Well, that’s Glastonbury festival over and done with for another year, and I’m sure many of your social media news feeds have been swamped with selfies, videos and ‘wish you were here’ snaps. But this isn’t anything out of the ordinary. The way festival goers enjoy and engage with global music festivals has certainly evolved, with most people morphing into full-time photographers as soon as they adorn their wristbands and step foot onsite. People love sharing their every move and flaunting their festival experience to friends, family and followers.
Luckily, festival WiFi has become a logical connectivity solution for many organisers, meaning revellers no longer have to rely on lagging, overloaded 3G and 4G networks to share their favourite memories. Remember Dolly, Daisy and Molly? Maybe you don’t, but this high-speed herd of artificial cows made the headlines back in 2014 by delivering WiFi connectivity to the Glastonbury site. Nowadays, a growing number of popular global events such as Coachella and Benicàssim have followed suit and started to offer WiFi at festivals, with some even charging fees for unlimited access.
Connectivity is invaluable for our tech savvy generation of festival goers. People like to have peace of mind that they can keep in touch with friends, upload their filtered photos, boast about the best acts on Facebook, stream on Snapchat and tweet about the delightful onsite loo’s, but it’s also a huge blessing for those behind the scenes. Arguably, the organisers benefit the most from on-site festival WiFi as it provides them with on-the-ground coverage and an army of instant promoters. But how else can organisers benefit from offering WiFi at festivals?
Capture more than memories
Festival coordinators are starting to acknowledge the fact that connectivity is an expectation rather than a perk for the modern-day festival goer. Offering WiFi at festivals keeps the masses satisfied, but why shouldn’t organisers also reap the rewards? Festivals can implement a WiFi and analytics platform that delivers seamless connectivity but also captures data about every individual that logs on. Gaining access to email addresses, name, age, interests, gender and where people have travelled from is highly valuable for organisers, particularly during the festival planning stage. This data can be used to consider what acts, stalls, marketing and merchandise to have in the future according to age and interests, as well as providing the team with a wealth of CRM data for communication purposes.
A very appy experience
Giving visitors access to WiFi at festivals ensures they can download and use any mobile apps that have been developed for the festival period to improve the visitor experience. Digital applications often replace the paper versions of site maps and artist listings, ensuring important information is all accessible in one place. Planners could consider advertising the app download link on the initial WiFi login page and could feature it on any on-site advertisements promoting the WiFi network. Apps can also be used to push out additional purchases, including VIP upgrades and alcohol packages.
Gossip and secrets, we all love to indulge from time to time don’t we? Well, let those individuals who are using your WiFi find out about secret gigs and last-minute artist announcements via social media or email. It helps to build suspense, create a buzz and makes people feel like they are a real part of the festival experience. Also, the fact that it is ‘secret’ can often lead to even more posting, sharing, snapping and ‘likes’ on social media. A real win-win for both the organisers and the WiFi users.
Oh, so organised
Festival WiFi can actually help management teams allocate staff, reposition signage and keep festival goers safe. Through using analytics software, location and presence data can be exploited to monitor real-time activity across the entire festival site. Coordinators can easily identify where large queues may be forming for bars, food outlets and stages, then put staff in place to deal with demand. If one bar is extremely overcrowded and another bar has received limited visitors then signage could be implemented to redirect people to less busy areas. Likewise, if one of the stages at the festival isn’t receiving as much traction as expected then a text or alert could be sent out to people informing them about artists performing at that stage.
Use WiFi to obtain visitor data and distribute relevant, triggered promotions. Whether that be sending a reminder about the VIP beauty facilities on site to all females, or sending an exclusive offer to all demographics about wellies and ponchos when it’s raining, organisers have the invaluable opportunity to make a significant return from their WiFi investment. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like receiving a discount or being informed about something they may actively need?
Here’s to next year
If the photos are anything to go by then most attendees enjoy every second of their festival experience. Harness this excitement and positivity by asking them to review your event shortly after they leave. It’s a simple task when using a WiFi and analytics platform as coordinators can capture CRM data and send automated review requests to every individual. It’s particularly useful for younger festivals that don’t have a mass following and need to build up a good reputation. Organisers can also promote next year’s dates, artists and early bird tickets to existing customers.
So, as we’ve identified, it’s not just fun and games for the people attending music festivals. Those in charge of pulling together a festival, however big or small, have an excellent opportunity to take their marketing and visitor engagement to a whole new level and grow profits through implementing WiFi at their events.