Convenience means having everything in the same app, right? I beg to differ and here’s why, especially when it comes to event management:
Jack of all trades, master of none
An app that tries to be everything to everyone often ends up excelling at nothing. When a platform packs in a lot of features, from event registration to networking to virtual events and beyond, the depth and expertise in each tool decreases drastically. It’s like a Swiss Army knife with too many options – it might do the job, but it won’t do it well. Actually, when it comes to technology, the complexity is exponentially higher. The chances you will get it right on any given task are much smaller.
Maintenance is costly and you are paying for it
Maintaining a lot of features within an all-in-one platform takes a lot of effort. From understanding customer problems to designing, implementing and maintaining the solution – this is hard. You might not know this but the cost of upkeep and development is passed onto you, the end user. What’s even worse is it often results in compromised quality across the board. Developers’ focus becomes divided among numerous features, frameworks, legacy code. This draws attention from building strong, core, easy to use solutions.
Imagine investing in an event management app that promises everything from virtual events to networking capabilities to ticketing and registration. And it has a CRM. And provides hotel bookings. And they will surely come to your office riding a pink unicorn.
Sounds cool, right? Well – just think of the complexity of social networking. The 7th largest global company, a company worth more than $800 billion does just that (Yeah, that would be Meta). Think about this when the next platform says it does “networking too”. Specialized networking apps, such as Brella and Grip, focus solely on building connections, and they are great at that.
Integrate specialized tools – it’s a lot simpler now
If you choose to integrate specialized tools it will empower your experience to improve exponentially. This way you can curate the perfect suite of solution. Imagine the Avengers, but for event planning.
Instead of being tied to the limitations of an all-in-one platform, organizers can handpick tools that work great in their area.
These specialized tools can integrate into a streamlined system. This way you can use their individual strengths without compromising functionality or user experience.
Innovation comes from focus and specialization
Specialized tools are agile in adapting to evolving industry trends. They pave the way for innovation by focusing and honing in on specific problems. Unlike all-in-one platforms, which struggle to keep pace with rapid changes across multiple features, specialized tools can embrace new technologies fast. This helps your event stay at the forefront of innovation and deliver better experience.
Specialized tools for events just fit better
Think of specialized event tools like a perfectly tailored outfit—they fit just right! These tools, whether handling event registrations, payments, or access, are like having the perfect tool for each job. They make things run smoother than a greased-up slide. By being laser-focused on their specific tasks, they ensure everyone has an easier and more enjoyable time.
They’re like serving up a gourmet meal instead of a confusing buffet.
Flexibility – like yoga for events:
Specialized event tools are the yoga masters of event management – super flexible! As your event grows or changes, these tools bend and twist to fit your needs.
While the allure of all-in-one platforms may be tempting, we are committed to building specialized tools that excel in their functions. We understand that event registration, streamlined payments, and seamless integration are vital for our part in the experience economy (that’s fancy talk for “your event”).
Our approach is simple and we think it’s powerful: we specialize, we streamline, and we connect.
Our goal is to build the perfect event registration processes and make it intuitive, flexible, secure, and efficient. Our payment solutions are designed to streamline transactions and make the attendee experience seamless and hassle-free. Additionally, our robust API empowers you to connect with other tools. This way you can create your tailored ecosystem that fits your unique event needs.
It’s been 18 hours since I’ve boarded my first flight. Meanwhile I switched two times. We’ve finally landed. After passing through customs I look for my name. Someone should be waiting for me. I see him. He is a middle aged man holding a tablet with my name on it.
We get to the parking lot and board the fully electric car with a brand logo I don’t recognize. As my host mentions, the government subsidized 50% of its cost.
As we drive to the hotel I look outside and I see hundreds upon hundreds of apartment blocks, many of which are still being built.
It’s July 2018 and I’ve just arrived in the city I’ll call home for the next 10 days, as I network and showcase our technology to local partners. It’s Hangzhou, China. This is where my view on payments tech will change forever.
Electric cars and QR codes
The “small city of four million citizens” was a treat in many ways. Our hosts showcased some of the most advanced Chinese tech companies as well as traditional buildings and artefacts dating back to 2000 BC.
Now, 4 years after Oveit showcased its edge payments technology at the tech conference in Hangzhou, two things still linger on my mind.
The first is just how many electric cars, bikes and scooters roamed the streets. At the time Tesla was hot and growing but not nearly as big as it is right now.
At the time traditional western car manufacturers were still debating whether they should or should not switch to electric. EVs were still a huge gamble. It surprised me to find out that more than 100 electric car brands were active in the Chinese market, with many others providing charging stations, batteries and parts. All the taxi drivers switched to electric cars. It was partly due to cost savings, partly due to the government subsidies and strategic push.
The second big surprise was payments. Specifically QR code payments. One of the companies we visited just passed both VISA and Mastercard in terms of the number of transactions processed. As it turns out, that company’s growth would be stifled in a few years but at the time the energy and enthusiasm was something you can feel in the air. That company was Ant Financial, the financial arm of AliBaba.
Even though the future of the company and its prominent founder remains unclear, one thing is for sure. The total electronic payments market in China kept on growing following my visit and exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tools such as AliPay and WeChat Pay were at the core of this growth and transformation. Their choice in payment processing interfaces was a peculiar technology: QR codes.
In the western world we use different interfaces for online vs offline transactions but both are still governed by the credit and debit card. With the appearance of Apple Pay and GPay, a lot of these payments migrated to the smartphone. Many, but not nearly all. We still use debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, cash and oh, dear … checks.
This was not the case in Hangzhou. From shopping for clothes to food, from paying your bills and taxi rides to the vegetable market, everyone used an electronic means of payment I found a bit funny at first: QR codes. For me they were a technology that failed to leave its mark in the marketing and advertising industry. What I failed to realize at first was that these were not your run of the mill QRs. They were dynamic, would run on basically any smartphone or tablet, were impossible to fake or copy, secure and easy to use.
QR codes were scanned via mobile apps and the user paid directly from her bank account, simply pointing the camera at the vendor and confirming the transaction. There was no need to carry multiple cards, each secured and processed through a specialized POS. Everyone paid and accepted payments using their smartphones quickly, safely and instantly.
Cash, especially foreign currencies, was discouraged. For some reason – I needed to exchange a $100 bill and it took me three hours to finalize the transaction. Even as a foreigner cash was a no-go.
What did I learn? It was a simple but powerful lesson: that payments in the way we grew accustomed to were now obsolete. The old way was effectively dead. Banking institutions, slow to innovate were still issuing plastic cards (so hot in the 80s) and hardly adapted to the new globally connected world.
The world changed and we, as a company, were part of the wave of changes that were transforming the world of finance and payments. Our story involved a particular market where we were good but in time we decided we want to become the best: cashless payments for live experiences. This now ranges from events and live entertainment venues to travel and hospitality.
The system we showcased in Hangzhou, our edge payments system, went on to power large festivals and venues, with tens of thousands of visitors. As the pandemic reshuffled the world of live experiences, we continued to innovate and ride the wave of change.
Recently, our R&D started playing around and found out what could happen when you combine our existing technology with the decentralized wonder called blockchain. We discovered an interesting concept that we now believe has the potential to transform the world of payments. Just like the QR codes I saw in Hangzhou, it looks and feels peculiar as a payment technology. Enter the NFT.
NFT payments – beyond fancy monkeys
NFTs are self contained digital ownership contracts. When minted to a crypto wallet, the assets this NFT holds are transferred to said wallet. These assets can range from photos, songs, movies to games and more.
But the NFT can also work as a holder of prepacked benefits and digital wallets, holding value, both fungible and non fungible. When combined with the right infrastructure, the NFTs become a payment technology.
In our case we discovered we can connect the NFT to the addons we developed, as well as the virtual wallet that our users pay and accept payments with. The usage can range from prepackaging a beer and a t-shirt to a concert to your next travel package, containing your plane ticket, payments in the city, access to attractions and local businesses or a hotel stay, even when you travel to Hangzhou.
What it can also hold is a virtual wallet. The wallet can be pre topped up, connected to a debit or credit card and can be used to pay. The NFT can become a payment technology, with properties unlike anything before, which we’ll discuss later. All this when the vendors use our Oveit Pay.
NFT payments – beyond bank accounts and transfers
As it turns out, the payments underlying AliPay and WeChat in China, as well as the likes of Revolut and Kash App are interfaces to systems that hold funds and rely on the traditional banking system. However, building upon the classical approach, they have built their own checks and balances systems to operate a secondary payment system. This new layer improves the payment speed, scalability, makes payments more usable and friendly and makes microtransactions possible.
However, operating these systems comes at a cost. These systems handle real money so their infrastructure needs to be maintained constantly, supervised and updated.
At a certain point it’s harder to keep systems secure than it is to build new features like loans, social payments and more.
As it turns out, you don’t have to do that. There is already an existing technology out there that enables fast and secure transactions, without any single point of failure: the blockchain, in its many incarnations.
There are also tools users can tap into to connect to this new technology and purchase, transact and store virtual value: the crypto wallet.
The blockchain ecosystem was in need of some sort of mechanism to point to digital value and move it from one user to another, securely. This new tool emerged in the past two years. It can do anything a bank account does plus what a card and a swift transfer can do. And a bit more. It’s the NFT.
Unlike the wallet, the NFT can hold multiple types of value abstractions. It can be transferred, it can be sold or gifted. Moreover – it can be governed by clear, transparent rules at the time of the minting. These rules are written and exposed to the whole world to audit. They are all set up in what is called a smart contract.
However, there is some confusion when it comes to the general outlook on NFTs and whether they are a useful technology or just a pump and dump scheme. The confusion is the following:
Think of NFTs as a preloaded debit card, with a bank account attached to it, with all sorts of benefits you can claim in the real world or online. It can have money stored in this bank account, it can have membership programs for all sorts of brands and communities. This card can be safely transferred or sold at a profit. It can be used as a collateral. It’s all the financial systems you know, all baked into one. And a bit more as it can be transferred, sold, traced, governed by rules and it doesn’t depend on any one system to run.
So far all we saw was the pretty picture placed on top of the card. But the bank account it was linked to was empty. There were no loaded benefits. No one built membership programs. There were no places you could use it to gain real benefits, in the real world, online or … the Metaverse. People just plastered pretty photos on it and sold them.
This is where we are right now. As with my time in Hangzhou, we all see the photo (back then it was the QR code). We don’t see what’s behind the photo and where it can lead. In the short time we had to get accustomed to NFTs we didn’t see how we could use them to transform payments. We only saw the surface.
Glancing beyond the monkey photos and the doodles, we can see the future of how NFTs can be used for payments as well as value storage and transfer. We can see the financial system moving from a single, monolithic, architecture which is old and slow to adopt change. The system is in the midst of a transformation into a new vibrant system that puts humans and human communities at its core.
Just like our existing civilization, it all started with photos of ape-like creatures doing stuff.
Meanwhile, at Oveit, we are putting this vision to the test with our very own NFT tickets.
Mint and sell NFT tickets with your favorite event ticketing platform
In our quest to democratize technology for event organizers, we’ve partnered with Polygon Studios and enabled NFT ticketing on our platform. While we handle the complicated part, our community can now easily mint and sell NFT tickets, completely changing the way attendees experience in-person and virtual events.
Enter the era of unlimited possibilities with NFT Tickets
NFT (Non-fungible tokens) are blockchain-based digital records that can be associated with digital or physical goods (basically almost anything that we can imagine). And they rely on smart contracts – embedded programs that act like contracts for these NFTs and activate different options when certain conditions are met, allowing you to go full creative with your event tickets.
Unlike traditional tickets, those leveraging blockchain technology can unlock outstanding experiences.
NFT tickets are improving the experience
Securely store access credentials and attendee information. On a blockchain network, transactions are encrypted and stored as immutable blocks – thus protecting you and your community against fraudsters.
Transform your tickets into hot collectibles. NFT tickets are stored on the blockchain, allowing users to easily check their authenticity and entire track record, thus making them the perfect assets for any collector.
Tokenize (part of) the experience. Allow your special guests to actually own a part of the experience.
Enable perpetual royalties. Blockchain transactions are backed up by smart contracts, allowing you to set up special rules for future transactions. Eg: a small cut can find it’s way back to you each time tickets are resold.
Enable ticket add-ons on web3. Prepack additional perks into your tickets and let your attendees benefit from them long after your event is over (perpetual discounts to your future events, priority access to product launches run by your partners, VIP tickets to their favorite band, etc.).
and many more…
Polygon Studios X Oveit
The partnership between Oveit and Polygon Studios aims to simplify the selling of NFT Tickets. Until now, this option was cost-prohibitive. But with our solution, any event organizer or artist can mint and sell NFT tickets. Faster, at lower costs, and with no coding expertise required.
Blockchain’s impact on the environment is not something that should be overlooked. But we know we’ve teamed up with the right partner for the job. Polygon’s Proof of Stake consensus mechanism allows the Network to scale in an eco-friendly manner by not requiring the same computation power as mining blocks on networks that use a Proof of Work mechanism. We know this is important to you.
About Polygon Studios
Polygon Studios is the Gaming and NFT arm of Polygon focused on growing the global Blockchain Gaming and NFT Industry. The Polygon Studios ecosystem comprises highly loved games and NFT projects like OpenSea, Upshot, Aavegotchi, Zed Run, Skyweaver by Horizon Games, Decentraland, Megacryptopolis, Neon District, Cometh, and Decentral Games.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.