2022 was a massive year for Liff Happens and lost and found in general. We’re looking back to see how we did, what we weren’t able to do, and where we think lost and found will be going in 2023.
With over 60 festival partners, 28,000 found items, and 300,000 site visitors, 2022 was a lot. This was a year with some growing pains, but we are all better (and taller) for it!
2022 Lost and Found by the Numbers
Handling 28,000 items seems like a ton of found property, but when you estimate that phones weigh about 1 pound and we had over 8,000 phones found this year, that means we had 4 tons in just phones…
- Lost and Found in 3 countries (we went international, woo woo!)
- $6,000,000 in stuff returned to grateful owners
- Almost 4,000 shipments were processed through the Liff App (logistics with a capital L)
Other than being a huge year, we learned a lot about the staff and customer experience within Lost and Found. As a process, it can get hairy (or, for my product managers, packed with edge cases) since, theoretically, anything can be lost. Anything combined with the owner’s unique situation can result in desperate situations. Understanding priorities and impact become essential when we are making changes to a process at this scale.
Where we've been in 2022.
Festivals adopted the Liff App in 2022, and we saw a lot of exciting stuff.
EDC Las Vegas
Life is Beautiful
And like 60 others… it’s a bit of a list now.
What we've added
This year, we did a bit of work to add, redesign, and improve features in the Liff App. As a software company, we’re constantly tweaking the app (occasionally to the dismay of our customers… sorry about that) and trying to improve the experience. It’s a little tacky to list features and a bit dull, so we’re not going to do that here. For that, you’ll need to sign up for the newsletter.
What we learned in 2022
It wasn’t 100 percent successful, nothing ever is, but that leaves good examples to learn and improve on. The growing plague for consumers and staff in Lost and Found is theft. Pickpockets have historically been targeting festival attendees, but 2022 seems to be the worst year.
The most significant drawback of a lost and found process is the stuff that usually needs to be found to be helpful. In 2022, we expanded Protect to help prevent loss and avoid the process entirely. With the reported theft, there’s plenty of room to double down and continue helping people before the item is lost.
A prevalent question we always receive is, “what do you do with all the stuff you don’t return?” Well, if you’ve read this far, then you know we return most of the stuff, but unfortunately, not all of it. So anything not able to be returned goes through a liquidation process determined by the type of item;
- electronics, personal data is wiped and sold by a certified partner
- clothing or various things, cleaned and directly donated
- cash, deposited in a donation fund
After everything gets processed, any remaining value is donated to charities or non-profits chosen annually. in 2022, 23 donated over $20,000 recovered from the remaining stuff to 3 amazing organizations:
Orland Park Pioneers Wrestling
Wrestling hugely influenced our (Benji & Warren) lives. The Pioneers were the kid’s program that introduced us to the sport—supporting its operations and continuing to help kids find the joy and rigor required to participate in a demanding sport.
Musically Fed is a non-profit organization mobilizing the music industry to fight against hunger. Missing a meal and missing your keys can be challenging, but one is a little closer to life and death.
We know the pain of losing something, but that cannot compare to the pain of losing someone. Luella’s Lodge provides support groups and therapies for families grieving with the death of a child.
2022 was a heck of a trip around the sun, and looking forward to adventures and hijinks that will surely ensue in 2023. Happy New Year!