How New iPhone & iPad Apps are Streamlining Festivals

If you’ve ever attended a “smart” event, you know that iPhones and iPads can take them from feeling amateur to feeling professional and streamlined, and the same is true for festivals of all sizes. While using these devices isn’t groundbreaking anymore, some of the technology that you can utilize because of them is.

By integrating this into your festival’s plan and execution, you’re guaranteeing that your attendees will be able to enjoy the event for what it is — without the hassle of keeping up with physical tickets, waiting in long lines, or wasting time looking for directions. Here’s how using iPhones and iPads at your next festival can help alleviate all those traditional issues — and more.

Devices and Apps for Festival Planning

devices and apps for festival planning

We’ve discussed the importance of innovative event software and event apps, and using them for festivals is no exception. There are apps on the market that help event planners streamline the whole process — from planning and marketing to post-event data. The latest iPhones and iPads can handle the technology that make things like diagramming with VR, AR, or LiDAR technology an intuitive breeze.

For example, an event team can work together using this kind of smart software to plan the festival’s setup, such as EventDraw featured above. Managers can determine the location and plan for stages, food trucks, restrooms, and entrances right on your iPad or iPhone, and then seamlessly share it with your colleagues. The whole process can be collaborative and done right onsite, rather than with pen and paper and multiple drafts.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to make your festival as paperless as possible, it’s important to have enough 5G bandwidth available so that your attendees can easily and successfully access the event app. The solutions are small and portable, like the one shown below, and easily set up around the event location at key points. An expert should be able to tell you the amount of internet connectivity you’ll need based on your attendee count and the physical location. Here are our tips on how to ensure that your festival is 100% Wi-Fi-ready for your attendees.

Improved Attendee Experience

In addition to the ease that using iPhones and iPads to plan your festival provides, it also improves attendee experience while at the festival itself. From shortened wait times to easier navigation and access to maps right on their phone, your attendees stand to benefit from this technology as much as the planners do.

Lines and Bottlenecking

If there are long lines everywhere you turn at your festival, it’s a problem. Attendees can’t enjoy the show if they’re constantly waiting to enter, purchase merchandise, and more. Once again, enter the iPad and/or iPhone. Checking attendees into the festival using either facial recognition technology or wearable technology like scannable wristbands and an iPhone or iPad can greatly cut down on bottlenecking and decrease the amount of time that attendees must spend waiting.

Facial recognition technology in particular can cut down check-in times by as much as 50%, in some cases it can reduce check-in to around 8 secs, and has already seen an usage uptick at theme parks (such as Disney World), airports, and hotels.

Festival Purchases

Similarly, integrating wearable technology for festival participants, like the one shown above from Token, and staff with iPhones or iPads can also streamline the purchasing process at your festival.

Whether it’s merchandise or food and beverage, purchases happen frequently, and if things are slow, it can be a real buzzkill. Again, integrating an event app that allows for seamless purchases without exchanging credit cards or cash takes much less time per person and makes the process much more streamlined. Not to mention, it makes it easier to track the spending that’s happening so that you can see which options were most popular for when you plan the next event.

Pro Tip: Renting iPhones or iPads with your festival branding at key transaction points across the grounds is also a good idea, as it helps attendees comfort level making purchases with their wristbands and provides a uniform and professional experience for festival-goers.

Festival Attendee Tracking

Using iPhones or iPads and innovative event technology, you can track where your festival attendees spent their time throughout the event. This is helpful for two reasons. First, festival planners and event managers can see where the bulk of the attendees are spending their time. This can help determine what acts to have again and what food and beverage options are most popular for future events. Secondly, attendees can seamlessly enter specific areas within the event based on their ticket level by simply scanning their face or their piece of wearable technology. In short, it’s better for both event planner and attendee.


wayfinding festival map

We’re all used to “wayfinding” already because of our iPhones and their GPS systems, but imagine having a live festival map that helps attendees determine their location and where other event spots are in relation to them. They’d be using their own iPhones for this, of course, but having a GPS of the festival itself is a powerful tool. Planners can have sponsors and exhibitors purchase ads that would show up if an attendee is near their location. While physical signs are obviously important, using technology to help your attendees stay aware of their location (especially if it’s an extra-large event) is undeniably valuable.

Enhanced Security

If everyone on the events and security teams have access to an iPhone or iPad and can monitor the event that way, security will inherently improve. Plus, options like facial recognition technology that allow security personnel to instantly verify a person’s identity help with this even more. With diagrams of the event and a list of attendees at your fingertips, the festival’s entire security setup can run more smoothly.

Festival Analytics

event essentials, festival analytics
Event Essentials

You’ll need an event app for this, but it’s possible to view real-time analytics while the festival is taking place with the use of your smart device. Since your app will ideally allow you to track attendee whereabouts, you can see what spaces are the most popular. You can track merchandise sales and see which exhibitors saw the most action. All of this is highly valuable information to have. There are many apps that enable this type of tracking, including Colocator™ by Crowd Connected or Event Essentials, for example. You can use it to plan for the next festival and ensure that it’s even more successful than the last. Since it’s hard to get attendees to manually fill out post-event questionnaires, this technology allows you to see it while it’s happening, another invaluable bonus.

crowd connected festival app
Crowd Connected

While you can’t guarantee that your event’s attendees will have iPhones on hand, it’s likely they’ll be carrying a smart device — and it’s smart of you to take advantage of that. Arming your event staff with iPhones and iPads can make the event more streamlined and enjoyable for everyone. From the entrance to purchases to post-event data, technology can make planning and carrying out your festival as smooth as possible.

About eTech Rentals

eTech Rentals a national technology solutions provider located in Southern California specializing in rental technology integration. eTech is committed to long-standing client relationships and consistent, reliable local service, trusted by expert event planners, film and entertainment production companies, and businesses in California and nationwide.
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