The implementation of Cashless Payment systems has surged since the pandemic. Already proving popular with event organisers there are now numerous options and recent research shows just how important it is to attendees. We discuss options with relative newcomer to events, dojo and Event Genius who have recently commissioned a survey into the use of cashless at events with fascinating results. Both companies share trends and tell us about their plans for 2022.

“Prior to COVID, card payment transactions at events ran between 20% and 60% depending on its type and the demographic of attendees, says David Rothwell of dojo. “People have now got used to not carrying cash and they expect to make cashless payments almost 100% of the time. I run Outside Inns which delivers real ale to large events and I've gone completely cashless in my own business and it's a blessing to be honest.  No more trips to the bank and paying to buy change or the security risk of carrying thousands in cash.  A few years ago, a fellow bar operator and good friend of mine lost £28,000 from his tent at a festival while he was asleep next to it!  That risk disappears with card only payments.”

This train of thought is echoed by Alex Ogilvie, Event Genius’ head of brand and communications. “We’ve recently commissioned a fan survey report and to be honest the results are absolutely fascinating. Since July 2021 when restrictions were lifted in the UK, 81% of respondents who have attended an event said they used a cashless payments system. 

“They also said it was the second most important measure to help them feel safe at an event, second only to having to show an NHS COVID pass and interestingly it was reported by respondents as being more important to them than mandatory face masks at an event, which is quite something. Of the small minority (7%) that said they didn't feel comfortable attending a UK event now because of COVID, over a third said having a cashless payment system at the event would make them more likely to attend.”

In terms of trends and plans for 2022, Rothwell tells us: “A large part of my business is people moving from the small payment devices you can buy to dojo machines.  The small devices are OK as a start-up for the odd weekend, but when the business needs to take fast payments and you need the extra reliability people move up to dojo. All the software is written by us so we’re continually developing and upgrading the system.  We've recently added 7-day settlements so traders receive their Friday money on a Saturday and Saturday money on a Sunday which is beneficial to smaller businesses.

“It's great to be back out at events again.  We recently ran a craft ale and wine bar in The Ideal Home Eat & Drink Show which is a regular gig.  Matthew, my son, runs the events business now and helps me with dojo sales when he's not doing that.  He signed up 10 new businesses whilst at the show and virtually all the food traders there are now using dojo.”

For Event Genius the most exciting thing for 2022 is that consumer confidence is there. Ogilvie explains: “The huge demand for live events seems set to continue in 2022, with 73% of those we surveyed reporting that they had booked tickets to an event in the UK in 2022. Of those, 46% had already booked at least three, again with an even split across event types. In fact, event-goers are spending three times more on their domestic event trips now compared to before the pandemic.”

If you would like to access Event Genius’ full report then you can do so here .