Food and drink tickets can be a great way to manage bar sales at your event. Instead of cumbersome cash or credit card payments, the patron just needs to hand the vendor a voucher. As long as you’re not working with a dozen different types of tickets, this should keep the lines moving and also make accounting and reconciliation with vendors easier at the end of the event.
While all of these could be valid reasons to use these types of tokens at your next event, spend the next 3 minutes reading on to discover why you should use RFID and virtual vouchers – i.e., assigning digital tokens to the patrons’ RFID wristbands or badges, and using these them as the currency patrons use to buy food and drink at the event – instead of opting for traditional, plastic tokens.
- Instant reconciliation
Vouchers are more transparent than cash since you know how many were printed and purchased, and the vendor has an incentive to redeem as many of them as are in his or her possession at the end of the event.
However, the reliance on physical items in an outdoor event environment creates ample opportunity for tokens to get lost or destroyed and the need to tally them is, simply put, a hassle. RFID saves you the trouble by doing all the math behind the scenes, making reconciliation a literal matter of seconds.
- Live reporting
The fact that transactions are digitally tracked is not only useful at the end of the event, but also during: by using your accompanying RFID software, you can see which items are selling and how your customers are behaving, and take action where appropriate.
For example, if vodka sodas are selling well, you can check your inventory to see you’re fully stocked for the rest of the night; if you see a lot of activity in a certain area you can assign additional staff members to it, etc.
- More secure
Let’s face it – festivals can be chaotic, especially when alcohol is involved. Rowdy patrons have been known to abuse the drink tickets system in myriad ways, including grabbing entire reels of tokens, tokens being ‘lost’ in transport or outright stolen from other patrons during the event.
RFID is a more secure option since there’s only one object for patrons to fumble with, and that object is usually around their wrist (if using bracelets) or their neck (if using lanyards), rather than a whole bunch of small plastic things jangling in their wallets, pockets or backpack.
- Use self-service stations for more efficient top-ups
If all or most of your patrons will need to purchase drink tickets multiple times during the night, you’ve merely moved the bottleneck from one part of the event to the other – in fact, you might have created an even worse choke point than before, with the ‘added bonus’ of additional staffing costs.
With RFID, you can simplify the matters using self-service kiosks, decreasing your staffing costs while expediting the process for attendees. You can add as many of these kiosks as needed all around your event, at a fraction of the cost of adding manned top-up stations.
- Sell event vouchers online before the event
Want to take it one step further? Encourage patrons to skip the entire process of purchasing tokens at the event by topping up their RFID cards/wristbands online before the event.
Surveys have shown that most patrons want to use online top-ups before the event, but even if only 20% of them actually make use of the option, that’s still 20% less lines at the event. Considering the fact it cost you virtually nothing, that’s a massive achievement – your alternative would be to hire additional staff.
- Staff accountability
Not to sound overly pessimistic and suspicious, but your bar staff might also be less than infallible. Cases of staff using or selling drink tickets to their friends are not unheard of, and resorting to surveilling your workers is not a great way to build trust with your team.
Using RFID will save you the need to worry about this, as RFID balances cannot be stolen or transferred without taking the physical RFID device, which as mentioned is generally on the attendee’s person.
- Give more responsibilities to volunteers, reduce staffing costs
Continuing the previous point – since you’re no longer worried about anyone stealing money / vouchers, you can feel more secure in letting volunteers and other less-qualified workers handle transactions, further reducing your operating expenses.
When it comes to paid stuff, you can also afford to hire less people – you don’t need as many supervisors when theft is no longer an issue.
- Transparency with vendors
Arguing with vendors over unclear sales figures or indiscrepancies is a bad way to end an event. With RFID this isn’t an issue – you know how much each bar or stall is selling in real-time, and you have a set of inarguable figures waiting for you by the time the event is over.
Again, this isn’t to say you should be constantly suspecting your vendors of malfeasance – just that transparency is a great thing, and it prevents misunderstandings, arguments and bad blood on both sides: both you and the vendors working your event are always in the clear as to who owes how much to whom.
- Run more and better events
By reducing your staffing, reconciliation and security overhead, you can achieve greater efficiency and reduce your overall operating costs – which will allow you to run more events or offer better value-for-money to your fans.
- Sponsorship opportunities
Printing your sponsor’s logo or brand name on a drink ticket is nice, but RFID gives you a host of additional possibilities – from dedicated VIP areas to various discounts that can be tied to social media incentives.
For example, the RFID devices can be encoded with the patron’s social media accounts, and offer them the option to immediately post to Twitter or Facebook for a discount at the bar. You can also offer more elaborate pricing and product selections, which would be extremely confusing when working with physical tickets.
- Simplify refunds
Attendees might hesitate before purchasing drink tickets out of concerns over difficulty refunding unused ones after the event. With RFID this is much less of an issue since all refunds can be handled digitally and online, giving patrons the confidence to top up their devices with additional credit, secure in the knowledge they will get the remainder refunded at the end of the event.
- Boost revenues!
Finally, it’s a well known fact that making payments easier and faster encourages consumers to spend, especially when the transaction doesn’t feel like they’re really ‘losing’ something.
Instead of having patrons counting how many tickets they have left all night, they can simply continue swiping their wristbands to make purchases – which all but guarantees they will end up spending more.
We’re helping event organisers across the world switch from physical to virtual drink tickets. Want to make sure your event is the best it can be? Get in touch today.