Shane Mansfield: The Future Of Ticketing Is In Your Hands

09 Jan 2013

Credits: @flickrenil

Following on from MusicTank’s recent Ticketing Summit (Dec 2012), Ticketscript’s Shane Mansfield talk’s us through some of the pros and cons of self ticketing

The ticketing industry, alongside the music industry in general, is in constant flux. From the days of ticket lists on club doors, to the advent of digital tickets encased in mobile phones, innovation and creativity is always on the move. Paradoxically, despite this innovation, it is still common to see both the old entrance lists and more modern methods in use across a whole spectrum of events.

A growing area of event ticketing is the self-ticketing model. There are now several companies that will allow event organisers to set up their own ticketing systems and take full control of their ticket sales. Let’s outline the advantages of using such a system…

Ease of use

Although self-ticketing may sound daunting at first, the best software providers make it as easy as possible. You’ll find an intuitive interface and a wealth of articles and tips to make setting up event ticketing as easy as possible. From start to finish it can take as little as ten minutes to get your tickets on sale.

Social ticketing

Attending an event is, at its core, a social activity. The best software solutions will allow you to tap into the social space to sell tickets to your intended audience. It’s often discussed in the marketing press that “f-commerce” is not all that it’s cracked up to be, however ticket sales are the exception to the rule, with ticketscript recently reporting year on year growth of 185% through its Facebook ticketshops.

Ticket buyers seem happy to buy on Facebook so make sure your chosen provider offers the deepest social media integration.

Your data

Traditional ticketing agencies have kept a locked key on ticket buyers’ data. By taking control of ticketing, users also take control of data. The ability to market to people that have purchased tickets from you in the past allows you to take advantage of a community that already has an affinity with your event.

Mobile & E-Ticketing

The speed of innovation is ever increasing.  With the growth of technologies like Apple’s Passbook, and mobile scanning apps, the days of paper tickets may fast be coming to an end for many.  By using both primary ticket agencies, and self-ticketing providers, you’ll be able to offer your ticket buyers the latest in paperless ticket solutions

Secondary ticketing

Your event is something you’ve undoubtedly put a lot of time and effort into – you care about it, and you’ve priced your tickets accordingly. Hopefully it’s a roaring success and your tickets sell out. It’s a great reward for your hard work. If you’ve gone through a traditional ticketing agent however you may see your tickets appearing on secondary seller sites. Not only can this put your event in a bad light, you don’t get to share this added revenue.  What makes it worse is that sometimes these sites are owned and operated by the primary ticketing agent you contracted!

If you take control yourself this widely reported problem can be a thing of the past.

Booking fees

It’s important not to forget the ticket buyer during this process. We’ve all experienced the excitement of buying a ticket only to be crestfallen by extortionate booking fees. Many self-ticketing software companies have made a clear stance on this by offering clear and transparent pricing structures. There are usually slight differences between each company, some offer percentages of ticket value, others offer a flat fee. Regardless of which you pick, it’s a much fairer, and consumer friendly, solution as opposed to an arbitrary value added at the end of the process. Of course this is not exclusive to self-ticketing; many primary ticketing agencies have consistently offered booking fees that are fair. Some recent high-profile cases, such as tickets for The Rolling Stones, have shown primary ticketing agencies in a negative light. This is, however, an exception and not the rule.

Getting your money

As an event organiser or promoter having access to your funds is incredibly important. You’ve put in time and energy to make your event a success and you want to enjoy the end result. Both self-ticketing and primary ticketing agencies will try and hold onto ticket revenue until after the event. This is for the security of both you and the ticket buyer should anything untoward happen with your event. It is worth noting that should you require access to funds prior to the event, or as your tickets sell, most self-ticketing platforms are usually flexible. Primary ticket agencies will typically only work to the terms agreed prior to the event going live. So if it’s a key factor for you it’s worth talking it through with your account manager to get the best solution.

Shane Mansfield, Search Marketing Specialist, ticketscript

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