Schalke 04 chooses vivenu for its 1M+ ticketing – their Head of Digital explains why Read the Story

The most intense months of our lives

Aug 25, 2021

How vivenu helped event organizers survive the pandemic


The pandemic has upended many long-held truths about the way things should be done. Some of these truths will persist after the eventual return to normal life – for others, Covid-19 has been a powerful catalyst for lasting change.

For entertainment and event organizers, Covid meant that they had to rethink their entire strategy and setup. Their business has been changed forever – and many, especially smaller, organizers didn't make it. Those who have weathered the storm are still in the throes of rebuilding – and increasingly, transforming their processes based on the lessons they had to learn to adapt to the new reality.

If there is one silver lining to the many rules and regulations imposed on event organizers to stop the virus, it's that digitization of every possible part of the events business is no longer an abstract nice-to-have, but a strategic imperative in the drive to make it in the post-pandemic market.

Building mission-critical solutions against the clock

As ticketing provider to some of the biggest entertainment and event organizers in the world, we have helped hundreds of our customers navigate this strange new world. While their events were always about experiencing connection and celebrating with others, ensuring the health and safety of their guests was now a matter of enforcing social distancing and making human contact possible – without ever getting too close to each other.

At vivenu, we knew that to allow visitors and fans to safely return to their favorite events, sports games or even something as modest as a night out with their friends, organizers needed to adapt and offer new solutions on a tight deadline. In weekly conference calls with our customers, we quickly realized that a combination of effortless check-in processes, digitalized ticket scanning, and frictionless ticket purchase experiences were key.

Enabling distributed access control to eliminate queues

Right after governments worldwide imposed the first of many lockdown measures, our developers shipped a set of new functionalities to the vivenu ticketing platform that were tailor-made to enable organizers to pull through and continue offering experiences in full compliance with the new rules.

With fully digital ticketing and a powerful ticket scanning app that allows checking tickets both at check-in and check-out, we built a solution that turns any smartphone with a camera into a mobile turnstile – and for the first time allowed organizers to offer distributed access control that prevents long and disorderly queues that previously made it a challenge to maintain social distancing. With vivenu, events could now offer their guests contactless and paperless entry, shorter waiting times, and full conformity with Covid regulations.

Making seat maps compliant in an instant

The necessity for another feature became obvious shortly after. Social distancing meant that the permitted capacity for events went to a fraction of what it used to be, virtually overnight. Beyond the obvious impact on revenue, organizers had to contend with another, more practical problem: How could they quickly adapt their seat maps and capacity planning to these new demands?

Our engineers dove right into the problem – and built a new functionality that allows organizers to limit the approved number of visitors at an event with a few clicks right in the vivenu dashboard. Augmented with a proprietary algorithm that intelligently adapts seat maps based on the local social distancing regulations, organizers on the vivenu platform went from uncertainty and anxiety to confidence – suddenly, things were not looking as grim anymore.

Testing and tracing, elevated

Lastly, even with mandatory testing and contact tracing forms, our customers quickly recognized that these policies had significant shortcomings: Tests could be negative even if the taker was already infected, guests would input inaccurate information on the forms – it was clear there needed to be a better solution.

To solve this, we only needed to make minor tweaks to the existing data functionalities of our platform. Building on the vivenu API, we built a solution that allows event organizers to collect additional personal information about visitors to enable reliable tracing and drastically improve accuracy.

In a time where keeping the distance became essential for millions, we knew we needed to get closer to our customers than ever before. There was no doubt that their business would be among the hardest-hit from social distancing regulations – and that they could count on us to not only get through this mess, but come out of it stronger.

The solutions we built during weeks of frenetic work would have taken many months on a traditional development schedule. The fact that they were shipped at this pace and are still in use on our platform today is a credit to the many vivenu developers who have worked tirelessly, through weekends and nights, to deliver for our customers even under the most extreme conditions.