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The chip that helps you create better experiences

Although the title of the article refers to a small piece of plastic,  it really focuses on something much more important: the way in which technology can dramatically improve the experience you offer through events. It’s not the first time when we talk about how #eventtech allows us to create better experiences. It’s also not the first time when we talk about NFC technology and how it can be used within events. But today I want to retake together the customer journey and see how “a small piece of plastic” can make a BIG difference. For everyone involved: event planners, security team, sponsors, vendors, and most important…attendees.

Festival goer tapping NFC wristband to NFC reader

Festival-goers attend your events for the memories that will remain with them forever. They want to have fun and your ultimate goal is to make sure they will. But their fun means many sleepless nights for you and your team. It means speed, accuracy, well-crafted messages, information, and sweat.

Access control

Here is the journey attendees will take at your festival and here is how this small piece of plastic will lead their way.       

Let’s start with check-in, the first on-site interaction between you the attendee. Queueing is one of the biggest problem festival goers (and planners) face and that small piece of plastic can dramatically change things. How? If you pair the festival NFC wristband to the ticket and attendees receive them before they actually arrive on site (via mail or pre-registration parties) the check-in process will become much faster. And what a better way to welcome your attendees than a queueless view? It can also be used to access different areas on site will not just allow attendees to do this, but it will also capture their information.

Use cashless payments to create better experiences

Cashless payments are a real game-changer for events. Bar queues are, by far, the most annoying part of any big (or small) festival or concert. I will always remember that time when I missed half of Robbie Williams performance because I wanted to buy some beer water. Cashless payments dramatically reduce the waiting time for your attendees. A report conducted by American Express states that cashless payments are 63% faster than cash and 53% faster the standard card payments (but imagine having an internet problem…that would not be nice!). But speed is not the only benefit that cashless payments bring to the table. Cashless payments will also increase your revenue (reports state that incomes can go up to almost 30%) while decreasing fraud and loses. Here the main benefits of using a cashless payment solution:

  • Visitors tend to spend 15-30% more (Ex: By creating an entertainment micro-economy #coachella2017 managed to register a gross income of over $114 million)
  • Speeds up purchases & reduces queues
  • Minimize cash handling
  • Captures all sales
  • Control and transparency

Schedule a live demo to find out more about our cashless payment solution.

Attendee engagement

With the right tools, attendees are more likely to interact with your sponsors. And to make this process as easy as possible we have developed our integrated NFC technology so that it can be used to allow your partners to collect information from your attendees. With their explicit consent, of course.

Any attendee can express interest by simply tapping the wristband, allowing the exhibitor to collect data and follow up instantly. The flawless of this process encourages attendees to interact with the brands that they are interested in. They don’t need to spell their names or type in their email address, two of the most common reasons for which people tend to avoid sponsor interactions within festivals or concerts.

Picture of tablet and NFC reader and people in the background

There are many benefits of using NFC technology, but this article was just about 3 of them. Another important aspect is that having all that data in one place, you can use it to create better experiences within your future events.

The shift towards experiential marketing

experiential marketingIt’s one thing to imagine that you are driving a sports car, it’s another to actually be behind wheel and hear the purring engine. It’s one thing to watch a billboard that invites you to visit the Canary Islands, it’s another to feel the sun comforting your skin. It’s one thing to see an online ad and it’s totally different to FEEL the benefits a product can give you.“…Involve me and I learn”, Benjamin Franklin’s quote can be adapted to the experiential marketing scene. “Involve me and I will see and feel how your product can help me”.

More and more brands are using experiences to create a bond between customers and the brand.  This is why I think that more and more event planners should be prepared to host experiential marketing events. Or to include experiential marketing campaigns as part of their existing events.

What is experiential marketing?

If we reach Wikipedia we will find that “Engagement marketing, sometimes called ‘experiential marketing’, ‘event marketing’, ‘on-ground marketing’, ‘live marketing’, ‘participation marketing’, or ‘special events’ is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages them to participate in the evolution of a brand or a brand experience. Rather than looking at consumers as passive receivers of messages, engagement marketers believe that consumers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs, developing a relationship with the brand.”

By using experiential marketing brands want to create an emotional connection between themselves and the consumer, connection that most of the times have the power to transform customers into advocates of that particular brand. In a world where the new generation values experience more than things, it is only normal to value powerful memories more than ads and pop-ups.

Experiential marketing is based on one main idea: the live interaction between the potential consumer and the brand. Although we focus on organized events, (and how event planners can partner with brands to create branded events – or even to implement experiential marketing within an existing event) engagement marketing comes in different shapes.  Its purpose is to create a memorable experience, even though sometimes it may seem that there’s no direct connection with the brand itself. A wonderful example is the Piano Staircase, from Volkswagen, a campaign that at first has almost no connection with an automotive company. But innovation and fun will always stick to people’s minds, and this campaign was highly appreciated all over the world. A good experiential marketing campaign can be more powerful than any form of “classic” marketing.

An example of a great experiential marketing event is Smirnoff’s Comic Book party, where attendees walked into a…you guessed it. Whether you like comic books or not (if this is even possible) I think that walking into a Comic Book will make an impression. Will make you take pictures and share them. Will make you talk about the party. And definitely will make you remember the brand.

What about the numbers?

I know, the theory sounds good, but do the numbers support it? A study conducted by Mosaic and the Event Marketing Institute revealed that  74% of consumers said they are more likely to buy products after they had a quality experience within a branded event. Furthermore, 98% percent of consumers said they take at least one photo during experiential marketing events and all of them (100%) said they share this content!  

Event planners can create experiential marketing events from scratch for clients that understand the power of experiences. A bond between the consumer and the brand is more important than an individual sale made using an AdWords campaign. Don’t get me wrong, keyword campaigns are very important, but their direct effect is different from that of an experiential marketing campaign. Aiming for different objectives, but not excluding each other).

Experiential marketing campaigns can also be integrated into already existing events. Festivals and conferences offer brands the chance to interact with a large number of people that are craving for memorable experiences (this is why they are there in the first place).

Oveit will support your efforts

Using a smart event management software, like Oveit, you will be able to make the experience even more memorable (especially through NFC technology). As you probably know, you can set up cashless payment systems to reduce queues, a very important aspect related to attendees’ overall satisfaction. But for experiential marketing events NFC wristbands can also be used for:

Gamification: the NFC chip is paired with the ticket (that acts like an account) and attendees can use it and mark different checkpoints in the game. You can also use them for interactive screens, to connect the character in the game with your attendee.

Perks: the wristbands can store perks (gifts, promotional merchandise, etc) and attendees can claim them by simply tapping the wristband to a reader/NFC-ready mobile device. We all like surprises, so why don’t you and your partners use it to create an even more memorable experience?

Data transfer: the NFC chip can be used by attendees to transfer their information to the brand that hosts the experiential marketing campaign. It’s easier than ever, with a simple tap, and the best part is that the transfer works both ways: the attendee can receive an email with a link that opens his/her way to new memorable experiences (for example, a registration link to an exclusivist party, sent only to those that take part at this experiential campaign hosted at a large conference).

We see how more and more brands are turning towards experiential marketing campaigns, and how more and more people appreciate the work event planners put in. Shifting our attention towards real experiences can only enrich us and more and more people will focus on feelings and memories. So be prepared, event planners.