Festivals are big business. With so many vying for music fans’ attention, every competitive advantage is vital. Delivering a better experience than your competitors can be the difference between repeat ticket sales the following year and your hard-won customers looking elsewhere for their musical kicks.
Equally, poor experiences are easily shared via social media and can have an impact on the following years’ revenue. Just one bad experience shared extensively on social media can undermine the reputational goodwill built up over many years. As humans, we dwell on bad experiences far longer than on positive ones, so it pays to try to ensure the entire experience is a positive one for your ticket-holders.
Technology holds the key to ensuring festival-goers have the best experience possible, not only while on-site but also pre- and post-festival. So it’s worth considering which elements of the ticket sales, customer service, and on-site processes can be automated to make the experience as painless as possible. Festival tickets represent a considerable investment for many people, so you’d forgive them for expecting a seamless experience.
Gone are the days when customers queued around the block for access to festival tickets, but that doesn’t mean demand is any less fierce for the finite number of tickets for the big UK festivals.
Customised ticket shop
Being able to brand your ticketing partner’s shop with familiar logos and colour schemes is important to instil confidence in your customers. With full control over the look and feel of your ticketing outlet, you can deliver a seamless experience that feels part of your own web presence, from confirmation emails to digital ticket design. Continuity is key here.
Making your data work for you
As part of the ticket-purchasing process, data collection is vital to ensure you get to know your customers better. With personalised fields, you can ask your buyers to provide key identifying information that, combined with a Customer Data Platform (CDP), will allow you to personalise both their experience while they’re at the site, deliver exclusive offers to them, and to entice them back for the following year’s event.
Make lost tickets a thing of the past. It’s easy to misplace confirmation emails and the like when purchasing tickets far in advance, so ensure your customers can easily self-serve with a ‘lost tickets’ link. This allows them to resend ticket emails without the need for your customer service team to get involved. Ultimately, this saves everyone time and, ultimately, saves you money.
Ease the burden on your customer service team pre-event by automating answers to frequently asked questions. An AI-driven chatbot can quickly answer customer questions, meaning they can get on with their lives without trawling through pages of on-site FAQs.
In the bad old days, festival-goers had to stuff their wallets with cash and pray they would make it to the end of the festival without walking six miles to the nearest cash machine. More recently, cash machines and contactless payments have made the experience a lot less painful but you still have to queue.
With mobile order, fast, cashless transactions are simple and also negate the need for queuing. Customers can get a notification via their mobile phone when their order’s ready to collect and quickly pick up their order. If customers aren’t queuing, they can spend more time consuming which means increased potential revenue.
With a custom-branded interface and easy product listing and opening hours, vendors can create a bespoke experience, while customers can easily add requirements to their orders to save mixups when ordering at the till. After ordering, SMS and email templates provide thank you messages and order and pickup confirmation notifications.
Music festival teams are often small and overstretched. Dealing with on-site customer service can quickly become difficult to manage. Automation is the key, and a chatbot enables festival organisers to deliver festival information to customers without the need for human interaction. Festival maps, setlists, on-stage times and the like can all be added to a chatbot’s arsenal of information, freeing up human team members to deal with more pressing concerns.
Additionally, automated workflows allow notifications to be sent at specific points during the festival: when a ticket is scanned you could automatically send an email with the festival line-up or the location of bars and food outlets. A ‘wait until’ feature allows automation of timely messages: a countdown until the headliner is on-stage for example.
Just because the festival’s over, doesn’t mean your customer service team can slack off. Festival-goers may have issues with transport, or need to locate lost property. In these instances, having multiple channels available to customers to contact you is essential. Automating the right parts of that process will enable your team to focus on the issues that need their urgent attention, such as health and safeguarding issues, rather than helping someone find the train station or figure out which bus to take.
Using your data
If you’ve asked the right questions before and during your event, you’ll have a rich seam of data to mine in your CDP. Knowing who to target and how to target them is much easier when you hold personalised data in one place.
You could, for example, set an anniversary trigger to give festival-goers discounted pre-ordering on their birthdays, or use the data you hold on their music tastes to create personalised messages around bands they may be interested in as the line-up builds for the next event.
Know your channels
If you know how customers have contacted you in the past, you can work on a specific strategy to engage them for future events. Knowing which your customers’ preferred channels are is crucial to ensuring your marketing messages hit home. Equally, being able to service all of those channels can be a time-sap, unless you have an omni-channel dashboard that gives you a one-stop overview of conversations across all channels.
Creating a digital identity for your in-person festival experience is crucial to give prospective festival-goers a flavour of what you’re offering. Creating an app from scratch, however, can be costly and full of unwanted headaches. Appmiral is aimed squarely at music festival and event organisers who want to create a unique identity for their brand, but don’t want the coding hassles that can involve.
Appmiral can create an app for your brand that includes elements like a full programme, interactive map, ticket wallet, and artist listings and content. Designed to create an immersive experience and drive revenue, Appmiral helps marketers control their spend and own their fanbase away from the algorithm-driven, paid media spend-draining glare of social media. You can inform your fans with news and programmes, engage them with year-round content and experiences, and deliver seamless and connected user journeys.
If you’d like to know more about how technology can make the festival experience more enjoyable, both for organisers and ticket-holders, get in touch and we’ll talk you through our suite of ticketing, communication, customer service, and marketing solutions.