April 22nd, 2017. The four of us walked aimlessly around Sproul, brainstorming all of the crazy ways we could start our first year at Berkeley. It was Cal Day, after all. We eventually ran into another group of wandering freshmen headed down Bancroft to Copy Central, where they were trying to print out “bids” for a frat party later that night. That got our attention. A frat party—what better rite of passage was there?
We learned that Greek Life parties around Berkeley were governed by the “bid” system, where each invitee to an upcoming event would receive a flexible colored wristband, sort of like the ones you get at your local community pool. These wristbands allowed hosts to see which people at the door were invited and which ones were just trying to sneak in. Yet, here we were at Copy Central, printing out four pink paper wristbands to fake our way into our first party. It seemed too easy.
To our surprise, it worked. Later that day, we stood nervously in line, apprehensive about the scissor-cut paper on our wrists. Yet, when we got to the door, one furtive glance and we were in. That's it? We looked at each other, astonished yet proud. We'd found a loophole in the system, and we weren't complaining.
But the frats were. Fast forward a few months, and what started as an innocent loophole became widespread—students were faking bids, selling them, and even bringing their high school friends to parties. This quickly became an issue. There was no way of effectively regulating who was at these parties, placing the safety of other students at risk. This lack of security at invite-only events meant exposure to alcohol-related injuries, a greater risk for sexual assault, and a high chance of probation for fraternities.
With Bids, we hope to resolve the issues associated with this current lack of regulation by providing a simple yet effective solution—unique QR identification codes for each user on a platform that makes event planning easier than tying your shoes. Simply create an event, assign bids to give out, and track who’s at your events in real-time. No hassle required, and no more searching for wristbands at 1 AM.
Being a part of the problem at one point has truly allowed us to understand the gravity of the issue at hand. Safety and security are two of the most important yet often overlooked aspects for any event, and we understand that. Focus on making sure your guests have fun at your next event, and let us take care of the rest.
- The Team at Bids