There are three things a human can’t live without; food, water and WiFi. The world we live in is dominated by technologies and infrastructure designed to provide connectivity to the masses—and as more people use contactless payments, WiFi for events is becomingly an increasingly important factor.
When planning an event, ensuring that you have good WiFi available for staff, vendors, card machines and perhaps event the public is vital. In this article, we’ll break down the 20 best benefits of having WiFi at your event, and how it improves your vendor, staff and guest’s experience.
1. Enable card payments
With 75% of card payments in the UK made using contactless cards, providing WiFi to facilitate these payments is essential.
Card payments are the number one requirement of most event organisers we speak with. Without reliable WiFi connectivity, staff and vendors cannot take card payments with PDQ machines.
Card payments are vital for the smooth running of an event—and people have come to expect them, especially in a post-COVID era. By enabling card payments with a strong WiFi network, you keep your guests and vendors happy.
2. Increase security and emergency resources
Connectivity isn’t just used for sending emails. With a strong event WiFi network, your staff and security team can be more efficient and provide the care and attention to your guests that they require.
Many of our larger events opt for a wired connection inside their medical tent and staff offices. This gives them a connection to the outside world in the event of an emergency.
With a bulletproof WiFi network, your security team can also run a CCTV system to ensure everyone on site is safe, and to help secure that often elusive alcohol licence.
3. Attract more vendors
Providing WiFi connectivity to your vendors is a must for most events. Many vendors demand reliable WiFi connectivity for card payments and transactions, and by providing them a dependable connection, you can ensure they have the best experience.
Vendors are 10% more likely to book at an event if reliable WiFi is provided to them—they’re also more likely to speak with other vendors about their positive experience, increasing bookings and generating more revenue.
4. Be more COVID safe
It’s no secret that COVID hit the event industry hard. Now we’re out the other side of it, event’s have to be sure they’re as COVID secure as possible to put people mind at rest.
Part of COVID secure is contactless card payments, and avoiding cash at all times. This is achieved by providing WiFi to your vendors to enable contactless card payments.
Another COVID secure measure of event WiFi is the ability to use e-ticketing, both helping the environment and eliminating the need for tickets to be handed to gate staff. Most festivals and events use WiFi on the gate entrances for a more COVID secure event.
5. Increased guest satisfaction
Guest satisfaction is a priority for events. While there are many factors that contribute to the satisfaction of guests, quite a few can be improved with good WiFi.
A great example is guest wait times and queue lengths. By improving the payment speeds of your vendors with faster WiFi, you can reduce queue times and improve guest experience and satisfaction ratings.
86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience—and this statistic includes events. With guests willing to pay more, you can grow your event, increase revenue and use this to book bigger acts.
6. Encourage social sharing
WiFi isn’t just for vendors. Some of our event customers choose to provide WiFi to the public—either across the site or in specific areas such as VIP lounges or bars.
With public WiFi, you can increase social awareness of your event by encouraging guests to share their experience and images of the event with their online followers.
54% Of consumers use social media to research before making a purchase decision—and if your presence can be developed on social media using WiFi at your event, then you could see significant return on your investment in advertising value alone.
7. Live stream your event
Streaming is a relatively new thing for outdoor events. Many events focused on in-person attendance rather than online attendance, but the number of people that choose to watch events via live stream is increasing.
Since COVID, many events have opted to stream their event or acts live on social media and video sharing sites such as Youtube. By selling online only tickets, you can bring your event experience to those that might not be able to attend in person.
It goes without saying that live streaming an event requires strong WiFi or even wired connectivity. In most instances, we’d recommend a CAT5 wired setup and dedicated broadband connection (such as a satellite) for events looking to live stream.
8. Generate additional revenue
Many events see WiFi as a necessary evil, but it can be used to generate additional revenue. Many of our event WiFi customers utilise the WiFi connection as justification for higher vendor prices.
With many events in rural outdoor locations, it’s often difficult for vendors to connect their card machines and devices. With a fully fledged event WiFi solution, your event can charge vendors a premium for access to a reliable internet connection.
Another way events can generate revenue for WiFi is by offering a paid connection to guests. We have done many events where a public WiFi connection is provided, but at a cost per day to the public. This can often generate thousands of pounds if marketed correctly.
9. Decreased guest wait times
We’ve all been to a shop or at a festival where the card machines don’t work, so every kiosk turns to ‘cash only’. This leads to incredibly long queues, extended wait times and unhappy guests.
According yo Qminder, nearly 60% of customers will not spend more than four minutes waiting in a queue. This highlights the importance of swift and efficient customer turnover for your event’s gates and vendors.
By implementing a bulletproof WiFi network, you ensure that vendors card payments are taken care of. Our LEO satellite solutions ensure low latency when taking card payments, optimising vendor’s sales.
10. Go ‘cashless’
A big buzzword in the event industry is cashless. More and more events are moving to a cashless system, eliminating the need for guests to carry money around with them, and leave it in their tent—which is obviously a security risk.
Implementing a strong WiFi network enables card machine payments, helping you transition to a cashless system.
Moving to a cashless event also helps save you money. Without cash, you can reduce security and cash collections, as well as move to simpler and more cost effective POS systems with card payments only. It also increases the safety of staff behind the bar.
11. Offer vendors more amenities
In order to attach more vendors, and keep existing vendors coming back, your event needs to offer good amenities. WiFi is often seen as a luxury (especially if you’re in a field), so by offering vendors good connectivity, you ensure they’re happy and keep that returning business.
More amenities also attract new vendors—so if you’re looking to grow your festival, offing good WiFi will help bring in bigger vendors to your festival or event.
12. Get more sponsors
Attracting sponsors and corporate investment is a great way to grow your event and raise funds for bigger and better facilities. Why not use your WIFi solution as a utility for sponsors, helping raise brand awareness and promote their business to guests and vendors.
Many of our event customers choose to display their sponsors name and logo to the attendees who login to the WiFi. Some even customise the WiFi SSID to raise additional brand awareness for their sponsor.
13. Enable on-the-gate payments and entry
While ticketing is a great way to manage your event traffic, some events and festivals choose to have open gates, where attendees can turn up on the day and purchase an entry ticket. This is a great way to increase numbers and hopefully those one-day attendees will return next year.
With WIFi on your ticket entrances and gates, you can maximise the number of on-the-day entries by taking payments for tickets.
WiFi on your event’s gates also enables ticket scanning, so you can move to a cheaper and more efficient online ticketing software for your event, giving much more freedom to guests and attendees.
14. Keep staff connected
Your staff are an important part of the smooth running of your event. By keeping them connected, you can improve the inter-team communication.
Staff that have access to the WiFi are able to email and video call with other important parties, such as act management teams, customer service teams and security personnel.
15. Increase social media marketing presence
Social media marketing is a fantastic way to promote your event, reaching thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of potential guests. Many events that we attend are pushing to become more ‘Instagrammable’ by offering photo places, signage and photo walls to encourage attendees to post about your event online to their followers.
A great way to encourage posting of social media content is by offering your guests WiFi at specific ‘Instagrammable’ areas of your event. You could even position QR codes these areas to streamline the connection and enable uploading of photos. Often, these locations are situated nearby bars to encourage guests to purchase a drink while on social media.
By reaching more people online, you can help increase future footfall, brand awareness and promote the FOMO feeling to people that aren’t at your event.
16. Improve visitors returning metrics
Building brand loyalty is a long term strategy that comes with huge benefits. Returning customers often book tickets far in advance to guarantee a spot, and this helps with your event’s cashflow.
By offering a great guest experience (such a short queue times, free WiFi, online ticketing etc), you can ensure guests want to return next year.
Why not ask visitors to use your event’s WiFi to buy next years ticket? This is a great way to drive brand loyalty and returning guests.
17. Get online engagement
In a similar fashion to social media marketing, increasing online engagement is an important part of growing the online presence of your event.
By offering WiFi to guests, you can increase online engagement and offer more ways for them to connect to your marketing team. Why not use a WiFi landing page to gather guests marking information and send them emails. Hubspot reports that “Email collection forms were the most successful at converting viewers, with a 15% conversion rate”.
18. Charge vendors more
Many events use WiFi as justification for higher pitch prices. By offering a WiFi connection included in their pitch fee, you can charge more money. Many of our event WiFi customers choose to include WiFi access in their pitch fee as an extra amenity for vendors.
This is especially important for rural events and festivals, where 4G signal is poor so vendors cannot use their 4G card machines to take contactless payments. You’d be surprised how many vendors are willing to pay extra for a bulletproof WiFi solution.
19. Avoid awkward PR issues
There’s nothing worse than putting on an incredible event, but it being overshadowed by poor WiFi connectivity—especially if it’s impacting on visitors experiences.
Too many times large events have to take to social media to apologise to guests when the WiFi starts to slow or the 4G network fails. Often poor connectivity and WiFi can make the event experience worse for guests, and if you’re trying to keep everyone happy, it adds additional stress to the already stressful day.
20. Save money
Utilising WiFi as a replacement for other utilities is a great way to save money, this includes:
- Using WiFi to go cashless and save money on security
- Increase CCTV by using connectivity to reduce security staff
- Move to e-ticketing to reduce waste and costs
- Save money on POS systems by moving to simple cashless transactions
- Use WiFi to increase revenue
WiFi is a vital asset for any event or festival—and these above are just a selection of the many benefits that come with a reliable event WiFi solution. For more information about how Bytes Digital can help with WiFi at your next event, get in touch today.