Lynne King Smith wants her clients to love their ticketing system. That’s why her company TicketForce has partnered with Australian firm Softix to create a new ticketing platform that’s “miles ahead of anything that’s out there.”
“One of the coolest things about the Softix product is that it was created by ticketing people,” the TicketForce CEO told Amplify. “We’re not just a software company that’s sitting there with programmers who don’t know ticketing. We’re building events, we’re reconciling with promoters, we’re operating a call center , we’re doing marketing and we’re running a global ticking operation.”
The new system has TicketForce preparing to make a major push into the primary ticketing space, going after sports facilities, arenas and large venues.
“It’s us making a shift from mid-size venues, which we’re going to stick with, to tread in that space of the truly large venues,” she said. “There’s really only a few companies that are even trying to jump in there.”
That starts with developing practical tools that clients understand and can utilize to drive more sales. “That’s always been my passion for my clients — to have stuff that makes sense, that they can actually use and get excited about.”
Amplify recently caught up with Smith for a progress report on Softix and to learn what trends she is seeing on the horizon that will help shape the future of live entertainment.
Making Socializing Easier
It’s never fun being the friend who has to organize everyone. Instead of putting the pressure on one person to make the ticket purchase and hope their friends actually show up, TicketForce has created an Invite a Friend feature that allows customers to organize a group to attend a live event with an easy-to-use payment system so each person can pay for their own tickets and place a hold on additional spots.
“We built this with event organizers in mind,” she said. “Venues have complete control over how many seats customers can hold and for how long the holds will last on an event by event basis. In addition, peer recommendation is a huge driver for ticket sales and it helps expand the promoter’s audience since 60% of seats saved are for new customers.”
Upsell Neighboring Seats
A lot of customers will consider an event sold out if the only available options for tickets are single seats, but TicketForce can help fill in those gaps.
“Single seats are some of the most difficult inventory to move,” Smith said. “Those empty single seats add up. A large venue could easily have 700-800 empty single seats on a show night.”
TicketForce’s Full House allows event organizers to send an email to customers informing them that the seat or seats next to them are still available for purchase. The available seats will be placed on a hold with a unique customer code they can share with a friend or use themselves.
The venue can be scanned at any time to determine the number of empty seats, and discounts can be offered in order to fill the venue to capacity. On the very first run of the Full House feature, 795 of 798 unoccupied seats were purchased.
Dynamic Mobile Ticketing
Ticketing companies are always looking to out do each other with flashy technology, often overlooking the most important and frequently used aspect of their business — the ticket. For Smith, the mobile ticket can be much more than a barcode. By utilizing TicketForce’s new dynamic mobile ticketing platform, promoters can customize and change the content on their digital tickets.
“This technology was first used at the Australian Open,” Smith explained “It’s an evolution of the mobile ticket beyond just being a barcode. Now it’s a dynamic web page with changing content. It can include seat information, tips on what the fan is allowed to bring in the venue or even an advertisement. As the event gets closer, the content can change with event information like weather or parking.”
Instead of a barcode, the mobile ticket shifts into a channel for content to communicate with the customer.
“It’s a way to begin engaging with the fan from the moment they buy their ticket, to the moment they scan through the gate,” Smith said.
Marketing Directly to the Customer’s Device
Let’s face it, everyone is attached to their mobile devices. Mobile campaigns can be as inexpensive as emails and often see open rates around 90%. When putting an offer directly on a customer’s mobile device, a venue significantly increases the likelihood of generating a sale.
Geofencing, technology that allows you to recognize when your patrons are within a designated area, is also a great tool for mobile marketing. TicketForce offers clients the ability to send push notifications straight to mobile devices, giving them the opportunity to offer location-specific deals, original content, or simply welcome them to the venue.
“And we’ve got the ability to do APIs with any products that we want, so we can build partnerships and build the product out,” Smith said. “There’s only a handful of companies that are able to do that. I’ve seen that as an area where we can come in and disrupt and we’re very optimistic about the future of our business. Afterall, it just takes one success story to change the live entertainment experience and show others what’s possible.”
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