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Using Oveit for Local Experiences

Vacation rental or short-term properties have been around for quite some time. These accommodations range from exclusive properties to extra bedrooms in other people’s houses. Some of these include homes, apartments, villas, condos and even tents, tree-houses or caravans. Hosts listing their properties might offer full services and experiences (similar to a hotel or resort), while others don’t even have contact with guests, besides the online booking process.

People that seek to spend their holidays in this kind of properties can find offers through OTAs (online travel agencies). Online booking platforms like Booking.com or TripAdvisor offer a variety of alternatives in terms of accommodation. However, the one platform that caters exclusively to this type of lodging is Airbnb. The home rental platform based in San Francisco was founded in 2008 and it has done a great job in changing the way people find places to stay away from home. In 2007, two of the founders were trying to find a way to cover their rent in San Francisco. Unemployed and broke at that time, they decided to rent out air mattresses in their own apartment to attendees of a conference, since all the hotels were fully booked. They called their service “Air Bed and Breakfast.” 

Like many successful businesses with little to no hope in the beginning, Airbnb is among them. As we speak, the privately held company lists more than three million lodgings in almost 200 countries. To give you an idea of its success, it is valued at $35 billion, which is more than Hilton and Wyndham combined. In late 2016, Airbnb decided to move beyond accommodation with the launch of Airbnb Experiences.

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb launched Experiences with the purpose of bringing together where you stay (Homes), what you do (Places) and the people you meet (Experiences) in one place. The concept is designed for those travelers that want to benefit from authentic experiences and places, guided by their local hosts.

How does it work?

Instead of finding experiences on third party platforms, Airbnb recruits hosts that can provide more than just bed & breakfast. This way, travelers can simply book their accommodation and daily activities in one place. These activities are led by locals who love where they’re from and what they do, showing great passion. Ranging from cooking classes to music history and culture tours, travelers have plenty of choices available and they can find the perfect one based on other’s previous experiences. For example, in Barcelona, travelers can make paella based on an old family recipe in a private garden. Compared with experiences offered by commercial tour operators, these come with behind-the-scenes access that guests couldn’t typically find on their own.

As expected, travelers spend money on authentic experiences, creating a win-win situation for local hosts and communities. It is a great way to promote and contribute to the success of smaller businesses. The most authentic offerings tend to come from individuals with limited resources and little to no exposure. 

Oveit for Local Hosts and Communities

As we mentioned in previous articles, Oveit can be a great solution for local communities. As experiences tend to be fragmented, our solution enables the host to create their own local economy (currency), inviting local vendors and experience providers to be part of it.

Using Oveit to improve Local Experiences

Even if travelers pay for their trips in advance, local hosts and service providers can use our solution effectively. Our smart NFC enabled wristbands act as digital wallets and enable economy owners (local hosts) to pre-pack experiences for their guests.

Hosts are not always in charge of providing the full experience. Some of them depend on strategic partnerships with local vendors that have a key role in delivering it for travelers. For instance, hosts that are passionate about the brewing industry might offer local pub crawl tours, taking the role of a guide rather than a service provider. With our solution, they can pre-pack various experiences and enable travelers to claim them in partner locations (pubs) with a simple tap of the hand.

On top of that, they can use our solution as a payment tool and create a single currency accepted in their network of partners. Travelers can simply top up their digital wallets (NFC wristbands) online and purchase goods and services in the defined economy.

Besides the pre-purchased experiences, guests will most likely spend money on other activities as well. Our closed-loop payment solution is designed to avoid fragmented experiences and it contributes to a commonly accepted currency. While enjoying outdoor activities, travelers won’t have to worry about their wallets or withdrawing cash. They can activate the ‘Auto top-up’ feature and if the remaining balance falls under a defined amount, the digital wallet (NFC wristband) tops up automatically. Transactions are simply processed by tapping the wristband to a reader. 


Closed-loop payments for events and venues

When looking at the continuous development in terms of technology, it is very useful to understand and keep up with what it has to offer. For instance, the swift change from paying by using cash to the other well-known alternative, the credit card, has inspired many innovative minds to enrich and develop payment options, into unique and well-structured forms.

In this article, the focus will shift towards the closed-loop payment process that Oveit has put into place for its users. Its purpose is to explain the process of implementing a closed-loop payment system for a variety of sectors, such as events, hospitality & tourism and retail as well.

The main function of a closed loop payment system is to allow consumers to pre-load funds into a payment device, in our case those would be things such as wristbands, cards and even one’s own face.

To begin with, it is very important to identify the key players for achieving this kind of system.

Those are: 

Top-up points (cashiers)

Depending on the number of attendees, one of our team members can advise on a minimum number of top-up points needed to avoid long queues inside your event. Those points need to be strategically placed (e.g.: at the main entrance, nearby food trucks, and bars). Participants will be using the top-up points during the event to add money into their accounts with a simple tap of their hand. They can choose to add money, either by paying with cash or card at the designated credit points. Prior to the event, the organizer needs to invite users (cashiers) and choose the correct permissions, in this case, it would be ‘Event cashier’. As an event organizer, you will have access to all the financial information, but as a user, the access should be limited accordingly for security reasons.

Vendors

As expected, the credit added should obviously be spent at your event. This is where the vendors come into place. Think of food trucks, bars and any other entities that provide goods and services at your event. From the perspective of an event organizer, the process is very similar to that of creating an account for top-up points (cashiers). An invitation is required to each individual entity providing goods and services (vendors); the only thing that differs is that they would have a slightly different interface, which is designed for selling goods. The vendor will have the option to create a menu and add prices accordingly. The participants will pay for their items with a single tap and even with their faces (Oveit FacePay is our way of processing biometric payments).

Man in front of a food truck

Devices with NFC capability

To achieve a successful closed loop payment system with Oveit, the vendors as well as the cashiers should have Android smartphones with NFC reading integrated. The devices will basically take the role of POS (point of sale system), allowing the users to complete a transaction in a matter of seconds. IOS devices will very soon be able to be used as well in Oveit’s closed loop payment system.

Wristbands/Cards/Face as payment options

The majority of organizers tend to opt for NFC tag wristbands when setting up their event’s closed loop payment system. However, there are two other alternatives that Oveit has to offer and one of them is very innovative. Oveit FacePay function is the method that positively affects the attendee’s payment experience considerably. The transaction is simply confirmed with a smile and a gesture, replacing the need for wristbands or cards. There is also the option of paying with a card that has the NFC chip integrated. Some organizers might decide on choosing this one, for the simple reason that more space is available for placing ads and sponsors on a card.

Stable payment processing (both online and offline)

For achieving a closed-loop payment system, internet connection plays a crucial role. All the transactions that occur during an event require internet to be updated and transferred into Oveit’s system. However, we have managed to find a solution if internet goes down. To avoid this kind of situation, our local devices have the capacity of transferring data into the cloud. In other words, this means that Oveit’s closed-loop payment system has the capacity of working both online and offline.

7 reasons why you should use a cashless payments solution for events

I am a huge fan of the cashless payments solution, there’s no secret here. Today I would like to list 7 of the most important benefits of using one for your events.

picture showing Oveit's cashless payment solution used at an event
1. The cashless payments solution increases your revenue

As the cash habit fades away, customers tend to increase their spending limit. Reports show that attendees tend to spend up to 30% more at events where a cashless payment system is in place. They love to buy, but they just don’t like the long queues that make them lose all the fun. Which takes us to reason #2.

2. It speeds up transactions


The tap and pay system is, by far, the fastest way to process transactions. According to American Express, cashless payments are 63% faster than cash transactions and 53% faster than classic debit/credit card transactions. Each transaction can be processed in under 5 seconds, a mid-sized cashless payment set-up allowing you to process over 20 transactions/second.

3.Detailed live reports

The cashless payment system gives you live access to real-time data. It’s 100% transparent, allowing you and your partners to see live how much money attendees are spending (and how). It also allows you to create “cohort reports” and segment your attendees based on their spending habits (and combine those reports to any demographic data you have collected).

4. Fraud and losses become a thing of the past

With a cashless payment system in place, fraud becomes almost impossible. Not handling cash or tokens will make it impossible for someone to steal the vendor’s income or the attendees’ money. Human errors may still appear, but with an easy to use cashless payment system, they are highly unlikely and easy to correct.

5.Multiple revenue streams

Using smart NFC tags for payments allows you to also use them for attendee engagement and experiential marketing. The event ticket is paired to the tag (that can be stored into the event wristband, card, or badge) and allows attendees to interact by a simple tap of the hand. It can also be used for smart screens and gamification, converting your event into one fun ecosystem. And sponsors are always attracted to new ideas for attendee engagement.

6. Less staff needed for access control

The event wristband can also store your attendees’ access credentials. Permissions can be checked by a simple tap to an NFC receiver, allowing you to delegate your team members to more important tasks. It’s also faster than traditional scanning, allowing attendees to move to different sections of your festival without having to wait in endless queues.

7. Increased overall attendee experience

I have saved it for last but in my opinion, this is the most important benefit of using a cashless payment system. The speed and safety that it adds to your event will make the whole experience unforgettable. Not having to carry your wallet, being able to purchase a beer without having to wait for ages, allowing you to use your wristband to claim perks, those are all benefits that we all crave for.

Why use our cashless payments solution?

What differentiates us? With Oveit you can set up a cashless payment solution without the need for expensive hardware. We have developed a mobile app that transforms your mobile phone into a powerful and easy to use POS. No need for special scanners or NFC devices; add credit and record purchases using just day to day mobile phones.
Another reason why you should definitely use or solution is that it works both online and offline. And because it does not require a special set-up it can be used in any location you wish. Like a remote island or the top of a mountain.

Contact us for more info.

Creative ways to use our event management software

From day one we wanted to develop Oveit into more than just a ticketing app, to develop it into a complete event management software. We always knew that technology can help you offer unforgettable experiences to your guests. Time passed, we developed new features, and clients started using our software for complex situations. Today I will tell you how our partners use Oveit’s features in ways that may surprise you. Maybe you are looking for an event management software that you can use in an “unconventional” way (yes, we now that you are looking for more than a ticketing software), so go ahead and find some inspiration below.

 

Great way to collect shout-outs 

I am found of all creative ideas, but I will start with the idea one of our partners had not too long ago.  They were using Oveit to sell tickets for a high-school musical show. Also wanted to give parents a way to support their children by allowing them to buy some “shout outs” in the event programme. They had a dedicated email address for parents to contact them but found it difficult to offer a straightforward payment solution. It was also pretty difficult to make sure that all the shout outs are collected in one place and none is lost “on the way” (things can be difficult when you are part of a small team).

He had the ingenious idea to use Oveit for it; created a new event that allowed parents to instantly register the message by using our registration forms. Set up a limited number of tickets (each ticket was a shout out) and money went straight into their account through our direct payment feature. After the registration period was over they simply downloaded the list and printed the shout-outs in the Event Programme. An easy way to solve a complicated situation.

Print screen from Oveit - event management system

 

Rewarding loyal customers through our event management software

Loyalty is something each brand looks for from its customers. Loyal customers are hard to find, so when you do let them know that they are truly appreciated. One of our partners (a Sports Organization) uses our NFC technology for both payments and access control at the VIP lounge. They wanted to do more for the fans that rarely miss from a home game, so they have created a special rewarding program. Depending on the number of consecutive games the fans attend they receive a gift from the organizer. Because the fans use their cards to pay or access designated areas our partner can easily keep track of those that qualify for the loyalty program.

Loyalty programs are very appreciated by customers and 76% consider that personalized offers based on their purchase history are crucial.

Art that speaks to its admirers

Our NFC capabilities can be used to engage attendees within your events. We developed it thinking it would be a great way for attendees and sponsors/exhibitors to connect.

However, I know someone that took this feature one step further. Visiting a museum is always fun, but it’s much funnier when art talks to you. Yes, our NFC features are used in museums, and visitors can find more about a particular piece, an artist or an art movement. Online searching for information is very common among museum-goers. Art that follows up is not something that you see on a daily basis and it’s a great way to create a buzz while helping visitors find more about what they love.

follow up email sent using Oveit's attendee engagement feature

photo/text source: wikipedia.org Example of personalized follow-up email sent using Oveit’s engagement feature

 

 

 

 

 

 























Using the “badge” option as a gift coupon for your services

Discount coupons are a great way to attract new business. According to a study conducted by Firstdata, 11% of coupons are used by new users, meaning they are a great way for new customers to test your products or services. A quality interaction will convince them to become regular users, and adding gift coupons can increase your client base. To estimate what this could mean take a look at how small improvements can increase your business

Oveit can be used to create gift coupons that will be sent directly to the beneficiary through a 100% personalized coupon while all the financial data goes to the person that places the order.

 

Our cashless payment system for day to day activities

Our main focus is on cashless payments, there’s no secret here. We are happy to see that more and more event planners use our software for this feature, increasing their revenue. Our “light” setup was adopted not only by event planners but also by an elementary school that was delighted that can use it in its cafeteria. Parents credit the pupils’ accounts (they use colorful NFC wristbands that scholars love to wear) and using our software they are sure that the kids use the lunch money…for lunch.

colorful NFC wristband

 

 

 

 

 

The same system is used by a large corporation as a way to partially support lunch for its employees. Each month the company adds an amount to each employee account as they use their personalized NFC cards to pay at the cafeteria. If they run out of credit employees can add extra credit.

We are happy to see that more and more employers opt to use our cashless payments solution in order to create a closed-loop ecosystem to manage lunch benefits.

 

NFC-based ecosystems for tourist complex

The idea of ecosystems has always been on our minds, this is why we have developed Oveit into more than a ticketing software. And starting from the event ecosystem we looked further, making it easy to use in more complex environments.  With their help, we managed to develop our software so that it can manage a touristic complex, the NFC room key becoming a powerful tool that is used to:

Attendees can use it to:

-open rooms

-pay at bars, restaurants, gift shops (in the ecosystem)

-access different areas on site (access to different facilities is connected to the room guests have booked, so permissions come as “benefits” added to the account)

-guests that stay at this resort have access to a nearby Contemporary Art Museum and in order to see if they really visit it the entry is added as a “perk” and checked in individually (using the same “room key” which, of course, it’s an NFC card).

 

A new way to manage treasure hunt games

Our NFC capabilities were not once used for implementing treasure hunt games, but a particular occasion stuck to my mind. One of our partners used Oveit for a company retreat and the NFC wristbands to capture data on what activities its employees prefer. For the treasure hunt game, they used our software to create checkpoints and check if each team has covered the whole track. Each time a team reached a milestone the team leader tapped the wristband to the NFC device. Our event management software sent an email containing clues on how to reach the next checkpoint and also marked that they have covered that point of the track. Easy implementation for maximum fun.

 

Hope this article helped you discover new techniques to satisfy your customers. If you have a question for which you haven’t got an answer please let us know. We can’t promise Oveit will be the perfect solution for you but we promise we will look into it.

 

Event management world: small improvements to increase your revenue

                                                   –without increasing the ticket price-

As companies from every industry, event management companies to need to be profitable in order to survive. In my experience, money is not the main reason for which somebody starts a business in this industry, but even event planners have bills and salaries to pay. And unfortunately smiles, the best currency exchange in the industry, aren’t able to do it. Today’s article is based on a very simple principle (yet many times ignored) on how small changes can increase your revenue. The key is to look at the journey attendees have from the moment they first come into contact with your event until the moment your event is over (and even farther)pexels-photo-990818

From  prospects to buyers

When you first start marketing your event lots of people will see your message. But only a small percentage of them will convert into buyers. Assuming that 200.000 people hear your message and 2000 buy tickets to your event, this means you have a 1% conversion rate.

There are ways you can increase the conversion rate, and we have written multiple articles on this subject. You can write better marketing copy, use influential marketing or use the right social media tools for marketing. And later in this article, you will see why any small improvement can dramatically improve the overall financial result.

So, if your average ticket is 500 USD and you have 2000 paying attendees, your ticket revenue will be 1.000.000 USD. You have invested a considerable amount of money to convince people to come to your event, but let’s exaggerate and think that all of your attendees are the result of your marketing campaigns. A great experience will bring people back to your next event(s). And considering the fact that it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one you should definitely make the most out of this opportunity.

good to know:

In average, event profs invest in marketing between 1 and 8 percent of what they expect the event to return. We can use a 4,5 average and consider that 45.000 USD brought you 2000 attendees (22,5 USD/attendee). A job done right gives you the opportunity to sell tickets to next year’s event for 4 USD to at least 15% of your current attendees. Of course, figures are not quite exact, but I am sure that you see where I am going.

On-site payments

But the revenue an attendee brings doesn’t limit to the ticket he pays for. If you are hosting a 2-day festival and attendees spend on average 100 USD per day, food and beverages will bring you 400.000 USD. But what if I tell you that Oveit can help you increase on-site revenues? Reports show that people tend to spend up to 30% more at events where a cashless payment system is in place. Using the right event management tool will definitely help you increase the revenue.

print screen with Oveit's digital wallet report

p.s. We know sponsorship is a crucial piece of the puzzle. And to help event planners offer a great experience for sponsors too, we have developed our NFC built-in technology so that it can be used to engage attendees and collect data. Read more here.

Increase your revenue: the practical example.

Scenario A:

So, the figures that we have until now are :

200.000 (prospects) X 1% (conversion rate) = 2000 (ticket buyers)

2000 (ticket buyers) X 500 USD(ticket price)= 1000000 USD (income)

+

2000 (attendees) X 200 USD (spent on-site)= 400.000 USD

total income: 1.400.000.

Assuming that you have a 20% profit rate you will make  280.000 USD profit

Scenario B:

Now, starting from this figures, let’s assume that you use our blog and technology and make just a few improvements. Maybe you refine your marketing strategy (better copy, better targeting etc.) and use an online ticketing system that allows you to sell tickets directly on your website. And buyers to use their mobile phones to place the order: your conversion rate goes from 1% to 1.5%.

200.000 (prospects) X 1.5% (conversion rate)= 3000 (ticket buyers)

3000 (ticket buyers) X 500 USD= 1.500.000

+

On-site, using Oveit’s cashless payments system, people spend 10% more, with an average of 220 USD.

3000 (attendees) X 220 USD= 660.000

Total income: 2.160.000

with the same 20% profit rate you will have 432.000 USD profit.

As you can see, just some small improvements can increase your revenue without increasing your ticket price. Having the right partners can be the difference between failure and success, so make sure that you choose a smart tool as your event management system. Read here another great example of how small changes can bring huge improvements.