Eventbrite | Success Story
Big Crowds, No Chaos:
How SnowGlobe Used RFID to Pull Off a Flawless Festival
Long lines. Box office issues. Ticket fraud. These challenges will be familiar to any growing event, but for Jeffrey Lesan, SnowGlobe’s Chief Marketing Officer, they were very real problems he had to solve — fast.
SnowGlobe Music Festival is the largest three-day winter music festival in the world. From December 29-31, 2015, more than 18,000 attendees braved the 10°F temperatures of Lake Tahoe, California to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style. From early afternoon until after midnight, EDM fans of all ages flowed between the three stages.
Jeffrey Lesan has been with the festival from the beginning. Since their first festival in 2011, Jeffrey has witnessed SnowGlobe’s growth from an under-the-radar favorite into one of the most sought-after New Year’s Eve tickets around. But while their popularity skyrocketed, it was a challenge to keep up with growing lines, heightened security, and more ticket fraud.
“With Eventbrite’s RFID solution, everything changed for the better. Entry was much cleaner, much more efficient, and we caught many more people trying to scam. We got all the advantages that we wanted when we made the decision to spend more money on the attendee experience."
— JEFFREY LESAN, CMO, SnowGlobe
For their 2015 festival, the team was ready to seriously tackle those challenges. They knew they needed to work more efficiently and give attendees a more polished, streamlined experience. To do so, Jeffrey and the team chose Eventbrite's RFID solution as the tech that would help them:
> Eliminate chaos in the box office
> Make gate entry cleaner and faster while eliminating fraud
> Ship wristbands to attendees, without an uptick in customer service
When implementing RFID, the team wanted to make sure to keep operations intuitive and customer support costs manageable. One of the scariest parts of introducing a new technology is the possibility of confusing staff and attendees. SnowGlobe turned to Eventbrite’s RFID solution to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Eliminating chaos and fraud risks from the box office
Before RFID, the SnowGlobe box office tended towards chaos. It was standard for Jeffrey to spend the entire first night responding to all the inquiries coming through on social media. But this year, they didn’t get a single box office complaint.
So, what changed?
“RFID sped up the box office process in two ways,” Jeffrey said. “Because people already had their wristbands, it freed up time and space. And because people received such extensive information on how RFID works in advance, they could come to the office with more informed questions, which streamlined the entire process.”
Even fans without advance wristbands didn’t have to waste time at the box office. SnowGlobe used new mobile technology from Eventbrite which allowed them to activate wristbands in two simple steps: scanning a ticket, then tapping the wristband against an RFID-enabled iPhone. This easy-to-use technology enabled box office staff to keep lines moving quickly.
“I activated a lot of additional wristbands on my own, which is a testament to how easy it is to do,” Jeffrey said.
“It was such a tremendous relief for customer service. For the first time ever, we didn’t get any complaints about the box office. I usually anticipate spending the first night responding to every complaint coming through about the box office. But this year I didn’t have to deal with any complaints, which freed me to respond to other issues.”
— JEFFREY LESAN, CMO, SnowGlobe
RFID didn’t just make the festival appear more polished to attendees. It empowered SnowGlobe to work more professionally as well. Previously, SnowGlobe used a Google Doc for their guest lists. Because the Google doc could be edited in real time, staff could grab tickets for their friends without any controls or transparency.
“With wristbands, we assigned every ticket on the backend, so it decreased internal fraud substantially,” Jeffrey said. “It was clear how many tickets were comped, and we could find people who had tried to cheat the system. It gave us an amazing window into how many tickets were sold and given out, and how many people were inside the festival.”