For a country with terrible weather, we sure do love our festivals.
It’s a rich part of British culture, which, while facing ruin from Covid appears to have risen from the ashes.
My personal experience
I was fortunate enough to attend my first music festival in nearly two years recently.
It was a unique experience, added to by the year hiatus that was thrust upon us. Anyway, I’m not here to gush over how much fun I had.
Being back at a festival reminded me just how easy it is to lose something. An excited crowd, free flowing alcohol, combined with dancing and living out of a bag means a wide array of possessions get separated from their owners.
Unfortunately this year I could vouch for this first hand.
For smaller events such as the one I was at (around 10,000 capacity) the lost property process should be manageable.
It’s easy for a small team to take care of missing items, deal with enquiries and return possessions to their owners both at and after the festival.
The issue is that even at some of the more modestly sized events, it can be difficult to get this tricky facet of the festival experience correct.
Upon losing my phone (shock) I emailed them when I crash landed back in the real world.
My response was an automated message which informed that I if I wanted to change names on my wristband I would need to wait for a response.
That was a couple of days ago and nothing else since.
Not exactly an encouraging sign.
The issue with lost property at larger festivals
As festivals begin to make it into the 50,000 plus range, things become even more difficult.
On-site recovery becomes almost impossible due to the volumes and without a streamlined system, the processing of enquiries post event can be ruthlessly inefficient and time consuming for all involved.
At best this inconveniences customers, tainting their overall experience and at worst runs the risk of possessions never being returned.
Leeds festival upgrade lost property management
The process for managing lost possessions will be slick and easy, saving time for both staff and guests.
Due to the nature of festivals, the system is set up to run for 8 weeks.
This covers a fortnight for training leading up to the big day, the event itself and a 6 week period afterwards where enquiries are processed and items returned
How Leeds Festival will manage lost property this year
1) A member of the festival staff finds a missing phone, takes a picture and uploads it to the Notlost database along with any relevant information
2) Our image recognition software creates a profile of the phone and opens a found item ticket
3) When the phoneless customer enquires they enter the relevant details on our self service portal
4) The Notlost system creates a missing item ticket and the customer gets an automated email assuring them we’re on the case
5) Our matching software does what it was born to do and links up the two tickets
6) A staff member validates the enquiry and the customer is emailed with the results
7) The customer confirms the match is selects from a range of return options
The benefits of Leeds festival upgrading their lost property process
Not many of those choosing their summer festival are unlikely to do so based on lost property credentials.
However, for those that do go it improves the experience, ensuring nothing as simple as lost property tarnishes a special weekend.
Anyone with a missing item at Leeds will feel that their enquiry is being taken seriously.
There are clear lines of communication and a process that keeps the customer informed each step of the way.
Found items get returned quickly and if not, at least there can be no fault for effort. This also free up many hours for the festival team.
With an automated process, staff waste less time processing items on site and dealing with enquiries post-event.
Last but by no means least is how it impacts waste.
Festivals often get a hard time for being unsustainable. Much of this will inevitably stem from misplaced items, that, due to a poor lost property process never make their way home.
Our software changes that, getting more phones back in hands, umbrellas in cupboards and fancy dress outfits in the box for next year where they belong.