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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.”

stats

50%

FEWER CUSTOMER SERVICE CONTACTS THAN
TYPICAL RFID FESTIVALS

99.4%

WRISTBAND DELIVERY SUCCESS RATE

Making entry faster for fans and simpler for security

“Before, entry was all visual, which was a mess,” Jeffrey said. “At pinch points, it became a mad dash with multiple layers of security. It wasn’t effective, it wasn’t efficient, and there was so much room for error.”

To give fans a smoother experience, the team needed to get fans inside quickly — without any risk of counterfeit wristbands making it through. Because RFID chips are encrypted, it’s impossible to duplicate the bands the way you could copy a barcode. By using RFID wristbands that protect against fraud and adding visual cues for security, SnowGlobe was able to meet their goals.

“It was everything we could have asked for. We were a little anxious, like you are with any untested technology. But the first day, everything ran so smoothly that we didn’t even think about it for the rest of the three days.”

JEFFREY LESAN, CMO, SnowGlobe

“At peak rates, a single RFID portal handled more than 20 scans per minute. The team was also able to rely on the technology despite temperatures so cold that even iPhones were malfunctioning. The team even faced an internet and power outage, but the RFID solution kept working without a hitch. Because Eventbrite’s RFID chips hold their own data, the readers didn’t need to connect to a central source to get fans inside.

“Security are the unsung heroes of every event,” Jeffrey said. “That layer of simplicity and technology backing and supporting security streamlined the entire process.”

stats

20+

SCANS PER MINUTE AT PEAK ENTRY

100%

GATE UPTIME DESPITE A 30-MINUTE POWER OUTAGE

18,000+

UNIQUE WRISTBAND OWNERS

13,000+

MAIL FULFILLMENT OF WRISTBANDS

Fulfilling wristband orders in advance, without a customer service headache

To save attendees from the hassle of the box office, SnowGlobe decided to mail out wristbands in advance. But they needed to make sure the headache didn’t transfer to the fulfillment process. Incorrect mailing addresses and impatient attendees can create a customer service nightmare.

“It’s a fact of fulfillment that people are going to call,” Jeffrey said. “As soon as people see one person got their wristband, everyone wants it.”

Because SnowGlobe was using Eventbrite, each attendee could easily update their shipping address and check the status of their wristband on their own. And because Eventbrite checks addresses to ensure they’re shippable before sending out wristbands, SnowGlobe avoided extra costs associated with failed wristband delivery.

More than 13,000 attendees received their wristbands in advance, with a 99.4% delivery success rate. And because attendees could check their wristband status online, SnowGlobe had less than half the customer service contacts typical for an RFID festival of their size.

“If you’re thinking about using RFID, do it. Particularly with a partner like Eventbrite. Everything that we wanted, we got. Logistically, internally, and from an outside fan perception. It makes you look more professional, and work more professionally and efficiently. It just improves every aspect of your festival exponentially.”

JEFFREY LESAN, CMO, SnowGlobe

When the team did receive customer service calls, they had access to the real-time status of all orders so they could troubleshoot any issues instantly.

“Because Eventbrite’s fulfillment partner gave us access to the backend, we could give really specific and efficient answers,” Jeffrey said. “We could tell any given person exactly where their wristband was, which resulted in one email instead of five back and forth. It’s a seamless and intuitive partnership — it was everything I could’ve asked for.”

See RFID in action

To find out how you can upgrade your on-site experience with Eventbrite’s RFID solution, go to eventbrite.com/rfid, call us at (855) 292-7905, or fill out the Contact Us form below.

About Eventbrite:

Eventbrite is the world’s largest ticketing and registration platform, providing a seamless solution for festival organizers to efficiently set up, promote, and manage their events. Eventbrite has powered over 200M in ticket sales, connecting festivals with millions of attendees in more than 180 countries worldwide.