Paris and Montreal-based ticketing, cashless solution and RFID company Weezevent is opening its first UK office in Manchester.
Founded in 2008 by former event organisers Pierre Henri-Deballon and Sebastien Tonglet, Weezevent allows festivalgoers to credit a dedicated event account, before or during the event, enabling them to pay at bars, restaurants and merchandising stalls via their wristband. If the attendee loses the wristband, they can block it themselves and have it replaced quickly without losing money.
“For organisers it’s a profitable solution that delivers remarkable benefits, and it's actually less work and less cost to deploy compared with a cash festival," said sales director Benjamin Garner, previously of Ticketmaster UK, who is heading up the UK operation.
"What’s more important is it improves the experiences of the fans, it’s safer and it reduces queues by making 100% of transactions contactless through the wristband with no upper limit on spend and no reliability on Internet or server connections. There’s also an easy option to split your payments with friends, if you’re buying something like a pitcher of beer or a bottle of wine."
Weezevent has previously worked with French festivals including all Live Nation France events, such as Download Paris and Lollapalooza Paris, as well as 60 top 100 attended French festivals, accumulating an 80% market share. In 2016, it managed more than £32 million worth of transactions for around 3.5 million unique customers.
"The UK is an incredible market and we’ve decided to invest in an outstanding team to offer our great services to events here," said Deballon, CEO and co-founder of Weezevent. "We believe that our world-class technology, combined with local experts will help us offer the best technologies to our UK clients."
The average purchase at festivals has grown from £12 to £18 between 2015 and 2016, with 20% more attendees loading money with a cashless wristband compared to a cashless card.
"Ninety per cent of French festivals are now cashless and 80% of these festivals are using Weezevent technology," added the company's CTO, Arthur Puyou. "We’ve just seen record ticket sales in France in 2016 and our clients’ market research shows 85% of customers prefer this solution to the old conventional cash method.
"Another impressive fact is, practically 100% of clients made greater profits using cashless. It’s great to see that the cashless solution is evolving the festival experience for everyone in an extremely positive way.”