Guester: Moving the nightlife to the cloud [Geektime Conference]
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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Israeli company, Guester, wants to improve the nightclubs management work with the implementation of technology at the clubs

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

During your life you probably went out to a nightclub or two. Whether it was in Israel or abroad, we assume that the experience is similar: a long line at the entrance with a girl or a guy holding a piece of paper and a pen in order to mark the guests who entered and to add new names to the list, provided by the PR people.

The Israeli company Guester wants to improve the way this works, get rid of the old management system and allow nightclubs to properly reward their steady customers, even if they are not among the management’s close friends. So put on your clubbing clothes and let’s get to know the system that will be hosting the most talked about parties the world over.

Refreshing the club’s management

According to a study from last May by IBISWorld, the nightlife market in the United States alone generates revenues north of 24 billion dollars a year. However, it’s one of the few markets that stayed outside the digital revolution, despite the profit involved. While many companies are trying to offer various solutions, there is no company that could find the sweet spot to dominate the market.
Guester wants to bring some order to the chaos with the implementation of their technology at the clubs, or rather, behind the scenes of the clubs. To do this, the company offers a cloud-based management platform that enables real-time overview of the club, management of customers, employees and the various events.

The system comes with a number of supporting applications, such as an iPad app for managing the club guests at the door. The club’s host can get rid of the old-fashioned pen and paper and mark the guests upon arrival, while the information is also being sent in real time to other parts of the system, including the owner. Alternatively, if one of the PR people want to add a few more last minute names to the guest list they will be able to update the information without having to bother the host and without any hiccups for guests at the entrance, as the information will reach all those who need it as soon as it’s entered. The club owner, whether their at home or even in another country, will be able to know how many guests came, how much they paid at the entry, what’s the men:women ratio at the event and other real-time relevant information, allowing them to manage the event remotely.

Another main element of the system offered by the company is the booking confirmations and cancellations. According to the company, most of the club’s profits come from ordered tables and not from the main bar. That is, if the people who ordered from tables are canceling or even just not showing up, it will mean an overall loss for the business when the night’s done. Guester’s system helps to mitigate this issue by updating confirmations and cancellations in real time, which allows the host to open tables to other customers waiting in line.

As you can see, Guester wants to take care of each and every element relevant to the nightlife. In fact, if all the features we presented up to now are not enough, the company also offers a payment service. So if the club would like to organize a special event or even a concert, the company offers to set up a special website for selling tickets, or they can add the service to an existing site. Managing the payments and the refunds, if required, is done completely through the system – with no hassle for the business owner.

Photo Credit: PR

Photo Credit: PR

Moving the VIP list to the cloud

Besides helping the clubs, the system is also equally useful for future clubbers, who aren’t yet even aware of its existence. Typically, club owners are not familiar with their customers, even if they are returning customers. As such they may find it harder to expand their client base than it otherwise should be.

With Guester, clubbers do not have to download any app or register for any special services in order for Guester to help them out. Once a guest’s name is entered into one of the lists, the club can begin “tracking” them. The system will provide information such as the dates of the visit, the number of visitors, etc., which will allow club owners to create rewards plans for returning customers automatically, without the need to connect with them or even know them.

Alongside the mentioned benefits, the club owners will be able to filter the clubbers according to their own parameters, besides the “technical” information they can add via relevant hashtags. For example, you can catalog guests under the VIP list, the generous tips list, or even the blacklist. The information will appear for each of the employees at the moment they type in your name, so they can act appropriately in the moment, whether by giving a guest the best table in the house or by informing them that all tickets are sold out and not allowing them in.

The social element also exists here. Guester offers social networks integration and dedicated widgets that can be embed into websites. This goes for a stand-alone site or if Guester created it. The social aspect opens more options for club owners who can see what their clients look like and target potential guests for specific events.

For example, if the club organizes an event that requires some good looking guys or girls who tend to give very large tips, the system will allow them to easily find and reach such people through the social networks they were using at previous events. Yes, we agree that prioritization according to looks is something that should have disappear from the world a long time ago, but it’s a reality – and at least it’s slightly less insulting with Guester, as the guests do not know why they’re being filtered at the door based on hair and eye color.

Photo Credit: PR

Photo Credit: PR

From list management to a rising start-up

Guester was founded in 2011 by Itai Weiss, The current president and CEO. The idea for the product came to him after having completed his military service and he entered the world of club management. At first he focused on developing an application for cash management at the entrance. Having started researching the industry he understood that there is a big gap between different management processes of different businesses. At this stage he hooked up with Tom Barkan, the CTO of the Company, and the two continued to develop the product.

The company offers its services on a SaaS model charging a monthly fee determined by the needs of the business. In addition, the company collects fees from the payment system that it offers to its customers, should they choose to use it.

But with all due respect to the Company’s system, which can certainly solve some problems in those clubs near you, it is not alone in the market. As of today there are many other players who are also fighting for their place, and who offer a wider range of features.

But Guester is not worried about competition. They believe that the simple usability of the system, which allows even those unfamiliar with the world of technology to understand how to use the system and how to customize it to the needs of each club, is what will allow it to take over the nightlife market worldwide.

The company has already completed an initial seed round of funding and is working with clubs around the world, including in Tel Aviv. Its largest market is located in London, at least as of now. The company wants to continue to expand into new markets in the near future.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ Picture of rock concert, music festival

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Henn Idan

About Henn Idan


Lover of gadgets, apps and technology in general. Somehow among her many activities, which include, destroying cellular devices for the sake of science and an obsessive preoccupation with social networking, Idann finds time to write an article or two for Geektime on new applications, promising startups and product reviews for pretty much every new gadget that has ever hit the market – ever.

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