In this article, we look at how Tomorrowland, one of the world’s biggest and most iconic events, has continued to improve the guest experience and drive ROI by implementing a cashless payment solution.
In the final weekends of a sweltering July, around 400,000 fans from every corner of the world descended on the sleepy town of Boom, Belgium for Tomorrowland.
Now in its 14th year, Tomorrowland has become the most globally visible event of its kind. With 16 official stages hosting around 1000 acts and dizzying standards of production, the Belgian festival is an engulfing spectacle to behold.
But beneath the fireworks, waterfalls and colossal stage designs, Tomorrowland’s organizers have strived to innovate every detail of the festival to improve the fan experience and drive ROI.
Grow your event’s revenue with Tomorrowland best practices
Back in 2013, Tomorrowland was amongst the earliest festivals to implement a fully cashless payment solution, recognizing its potential to reduce lines, improve the guest experience and increase event revenue through higher concessions spend.
Reducing lines to improve the guest experience
In our State of Live 2017/2018 report, we discovered that 57.5% of fans who attended events in the past year felt that long wait times was their biggest frustration.
Fans come to festivals and live events to see their favorite artists, explore the grounds and spend time immersed in the experience. Time wasted standing in line to buy drinks both detracts from their enjoyment of the event and reduces per head spend overall.
By working to reduce the time spent waiting in lines, you will have a positive impact on your bottom line and the guest experience.
It’s a simple theory that a lot of events don’t fully acknowledge, and in overlooking this they are leaving a lot of money on the table.
Cashless Payments reduce the average transaction time from 90s to 15s, giving fans back time to spend enjoying the event and making them more inclined to return.
Creating currency for easy consumer spending
Having fans travel from all corners of the globe is one of the most iconic elements of Tomorrowland, but it does present one problem: consumers from different countries with different currencies have varied spending habits and expectations.
Tomorrowland’s organizers effectively harnessed another key feature of Cashless Payments to confront this problem.
“Most music festivals still require attendees to bring cash with them or be charged for taking money out from ATMs on the festival site to then be forced to exchange these funds for tokens that are sold in bulk and cannot be refunded if not used. The fintech industry can and should be profiting from this gap in the market.”
– Madhvi Mavadiya, Forbes Fintech Contributor
After implementing the Cashless Payments technology, Tomorrowland created its own on-site currency and dubbed it “Pearls.”
This allowed all organizers and vendors to price their products in a neutral currency that both deepened the narrative theme of unity and could be understood by all attendees.
Tomorrowland fans simply purchased the amount of Pearls they wanted and then loaded them onto their cashless RFID wristband. After the event, all unspent Pearls were automatically refunded back to the fans in their original currency.
Why Cashless Payments though?
Cashless Payment means that no cash or credit card is used to make direct purchases for food, drink, products or services on site at a live event.
Instead, guests can top up their wristbands using cash or card and then make fast and secure purchases at the vendor booth with a simple double-tap of their RFID-enabled event wristbands. The funds are deducted instantly from the guest’s account balance and recorded digitally in real-time in the system.
Cashless Payments are extremely convenient for guests, vendors and event organizers. All transactions are processed digitally and accessed in real time, allowing event organizers to decrease costs and increase on-site revenue.
Advantages of cashless payments at a festival
- See an average revenue increase of 46%, and up to 87% in the first year
- Real-time data reporting on sales, product popularity and more
- Reduce risk of theft
- Maintain ownership over their entire vendor/consumer experience
- Ability to dynamically incentivize behavior on site
- More efficient vendor reconciliation
- Minimize internal payment processing and lower merchant costs
- Increase fan satisfaction
Increase event revenue by up to 87%
More and more festivals are employing RFID as a solution to both access control, cashless, and oftentimes experiential engagement, delivering three crucial solutions from a single piece of technology.
Cashless payments have been one of the most exciting elements of RFID emergence in the live event space, and many of the world’s best and most innovative music festivals have made the switch to a cashless payment solution in recent years.
By switching to a cashless solution, event organizers are able to increase revenue by as much as 87%. This can enable them to deepen their investment in talent, production and logistics, making the event and the experience better for the fans and giving them a considerable competitive edge on the competition.
From Tomorrowland to your event
Cashless Payments are one of many instances in which Tomorrowland has been ahead of the curve and committed to driving innovation across the festival space. Tomorrowland utilized the full breadth of the Cashless Payments solution and was not only able to improve the guest experience but also increase revenue – both benefits that are easily replicable for your event.
Intellitix is proud to have powered this exciting, profitable venture for the world’s biggest and most iconic music festival and would love the opportunity to do the same for you.