What is a Virtual Wine Tasting?

Before diving into what it takes to host a virtual wine tasting, let’s begin by briefly describing this relatively new concept. Well, you can think of it as a regular wine tasting (in-person), where participants taste and learn about different wine selections from a winery. While the purpose of both in-person and virtual wine tastings is the same, the main difference lies in how this action is performed. Instead of visiting a winery, the winery comes to your door. In both cases, wineries take care of the whole experience. Their duty is to coordinate the wine shipment, making sure that it arrives at your location in time. Then, organizers will share further details on how to access the virtual wine tasting, including platform capabilities for a better experience. 

Date & Time for your Virtual Wine Tasting

Well, instead of deciding a date & time yourself, provide your audience with the option to do it themselves. To avoid the back and forth texting to find out when everyone’s free, consider using a tool such as Pick. This app integrates with Gmail and Office 365. It simply shows those times when everyone is available. Based on that, you can choose a date & time that hopefully works for everybody that’s interested to attend.

Provide clear tasting instructions ahead of time

To make sure that your wines are enjoyed properly by your audience, provide clear instructions on how the virtual tasting should be approached. When is the right time for your guests to open their wine bottles? Should they preserve the wines at a certain temperature? What about using a clean glass for each wine? Should they taste the wines in a specific order? 

This might seem like a basic piece of information, but communicating it ahead of time can only make you look more organized and professional. If you ship wine kits before the actual virtual wine tasting, it might be a good idea to include those instructions in there. 

Choose a tasting theme

It’s always recommended to decide upon a theme beforehand. In the case of virtual wine testings, a theme translates into deciding on particular wines to taste. These are some common themes when it comes to wine-tasting:

  • Regional

A regional wine tasting theme brings together wines from a particular region. For instance, no other wines are allowed besides those coming from the Veneto region of Italy or any other region.

  • Vertical

A vertical tasting requires a bit more effort since it includes the wine of a producer across a range of years. The key element for a proper vertical tasting is to assure that the wine bottles were stored properly. However, if you manage to put together this type of tasting, the outcome can be great, since your audience can learn about a winemaker’s style, getting familiar with the various vintage styles and how those changed during the years. 

  • Horizontal

This is a common theme for both virtual and in-person wine tastings. It involves wines that are produced in the same year, from different producers. It gives more flexibility since all new releases can be included. 

  • Blind Tasting

This one works best when comparing different types of grapes, like Pinot Grigio, Shiraz, Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir. It can be used as an ice breaker for virtual wine tastings with many participants. The wine labels are covered and participants need to guess the country, grape, and even the price range based on the taste of wine. 

Photo by David Bartus from Pexels

Think of your setting in advance

As the virtual wine tasting host, make sure to choose a setting without distractions. If you go live from your home, tidy up in advance. Run some tests in advance and check your internet connection, camera, and microphone. If you have the option to host the virtual wine tasting inside an actual winery, good for you. That will only make things more fun for your audience. You can surprise them with a virtual tour of the winery before the actual tasting begins, sharing with them your favorite parts of it. 

Custom shipments for your audience

Why not create special packages for your audience? An in-person wine tasting takes care of all the necessary supplies. To make it easier, enable your audience to order their wine supplies in advance. Inside each package, you can include different wines to be tested, food pairings, and maybe some wine glasses as well. 

To present the available packages more engaging instead of simply posting them on your website, why not create a live shopping session? For instance, with Streams.live, our live stream shopping and virtual event software, creating a live shopping session is as easy as possible. It allows your viewers to purchase different promoted packages, straight from the video. The tool comes with a chat & questions feature, creating engagement and allowing you as the presenter to answer incoming questions in real-time when it matters the most. 

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

Decide upon a platform

Well, you’ve taken care of all the small details. Now it’s time to choose your technology. This might be the most important step of the process when hosting a virtual wine tasting. In the end, this is where your audience will interact, exchange thoughts, and experience all the hard work that you’ve put in. 

A large number of virtual wine tastings take place on Zoom. It is indeed a reliable and user-friendly video conferencing tool. However, if you want to go that extra mile and create a more personalized experience, closer to your brand and believes, you might consider as well Oveit and Streams.live. Our solutions are interconnected. Oveit is our event registration software, that allows you to register attendees, customize confirmation emails, send out electronic tickets with unique access codes, collect valuable information through fully customizable registration forms and receive direct payments into your account once an order is placed. 

In summary

Who said that in-person wine tastings can’t be replicated in a virtual environment? Social distancing doesn’t exist in the online world and opportunities are limitless. As physical locations, including wineries, remain closed due to the pandemic, events such as virtual wine tastings are a great way to keep a business alive. It is a new way of interacting for all of us, so don’t be afraid to try it out. It won’t be perfect from your first try, which is absolutely normal. One last piece of advice is to always ask for feedback. Your audience is in the right position to provide you with constructive feedback after each virtual wine tasting. 

Stay safe. And cheers!

Ticket Addons are making experiences personal

Ticket addons are the very next step in building amazing, personal experiences for your guests. For a very, very long time tickets have been just a simple way to allow people to access an event or claim some service, like airline travel or public transport.

It essentially went like this: you would purchase a ticket that would allow you one (and just one) access. It was mostly a technical limitation at first but soon after became the norm. When tickets were just pieces of paper, it was much easier to sell and check one ticket per person. If there were two people involved, they would buy two tickets. This made it easier to manage long queues. Each person would show their ticket and they would be allowed entry.

Ticket addons that live on your mobile phone
Ticket addons that live on your mobile phone or an NFC wristband

But things have changed quite a lot in the past 10 years. Most events switched from delivering physical to electronic tickets. Now most tickets are stored on your phone rather than in your wallet.

This opens up so many possibilities. One is the option of storing multiple tickets in one device. The other is storing more access credentials in one ticket. One ticket doesn’t need to mean just one entry. It can mean multiple entries and even more – it can mean multiple benefits in just one ticket. We call these benefits ticket addons. That’s because they are stored “on top” of the original benefit, which is the right to visit the event.

What kind of ticket addons can I offer my guests?

Ticket addons can come in many shapes and sizes. You can offer your visitors all sorts of options. Let’s say you are preparing a multi-day conference and you want to tailor different types of tickets with all sorts of perks and benefits.

Let’s think of some hypothetical “VIP” ticket. Such a ticket would maybe have access to all days of the event. So you can have a special addon for each day. This way you can separate access rights based on days. You can add a special ticket addon for free coffee. Each time the VIP goes to get some coffee, they can show their ticket and they get their free coffee. In the backend you record all of these “transactions” so you can get a sense of just how much coffee the VIP’s ordered.

Direct payments for event registration
Ticket addon payments go straight to your account

Other ways of using ticket addons is creating special access rights within the event. Let’s say you want to create a special “backstage” area where only the speakers and VIP visitors have access. You can add a “backstage access” addon and scan people in just to make sure only the right visitors are getting in.

What happens if you want to take your guests on a city tour, maybe for those travelling from abroad? You guessed it – use ticket addons. In this case you might use a “City tour” addon and maybe a “Free lunch” addon where users can both travel the city and get a free lunch when they get tired.

Maybe some of them would fancy a visit to one of the local attractions, such as a museum. How would you like to partner with the most important art museum in town and allow conference guests to also visit the museum and enjoy the art collections as part of … you guessed it – the event’s ticket addons.

The cool thing about all of this is that you don’t need any fancy software or hardware. Your visitors only need to have their ticket stored on their mobile devices. And it’s just one ticket that holds all of these benefits and addons in one place.

Ticket addons help you gamify your event

One other way you can use ticket addons is gamification. Let’s imagine a sort of treasure hunt where visitors have to find and engage with four different checkpoints. These might be some cool booths where they can engage with your event story or sponsor booths.  When the treasure hunt is done and all of the checkpoints have been found they can go to a final section of your event’s game where they can claim a prize.

In the backend all checkpoint interactions are recorded and you will get an understanding of your visitor’s journeys. You will also be making sponsors happy if you place their brand within your event’s treasure hunt. Using ticket addons can help visitors engage better with your partners, especially since experiential marketing is such a hot topic these days.

By understanding how your visitors interact with your gamified experience you will be able to improve the experience and increase your chance at having your visitors return.

Ticket addons as a package or purchased on demand

When we built the first version of our ticket addons we just wanted to help event planners pack more ticket entries in one ticket. As event registration solution evolved, so did our ticket addons feature. We first separated tickets from optional tickets. They still came with a predefined structure. You could buy a ticket that would allow you to buy x, y and z ticket addons. It was just that tickets could only hold one specific set of addons. Customers couldn’t really choose what addon they would get.

So we introduced two options of addons: bundled and unbundled. This meant that ticket addons could be sold as a package but extra addons could be purchased by visitors based on their own preference. Using the example above – maybe you were not a big fan of museum so you would choose to not buy the art museum ticket addon. But you could, for example, buy a ticket addon that allows you to claim two cocktails at the conference party.

This now helps the experience planners that use our software to create personalized experiences for their guests, at scale. Whether you have 100 or 100 000 visitors, you can create personalized experiences by using ticket addons for your guests.

Now that you get an understanding of what ticket addons are and how you can use them, let’s see how you can technically make them work for your event:

Why did we create ticket addons?

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.

The rise of touchless technology and its applications

In a world where social distancing is the new normal, touchless technologies begin to gain more and more interest. Before the global pandemic, people didn’t think twice before touching door handles, elevator buttons, or check-in kiosks. But as we speak, high touch surfaces are a hot topic as worries over health and safety are on the rise. As a result, fintech innovators and not only, are looking for ground-breaking alternatives to keep us all safe.

‘Work from home’ is certainly not a permanent alternative, since many businesses require employees to be physically present to get the job done. As you probably heard this before, Coronavirus is not likely to go away anytime soon, so touchless technologies seem like a great opportunity to get things back to normal. In response, some companies started to implement a touchless check-in process for visitors or even Bluetooth access control for employees.

It seems like it’s the perfect time to go touchless. Even if this need is forced by uncontrollable factors, such as a global pandemic, we should look on the bright side of it and become aware that going touchless is in our own good. So, let’s go over some examples of touchless technologies and find out more about it in general.

What are we trying to say by ‘going touchless’?

Well, despite how relevant this topic is as we speak, businesses going touchless is not new. In fact, touchless technology has been around since the late 1980s when motion-sensing faucets and soap dispensers were common within public restrooms. Today, we experience touchless technology several times a day. Just think of how many times you walk through an automated door or think of those moments when you ask Siri to turn on the timer for you.

As you can see, touchless technology is not limited to hygiene and safety. Societies look up to it and treat it as a forward-thinking and modern alternative to complete daily tasks. With that being said, we can define touchless technology as anything that can function without the need to physically touch a device.

Example of touchless technologies

  • Gesture recognition

This is among the most common types of touchless technology. The way we interact with devices is simply replaced by gestures. For instance, waving your hand to activate an automated door replaces the need to physically touch its knob or button.

  • Touchless sensing

Similar to gesture recognition, touchless sensing can detect the movement of an individual under a sensor. In our day to day lives, we come across this no-touch technology several times per day. Think of the last time that you went to a gas station, grocery store, or lodging facility. Most likely, there was no one to open the door for you and you didn’t have to do it yourself either. Thanks to touchless sensing, such actions are simplified and become part of our daily routine.

  • Voice recognition

This form of touchless technology enables users to control a device by speaking to it. Android and Apple devices can be controlled by simply stating some keywords, such as ‘Hey Siri’, replacing the need to touch that device at all. Setting up reminders, timers or other tasks is as quick and simple as ever.

  • Facial recognition

Not long ago, facial recognition seemed to be far from reality. Now, this touchless technology is available for millions of people, most often utilized to unlock smartphones. However, as more people gained interest in its capabilities, innovators found great use cases and environments where it can be applied. The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines started a test involving ‘biometric boarding’, allowing passengers to board the aircraft without showing their ID’s anymore, recognizing passengers by their faces.

  • Personal devices

Apple Pay has proved that traditional credit cards can be left behind and that payments can be completed from our own devices. Compared to contactless payments, where users must touch the POS with a card to complete a transaction, personal devices provide a ‘cleaner’ alternative where that ‘touch’ is not necessary to successfully complete a transaction. Modern personal devices can store your credit/debit cards virtually. For safety reasons, upon completing a purchase, users can authenticate by using their own faces or by inputting a personal identification number.

Oveit as a touchless payment solution

At Oveit, we strongly believe in the power of touchless technologies, especially during the current situation, that of a global pandemic. Until now, our Economy as a Service solution was partially touchless since economy members were required to visit an on-site top-up point to add money onto their digital wallets.

To tackle this challenge and identify ourselves as a complete touchless solution, we started to think the extra mile and concluded that an end-user App is what we need. The purpose of this App is to enhance the experience of our end-users, enabling them to top-up money in a defined economy, from the comfort of their own houses or wherever an internet connection is available.

For economy owners, this alternative should reduce costs, with fewer staff members required. Economy members simply become their own cashiers and upon arrival, their digital wallets should be ready to go. Also, if activated, the auto top-up feature allows users to set a warning limit. As soon as that warning limit is reached, the digital wallet automatically adds up the pre-defined amount from the linked credit/debit card.

How to organize safe events during a global pandemic?

Being an event planner during a global pandemic might be the worst nightmare that you can ever think of. However, these are things that we have little control over and require us to adapt accordingly. As we get used with living under imposed government restrictions, we can see several precautionary measures being removed from our daily lives.

Unfortunately, this new virus is directly related to mass gatherings, which are at the forefront of hosting events. Among the first precautionary measures imposed by governments was to restrict and put on pause the world of live events. During these challenging times, members of the meetings industry create complicated scenarios and endless debates on what it takes to organize events in such a global pandemic.

Therefore, this article is going to focus on different measures that can help our beloved world of live events to get back to normal during these unprecedented times. It is important to keep in mind that precautionary measures are extremely important, and we will only succeed by following strict guidelines. As we speak, an increasing number of events are either cancelled or postponed. Those that are postponed will soon have to take place and event organizers should be prepared to host them accordingly.

Pre-event safety measures

  • Implement attendance policies and restrictions

Stay up to date and determine which countries may experience an upward trend in terms of Coronavirus cases. The John Hopkins live-tracker is a great tool that keeps you updated in real time. Try to impose restrictions and limit potential attendees that visited in the past 60 days countries with a high-risk of infection.

  • Filter participants based on country of origin

It might be a good idea to require international attendees to bring their passports for an additional layer of safety. Those participants that visited a high-risk country in the past 60 days should not be allowed to enter the event premises. However, make sure to consult local travel restrictions and guidelines before taking such decision.

  • Provide flexible cancellation policies given the current situation

If for some reason you decide to postpone or cancel your event, show that you care and enable participants to use tickets for future editions or apply refunds if there will be no future editions anytime soon.

  • Consider hosting a Hybrid event

In our previous posts, we’ve talked about the benefits of hosting hybrid events. Given the current situation that we all deal with, that of a global pandemic, hybrid events might be the answer to deliver events to a broad audience. This way, those failing the screening process can attend the event virtually from all over the world. Streams.live is a streaming solution designed to accommodate the needs of a hybrid event and it can keep your audience engaged with little to no effort.

  • Public health tracking through data collection waivers

Follow global privacy regulations and collect necessary information from your participants. If any incidents occur during your event, public officials should at least have a name and a contact number from those attending. In the given context of a global pandemic, this information is required to conduct epidemiological investigations. With Oveit, relevant data can be collected through registration forms (GDPR compliant) and attendees are required to fill those details before they receive their electronic tickets.

The form setup. You can choose from text, dropdown lists, email, dates and file uploads
  • Keep attendees updated with special event rules

Make sure that participants are well-informed and aware of any uncommon precautionary measures implemented. It can take the form of a newsletter and most organizers send these updates two-weeks in advance, one-week prior, three-days prior, one day prior and a small recap during the event day.

Impose day of event precautionary measures

  • Temperature screenings at the event venue

As you already know, one common Coronavirus symptom is high body temperature. Therefore, before entering the event premises, staff members should screen attendees with thermal scanners to decrease the risk of infection. Those with temperatures higher than 37.8C must be escorted to an isolation room for additional investigations.

  • Designated isolation holding room

Together with health agencies, event organizers might have to prepare an isolation holding room for suspected cases. This room should follow strict disinfection procedures and medical staff must be present.

  • Regular deep cleaning throughout the venue

Contract an experienced cleaning team that gets the job done. Make sure that high-touch areas, such as door knobs, stairs handrails, chairs, registration areas and bathrooms are cleaned more often. Appropriate disinfectant substance should be used for deep cleaning.

  • Display health notices at the venue

Place health notices throughout the venue, especially in areas where attendees tend to crowd. These should include social distancing reminders, frequent hygiene practices, and other relevant precautionary measures.

  • Safety measures for Food & Beverage providers

Communicate with food vendors well in advance and educate them on best practices on how food should be served during your event. For example, instead of open buffets, advise them to serve individually wrapped food. If your F&B providers insist on using open buffets, make sure that they use splash and sneeze guards or other relevant food safety measures.

  • Hand sanitization devices around communal areas

Forcing people to use bathrooms for hand hygiene is not a good option since it compromises social distancing rules. Instead, a good backup plan is to place hand sanitizer dispensers in key areas, especially nearby meal, and beverage stations.

Follow-up after the event

  • Post-event surveys

Use these surveys to analyse your event’s success, but also to find out if any of those who attended are feeling unwell to avoid the spread of the virus.

  • Prepare attendee data if necessary

If public officials need the attendee data to conduct an epidemiological investigation, make sure that you have it handy and ready to go. Time is extremely important in such investigations.

In summary

Remember, these are general guidelines and before applying any of them make sure to double check with local authorities. We hope that events will get back to normal as soon as possible, but before that, better be safe than sorry.

At Oveit, our mission is to help event organizers accomplish their goals, even during challenging times. We try to find innovative ways in which our technology can be used in force majeure situations. Hopefully, these guidelines will help you get back and running.

Stay safe!

How to make event venues safe with Cashless Payments?

There is no doubt that the world of events and hospitality has been seriously hit by COVID-19 and the imposed lockdowns. Major festivals around the globe got postponed or canceled. Across Europe and not only, governments begin to realize that imposed restrictions are indeed an efficient way to limit the spread of the virus, but they also realize that such restrictions can only harm economies in the long term. So, should event organizers implement cashless payments as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of the virus?

As economies get back and running after weeks of lockdown, many of us face unprecedented situations in terms of conducting business and daily activities. Even before this pandemic, it was obvious that the use of cashless payments solutions around the world is on the rise. But guess what? In a post-COVID-19 world, cashless payments might be more important than ever.

It is predicted that a new type of customer will emerge from this pandemic. We already saw an increase in demand for cashless payments solutions over the last years, but the differentiator lies in how providers deliver those expectations and how it separates them from other competitors.

Facts about COVID-19 and Cash handling

Government officials have strongly advised us to avoid cash handling during the coronavirus outbreak. It is well-known that cash is notoriously covered in germs, but what is the reality when it comes to COVID-19 and cash? According to many experts, the chances of being infected after handling cash is still low compared to other ways of spreading the infection. According to a recent post published by Reuters, the U.S. Federal Reserve started quarantining physical dollars coming from Asia, before allowing it to recirculate in the U.S. market. It was treated as a precautionary measure against spreading the virus among U.S. citizens. Although there is no hard evidence saying that handling cash increases the risk of infection, many retailers decided to advise their clients to use cashless alternatives.

At Oveit, we’ve decided to upgrade our closed-loop payment solution and add two additional features, very relevant in the given context. These two are related to real-time footfall tracking capabilities and an App which enables attendees to act as their own cashiers.

End user App (Wallet) for Cashless Payments

Without an end-user App, attendees would still have to visit a physical top-up point to add money to their digital wallets. After many years of experience and feedback coming from our partners, we concluded that building an end-user App (wallet) can bring more value in return, for both event organizers and participants. The purpose of this App is to create a seamless top up process for the end-user (attendees), allowing them to use their own smartphones for comfort and security purposes.

For the event organizer, this alternative decreases the number of cashiers required on-site and therefore reduces the event costs. Attendees are empowered to act as their own cashiers with the entire process being automated. Moreover, by activating the ‘Auto top-up’ feature, participants can assure that their digital balance will never fall under a pre-defined amount.

Also, the withdrawal process is simplified. Traditionally, the process required attendees to visit physical top-up points and receive cash in exchange. The top-up was done by either card or cash payment, but the only option to withdraw the remaining amount was by receiving cash back. The end-user App (wallet) removes this step and enables participants to withdraw the remaining balance on their own or even use it at another event. 

Footfall Tracking

Recently, we’ve received a request from one of our clients. He wanted to know if it’s possible to track in real time the number of attendees in specific areas of the venue. 

With the current social distancing rules in place, we believe that being able to track footfall in real-time can contribute to a safe and responsible event. This way, you can benefit from a modern alternative to control the number of attendees inside a venue. How does it work?

1.       Attendees arrive at the event with their electronic tickets ready to be scanned

2.       A designated staff member hands in NFC wristbands/cards/badges for every participant

3.       By using the Oveit Pay App on an Android device, a staff member simply scans the QR code on the ticket and pairs it with a wristband/card/badge

4.       Before passing the entry point, participants are required to tap their NFC tags on an NFC enabled reader

5.       The same process applies for check out. Participants tap their NFC tags on NFC enabled readers placed at all exit points

Final Thoughts

Among event professionals, we’ve seen continuous debates on whether the event industry will change in the future and how it will change. As retailers get back and running, B2C and B2B interactions look different, with several precautionary measures in place. It’s the aftermath of a global pandemic and it’s our responsibility to act accordingly.

As we are eager to see events coming back to normal, we strongly believe that Oveit can contribute to a safe and responsible way of hosting large gatherings. Of course, other parties must get involved to achieve that, but in terms of safe payment practices and access control, we got you covered!