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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.

How to Rock Your Event with Snapchat and Instagram

I suppose that until now, we are all familiar with Snapchat and Instagram and how they became an essential tool in event marketing.

these sparks between us will

Even though Snapchat is losing market share since the launch of Instagram’s stories, it seems that the two are slowly taking different directions regarding the market segmentation and the user’s behavior while using the app. Instagram’s users are mainly over 24 years old and spend around 15 min a day browsing while 60% of Snapchat’s users are under 24 years old and spend an average of 30 min per day creating content. (Read more)

While Instagram is great in bringing awareness of an event within their 600 Million user base, Snapchat is perfect to create content and especially post event marketing material.

In this article I am going to talk about what are the best practices and uses of both Snapchat’s and Instagram’s stories.

How can you make use of the Stories in order to promote your event?

Like any other event we have three main phases: Pre-event marketing, Live marketing and Post-event marketing;

Pre-event marketing

  • Provide a sneak peak and Teaser – this is a great way to keep your audience intrigued and interested in your event while creating awareness within the possible attendees.
  • Create behind-the-scenes content – there’s nothing wrong about letting followers know about the hard work you and your team have put in creating this event. From the engineers who helped put everything in place –  to the artists doing their rehearsals, this will only make your audience feel more excited and included.
  • Overtake the Snapchat or Instagram account – it is a common trend that  a celebrity takes over a brand’s account for a limited period of time. Their main purpose is to showcase the event from their own perspective while offering valuable insights for their followers.
  • Incorporate location; based Geofilter and animated graphics that pertain to the event – Geofilters are available only on Snapchat and can be created or customised for your event; but keep in mind that this should be done ahead of time since they need a few days to be approved.

If you’re building live streamed events you can combine what’s happening at the event, Snapchat and Instagram, as well as your own, streamed channel with a live streaming tool such as Streams.live .

Live Marketing

  • Encourage Attendees to Use Snapchat’s and Instagram’s Stories – this represents the most important step in Live Marketing. It means bringing awareness, motivating and offering incentives to your audience in order to create content.
  • For both Instagram and Snapchat you should create centralised crowd-sourcing stories  and hashtags where your attendees can send all off their photos and videos.
  • Cross-promote your Snapchat’s and Instagram’s account – don’t forget to create a snapcode!
  • Create event and location hashtags so that your users can add them to their posts.
  • Snapchat’s geofilters are a big yes-yes – it is important to have it ready for when the event starts. The geofilter is like a stamp. A stamp which has to say your event’s story at one glance. It’s a stamp that your attendees should want to integrate in all of their Snaps.
  • Encourage celebrities to post behind-the-scenes content – everybody is curious about what is happening behind the scenes, how everything is organised and how the celebrities are getting prepared. Satisfy this thirst of curiosity by encouraging celebrities to post by themselves.
  • Respond to individual inquiries – when live streaming, in order to show your audience that you care about them, randomly answer some of their inquires. It is a small thing but it can bring a lot of satisfaction and loyalty.

Post-event marketing

  • Curate the content sent by participants – the content created by your attendees is Gold. Especially the content created with the use of Snapchat. The photos and videos created through Snapchat, will definitely bring an added value because of the different features the app has to offer; from editing tools, filters, animated filters and Geofilters the outcome of the content created is going to be unique. Receiving so much content from so many people and perspectives will definitely help create fun and entertaining videos for you to share on the Social Media profiles and let your attendees remember what a great time they had.
  • Send fun facts – another good practice would be to send fun facts and stories about what happened during the event. For example, at a festival: how many beers were drank or how many hotdogs eaten. If you use Oveit’s event management tools and visitor analytics tools, you can create personal, targeted messages to your guests.

How to use and create Snapchat’s Geofilters

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 15.54.09

Snapchat offers their users the opportunity to create their own Geofilters according to the occasion.

Categories of Snapchat’s Geofilters

Community Geofilters are mainly used for a place that it is meaningful for you and your community (this geofilters are free of charge).

Personal Geofilters are created for important moments which happen in every one’s life, such as birthdays, welcome home parties or any kind of events. (the price for these geofilters starts at $5).

Business Geofilters are dedicated to help any kind of business drive awareness and engagement in one swipe. The event category will fall under this section too. They are more pricey than the Personal Geofilters but still affordable.

Unfortunately,  the On-Demand Geofilters (Personal & Business) are only available in the USA, Canada, Australia and UK.

How to create your Geofilters for Snapchat

First of all, the Geofilters have to be original and in order to do that you need to design or have one designed it for you. PicMonkey and Canva are two good example of platforms that can help create wonderful filters.

From February 2017, Snapchat, launch a tool that creates on-demand geofilters on the web so that you don’t have to use any other external platforms.

For those who still prefer creating a Geofilter with a tool that they are more comfortable and familiar with, need to keep in mind a few aspects when designing it:

  • Include your event name/logo but be careful not to add any logo or design that you don’t own.
  • Insert creative graphics and text but try to keep it around 2-3 lines tops.
  • Your text and design should not cover more than 25% of the screen dimensions.
  • The size of your geofilter should be: 1080 x 1920 pixels and less than 300kb, saved in .PNG format.

Snapchat and Instagram are two amazing tools that should not be ignored while organizing an event. Comparing them with other channels of event marketing, they are cost effective and sometimes free – why not take advantage of their great features? Also, if you are looking for a user-friendly event registration software, you’ve come to the right place!

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!

Oveit Pay v2 — the version with a mission

The first version of what we now call Oveit Pay was launched in 2018. It was a system that allowed event planners to create a small event economy and monetize transactions done in their event space. Simply put they invited third-party vendors to their events. The vendors would sell goods (mostly food and beverage) and the event planner would get a cut of what was sold. This helped increase the event’s revenue.

The increase in revenue was and still is very important for many, many event planners, especially festival owners. Without this economic concept the festivals we enjoy were either not possible or very hard to pull off. After the Coronavirus outbreak and the reshuffling of the live entertainment business, closed loop payments model will probably become the norm for a lot of the festivals that will survive.

How Oveit Pay came to be

We were very rudimentary at first. The idea was to use an RFID tag to store monetary value for digital wallets, inside an event. People would wear wristbands which can be either topped up or used to spend existent value. In the beginning we tested everything on laptops and RFID readers. We purchased a bunch of RFID readers and would connect them to the laptops. We found out that different readers were reading different values on the wristbands, due to how they were designed. This was issue no. 1.

Another issue we found was that this concept was very unstable if we were to ship it outside of our area of support. We’ve had a client asking for the technology to be used in the city of Medellin, in Columbia. As Narcos was airing on Netflix we were jokingly discussing the implications and a need for remote deployment. So we needed to change the way we ship the product, from a hardware perspective. Laptops and RFID readers were not the way to go. This was issue no. 2.

Issues 1 and 2 were both solved by switching our mindset from laptops to mobile devices (mostly Android smartphones). They were sturdy, easy to use and we could port our app to them. More importantly — they all had an NFC reading chip. What is an NFC chip? Glad you asked that. It’s a chip that reads some special kind of RFID tags that only work in proximity to the reader (NFC = Near Field Communication ).

When we thought we’d solved all of the issues a strange request came from an upcoming festival in the middle of a deserted island. The request was to run a closed loop payment network (checked) on a deserted island, on mobile devices (checked), without any internet connection (definitely not checked).

The island where it all started

Making payments work offline

This was a tough one: our whole system was based on a cloud server processing sales and wallets, authentication and identities. There was no way that we were familiar with that could work in providing this closed loop without internet connectivity. So we started brainstorming.

At the time we witnessed protests against undemocratic changes to our country’s legislative structure. Protesters were organizing and communicating via mobile phones. When protests got bigger, radio communications were jammed. They had to resort to another way: using their Bluetooth connections to communicate via Firechat, a peer to peer messenger app. What Firechat did was turn each phone using it in a communication relay. Truth be told — it didn’t always work. But it showed us a direction we were going to head into.

We started working with 6 months left to deliver a product that would process payments on a deserted island, in the middle of the Danube river, where no Internet connection was stable. Did I mention the solution was going to be used by 5000 people?

We made it work with a distributed ledger approach that would move the data across mini-servers being run on sets of Raspberry Pi’s. We moved the data across an WiFi network in a secure way and basically created a mesh-network of servers and client devices that were running the apps on mobile phones.

Oveit Edge Payments v1

The day of the festival came. We started late. Not only was there no internet but there was no stable electricity. It was raining. We had sand and dust everywhere. And I mean everywhere. One of the routers was fried due to unstable electricity and we had to drive 400 km to buy a replacement. Sony assisted in providing the mobile devices that were used as POS’s for vendors and top-up points.

Setting up the WiFi network was the hardest part. As electricity was unreliable, it was hard to test which part of the network was working or not. We basically created a network that beamed data from the riverwalk, where attendees would arrive and pretopup credit, to the island, covering a very, very large area, using just routers, access points, raspberry pi’s, mobile smartphones and our software.

It was fun and hard. Monitoring was unlike everything we’ve ever done. The music was running non-stop so there was always someone buying something. We were on constant alert.

It worked.

Not perfectly, but it worked. People were amazed how they couldn’t reach their Instagram profiles but they would just tap their wristband and a payment was made. To a certain degree — it was magic. The perfect blend of technology, a bohemian decor and something emerging right in front of our eyes: an economy and a sort of edge-society. Cut off from the world, the cloud, the big city life, people were enjoying a private festival, with all of the convenience of what we now see as our core pillar in the society we live in: the economy.

When I say economy, don’t think of it as something the government would set up and carefully curate. Don’t think of complicated formulas, central banks and banks in general. Think of it as the basic human behavior of exchanging goods and services. Think of our natural tendency to collaborate with one another and the logistics that emerge from it. Think of what money used to be before we start calling it money: a convention between groups that they will exchange the value of their work through a shared medium.

A new perspective on the world

It took us a while to understand what we were creating. In the back of our mind, the idea started to taking shape as soon as we saw the people on the island interacting with one another. But it took another two years to understand how we fit into the world and how we can make it better.

As the festival was ending I had to hop on a long-haul flight to Hangzhou, China. We were selected to present what we just tested on the island in an International Stars contest.

At the moment I was going through a bit of an issue in my medical condition that made it hard to travel long trips but I chose to go on the trip. First off — I was in charge of product development so I had to present what we did and how we did it. Second — I’ve never been there so I was curious about the country and how the society was evolving.

It was amazing. We discovered many things. One of them was that our technology was not about events. It was, as financial technology usually is, about society and the way that people interact with one another and share value. We’ve seen how WeChat and AliPay changed the Chinese society for the better and how a new wave of different payments technologies were coming. We decided to focus on the opportunity to improve the world with our tech. We just didn’t know how an events company can play a role in the big financial world.

It was at the beginning of 2019 that we received an investment and moved our HQ to Austin, Texas. In just three months we went from an event company that was doing event payments to a company that was doing a new type of payments — As David Smith suggested, we called the technology Edge Payments — payments at the edge of the cloud.

The Oveit Edge Box — the hardware we use to make edge payments work

You see — most of the payments go through a global network of banks, payment processors, gateways, card acquirers and so on. Basically your data travels two times across the world before you buy the ice cream in front of you, if you use your credit card. With cash it’s different. Hand over the note and that’s it.

What if there was a way to process payments where they happened (what we actually did with our tech) and how could this change the world?

We went down that path and we discovered that what we did was offer our customers the benefits of running their own economy. At a small scale, restricted to several geographic virtual areas but an economy nevertheless.

They could onboard vendors and buyers, tokenize and incentivize behavior, add fungible and non-fungible payment tokens. At their fingertips was the potential to create and manage small scale economies. Economies at the edge of the cloud. While still connected to the outside world and money transfers still regulated by traditional means, their mini-economies could become flourishing islands of creative behavior.

Economy as a Service

What we understood was that our technology could impact more than events. It could, theoretically, impact the economy in a way that blogs, social media and tweets and videos have impacted the media companies. It created the power for communities to gather around common ideas, concepts and a new type of influencers.

We understood that Oveit Pay, the closed-loop payments app for festivals, could do more. It could empower communities: from a hotel resort to a neighborhood. From an island in the Atlantic to a city in the US Midwest that has its value extracted via global trade routes, leaving it lifeless and without a future. From Europe to the North Americas and from Japan to South Africa, we understood that we are all basically the same and so are our communities and their needs.

We understood that while the globalized world has great benefits, the strength of our society still sits with communities and these communities need to be empowered to create and retain wealth in their local ecosystems.

This is what we now call “Economy as a Service”. Whether it is online (in a game) or offline (in a city, a festival or a neighborhood) our Economy as a Service tool can connect and help its members form a community.

The mission of Oveit Pay

Our mission is to empower communities to empower themselves. In an increasingly complex world where everything is fast moving and global wealth is generated at the edges and collected at the center, something has to change.

Oveit Pay v2

Oveit Pay v2 gathers in one app what we have learned about the world in the past years. It is a tool for communities across a vast spectrum, from cities to virtual communities in games, that want to empower themselves. To do this, we think they are missing a key component. Their own economy. A way to retain the value they create and shape the way it is formed by its members.

It is a complicated mission and it may not be the best way to go. But if we want to improve the way we live today and have a hope at a better future we need to improve on two of the most important inventions of our species: our social structures and the concept of money and how it’s being moved around, with an emphasis on “moved”.

The world is struggling with economic inequity. The global issues following the Coronavirus outbreak will only add to the existing economic issues. We think we can play a part in providing a better future to all human communities, with a tool that helps when help is needed.

This is the mission of Oveit Pay — to bring economic power to communities. To help communities emerge, take shape and become stronger. Make their members’ lives a little better and help them live more fulfilled lives, doing what they love.

Mike Dragan
Oveit COO

Smart wristbands used within famous Ibiza establishments

Well-known establishments, part of the famous Ibiza island are stepping up their game in terms of adopting unique technologies to enhance guest experiences. The so-called ‘smart very important bracelets’ (VIB), successfully passed the trial period and convinced decision makers that it’s the way to go. Even if these smart wristbands were introduced a while ago on the island, the Hard Rock Hotel and Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel take a different approach by using it in their hospitality and event environments.

These properties are known as the places to stay, party, dine and relax during the summer season in Ibiza. The Ushuaia Beach Hotel, also called ‘The Unexpected Hotel’ because of its unparalleled entertainment offering, events production and technology initiatives, presents the ideal opportunity for such exclusive solutions to be implemented. It all started with the introduction of a biometric technology that enabled guests to complete purchases with their fingerprints. In 2014, these two famous establishments, part of the same hotel group, decided to replace the biometric PayTouch  system with the so-called ‘wearable technology’ or VIB. This wearable technology takes it a step further, replacing the need of carrying a room key, a wallet or a mobile phone on site.

How is this technology impacting the user experience and purchase behavior within the famous Ibiza establishments?

Room Access

The radio frequency chip incorporated inside the smart wristband is replacing the traditional room key. It is nearly impossible to lose it or forget it, since guests wear it all the time. To unlock the room, guests simply place the bracelet against specially enabled readers. The technology is already there. Most five-star hotels and resorts have these special readers already incorporated right under the doorknob.

Access to different areas (VIP)

Ibiza is the type of destination where influential people, such as celebrities, famous actors and artists choose to spend their days off. Celebrities seek personalized experiences and value their moments of privacy, especially during their time off. The smart wristbands are designed to store access credentials for individual guests. Access to restricted areas such as the VIP lounge, spa or pool is simply verified with a tap of the wrist in a matter of seconds. There is no need to assign hotel staff in those areas, since the process is fully automated.

Payment Tool

The famous establishments use smart wristbands as a payment tool, replacing cash or credit/debit cards. Fancy a drink at the pool or in a club? The bracelets are waterproof, and guests can shop their favorite cocktails even while taking a break from swimming. How does it work? Upon arrival, the hotel sends out a newsletter to individual guests and instructs them on how to sync their PayPal account with the bracelet. From then on, the smart wristband works in a prepaid fashion, automatically topping up every time the balance goes below 10 EUR.

Tracking (footfall)

To find out behavior and preferences regarding hotel services, the adopted technology by Ibiza establishments proves to be very efficient. The smart wristbands can track individual guests around the hotel premises, enabling decision makers to allocate staff accordingly during peak hours.

Discounts at on-site facilities

The tracking feature is also used to offer personalized promotions and discounts. Since decision makers have access to purchase behavior and preferences, identifying the loyal guests is fairly easy. For example, if an individual is using the spa facilities quite often, a special discount or even a free massage session might be offered in exchange.

Here at Oveit, our dedicated team believes that its ‘Economy as a Service’ approach could revolutionize the hotel and hospitality segments. The hospitality environment is among those that can take advantage of our extended features, designed to shape a different kind of relationship with its guests.

foto presenting an NFC chip wristband branded with Oveit