In recent years, some of the world’s largest and most iconic festivals have gone cashless – replacing paper money and credit cards with RFID bracelets that guests use to pay for food, drinks and merchandise (and usually also to access the event and participate in activations). Some of these events include Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, Coachella and countless others.
What’s the explanation for this fast-growing trend in live event management? We’ve identified 10 key advantages of cashless payments that are motivating the world’s leading events and festivals to take the leap and go cashless:
1. Increased spend-per-head
Research has consistently shown that attendees at cashless events buy more, with up to 20% increased spend at bars and vendors throughout the festival. This is most likely due to the ease of making purchases and the better overall customer experience, as well as the psychological impact of not having to hand over cash or swipe a credit card.
2. Less lines and faster entry times
Implementing an RFID-based system at your event means eliminating the endless wait times and lines often associated with large events, or at the very least reducing them to a minimum. Not only are bar and vendor sales handled at a fraction of the time they would normally take, organisers can also leverage RFID access control for lighting fast ticket scanning and validation at the gates.
3. Happier customers
They might be spending more, but customers love cashless events regardless. Customer satisfaction rates at these events are almost always higher than traditional ones, with the common reasons cited including shorter wait times that give attendees more time to enjoy the event, the freedom and increased security that come with not having to carry a wallet everywhere, and the sheer novelty of paying through their wristbands.
4. Better security
Going cashless makes events more secure for everyone: from attendees who can be less concerned about their wallets getting lost or stolen, through vendors who needn’t worry about theft from the cash register, to organisers who no longer need to deal with forged tickets since RFID devices are nearly impossible to replicate.
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5. Less staffing costs
It’s the wonder of automation in action! RFID technology can significantly cut down the headcount needed to run a large scale event: from validating tickets to manning the bar, a simple reader can do in seconds what a person might take a minute or more to accomplish. If you’re a Token partner you can even use self-serve top up stations, further reducing staffing requirements while also shortening wait times.
6. Easier reconciliation and reporting
In addition to being easy to use, cashless payment systems have another major advantage in that they are entirely digital and automatic. Every transaction is completely transparent to both your vendors and yourself, which leaves close to zero room for manual error. When it comes to reconciliation and divvying up the profits at the end of the day, the system does most of the work automatically – making the process incredibly easy compared to dealing with physical tokens or cash.
7. Grateful vendors
Attendees that are happy to spend more money, less staff on payroll, virtually no risk of theft, and easy-as-pie reconciliation. Need we say more?
8. Marketing opportunities
Running an RFID event can help your promotional efforts on several levels. There’s word-of-mouth that comes with doing something relatively unique and novel; increased social media exposure and sponsorship opportunities via experiential activations; and even the possibility to pick up some traditional press coverage, if you play your cards right.
9. Additional revenue streams
Organising mass events often means running on preciously tight margins. Going cashless can create new revenue options that will help your bottom line and ensure you’re left with enough funds to run the next event. These might include activation fees, top up fees, percentage of purchase value charged from vendors, mailing and wristband fees, and refund fees.
10. More data and insights
Actionable data insights can be an incredibly powerful tool to optimise every aspect of your event’s operations in real-time as well as after the fact. At a cashless event, every vendor transaction and ticket validation is tracked in a single system, which is also simultaneously keeping track of your capacity, inventory and other crucial data points. This means you can solve bottlenecks and identify opportunities, both as the event unfolds and in retrospect.
Want to learn more about the technology that’s revolutionising events such as EDC, Coachella and Lollapalooza? Meet us at Ticketing Business Forum BOOTH 101; or enter your email below to schedule a meeting with one of our experts: