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