From showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test to vaccination passports, live events organisers are considering what COVID-19 secure measures should be taken when allowing revellers back after a lengthy exile. According to Tappit CEO, Jason Thomas, as the sector returns to full strength, organisers must ensure that the health and safety of fans and staff are at the forefront of their minds by utilising emerging technologies.
As providers of cashless solutions, including RFID wristbands for payment and entry to venues, white label mobile pay and standalone web wallets, Tappit suddenly saw demand and interest in its products accelerate amid the COVID-19 pandemic – especially in the US, where some events continued despite large parts of the world entering into lockdown.
“We are seeing a huge move to cashless solutions,” Thomas began. “People want to find ways to speed up transactions and are understanding that they need to make their events more profitable than ever, and keep their fans engaged and loyal throughout.”
Thomas believes the lack of live events with in-person audiences in Europe has had an impact on business, however, as a global company, Tappit has experienced significant growth in territories with an alternative approach to handling the pandemic, such as the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and North America. “We just can’t wait for the events industry to come back properly,” he remarked.
Tappit recently collaborated with NFL, NBA and MLB teams, which have been harnessing its white-label mobile wallet this season. “Organisations realised during the pandemic that without fans in the venue, they had a lack of true data to effectively communicate with their consumers,” Thomas reported. “We’re seeing incredible results for our clients around increased spend per head and, most importantly, we’re delighted that the level of data that our clients are able to access is helping them increase fan engagement, drive revenues and enhance the opportunities for sponsors.”
With much of the sector clamouring to get back to live events with unrestricted numbers on in-person audiences, many fear that the pent-up demand may be outweighed by the tension around the level of reassurance required for revellers to feel comfortable, safe and immersed in the experience. Thomas, however, is confident of the sector’s bounce back to full strength in the not-too-distant future. “I’m optimistic that if the right approach is taken, live events will be back faster than we think.”
Tappit’s cashless payment solutions are built around easy-to-use yet incredibly secure QR codes. These same principles, Thomas said, can be applied to COVID-19 passports if live events organisers wish to do so.
“Everyone has a different approach to testing, checking and protecting their citizens, staff and fans. As our technology integrates seamlessly with pre-existing systems, we are confident that we can work with any partner or provide a complementary solution to ensure fans and staff have a seamless and secure experience around proving COVID-19 status, regardless of our client or a country’s approach.”
Looking to the future, Thomas concluded: “We’ve got an incredibly exciting few months and are due to make some major announcements with festivals and sporting events and teams worldwide. Like the rest of the events industry – and as fans ourselves – we can’t wait to get back to live.”
This article originally appeared in issue #264 of TPi, which you can read here.