Event ticketing has come a long way since its inception, due to a variety of factors influencing this development. What started off as a simple way to monitor and manage the audience for minor events such as a theatre performance or a sports tournament has now become a multi-billion industry generating massive revenue for the events industry.
There has been a major transformation in the field of ticketing since the time when it all began, making it an entirely different ballgame. Ticketing has become an integral part of events in the current scenario. It is the main source of revenue for major events contributing almost 46% to the overall events industry revenue.
The term ‘ticket’ originated way back in the 16th century by being associated with a small note, a piece of cardboard or paper that gives its holder some sort of privilege used in specific scenarios. Fast forward to the 21st century, ticketing is now a common practice in any kind of event, be it a sports game, a tradeshow or a music festival.
This evolution can be attributed to the rapidly changing structure of the events industry. Initially, ‘events’ were considered to be minor social gatherings of sorts such as a party, a circus show or a drama performance showing at the local theatre.
Since then, the events industry has grown into a global platform for people to meet and connect with a lot of versatile event categories such as conferences, tradeshows, corporate events, exhibitions, summits, seminars, etc. And with this change, the ticketing industry has grown at an equal pace.
Talking about the present state of event ticketing, here are a few current trends as observed in the ticketing industry:
– Integration of event technology:
Event technology has been a key influencer in the event ticketing industry, changing the way things are done. In the current scenario, the ticketing industry has seen a major shift to digital, mainly in terms of ticket distribution and check-in.
Back in the 90s, event tickets were available at a select few places like the local record store or the ticket venue. With the development of event technology, online ticketing is now a mainstream trend. Few other event technology trends such as Artificial intelligence, Wearable tech, augmented reality, etc.
Iconic events like the Brazil vs. Germany World Cup Final 2002’s tickets were the pioneers in using technologies like barcode and hologram for their tickets. Fast forward 2015, tickets are now being integrated with concepts like augmented reality.
Here’s an example of the 2015 Rugby World Cup ticket that implemented this technology:
– The shift to online:
In this Internet of Things era, event ticketing for sure has witnessed a major shift to the online platform. Almost 71% of tickets are now purchased online. There are a lot of fast-emerging ticketing platforms in the market that add to this trend.
With these online platforms gaining a strong hold over the ticketing market, various concentrated online ticketing hubs had emerged that dominated certain aspects of event ticketing that soon branched out into multiple channels that made the event tickets easily accessible for the attendees.
– Multiplication of online ticketing channels:
From selective ticketing platforms, somewhat like online ticket counters, these ticketing platforms branched out into multiple forms such as social media, event website, separate ticketing platforms integrated with the event domain, etc.
Event-tech tools such as event management software made it even easier to set up the entire ticketing process for the planners which further reduced the monopoly of a select few online ticketing hubs.
– Mobile Technology:
A significant trend in event ticketing is definitely the emergence of mobile ticketing. Attendees can now purchase tickets online and save a copy on their phone that they can access to gain entry directly at the venue. This has become an increasingly convenient way of event ticketing.
Some planners go one step ahead and consolidate ticketing, registrations and check-in all on a single platform, i.e. event app. Attendees can purchase tickets directly from the app, store it there and check in using the same with no hassle of going through multiple sources.
– Social Media and Event Ticketing:
More than distribution, social media has become a prime source for promotions. Events link ticketing directly to social media advertising to give access to the attendees with just a click. Events majorly use platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get the word out prior to the event.
These social media posts are then often linked to their ticketing portal. In order to generate more ticket revenue through increased ticket sales, planners usually incentivize these campaigns by providing discounts in form of promo codes or referral codes.
– Multiple Payment Gateways:
Another key reason for the popularity of online ticketing is the availability of multiple payment gateways that ensure attendee convenience. There are multiple options available when you purchase a ticket online.
Using these platforms, attendees can either choose to pay offline via cheque or drafts or at the venue or can pay via online methods using a payment portal like Paypal, PayTM or through debit or credit cards.
This payment gateway can be hosted directly on the organiser’s domain making it easier for them as well. Invoices and other payment details can now be sorted directly on the organiser’s database and processes like email confirmation and check-ins can be managed using the said database.
Crypto-currency is a major topic of debate. This upcoming technology has a great potential to change the way transactions are carried on in the field of e-commerce. Bitcoin, in particular, is the talk of the town this year.
According to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users in using a crypto-currency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. Introduction of crypto-currency in ticketing is very much a possibility. It is a potential payment gateway for online ticketing which leaves planners to contemplate a system for integrating the same.
Security has become a major concern in the events industry overall. In terms of ticketing, data theft, identity theft and scalping are some of the major concerns for organizers. Hence, security in terms of various aspects of ticketing starting from online payment to check-in system is a matter of priority.
Data regulations such as the GDPR are in place to maintain authoritative regulation on these online processes and ensure that the attendees’ data is safe. Digital ticketing platforms also use added encryption method and a fixed structure to further strengthen the security measures.
For e.g. using systems like QR code for scanning is one way for secure check-ins as each code is unique and specific to individual attendees. Security is always a priority.
Thus, with the changing technology along with the ever-evolving events industry, ticket stubs are replaced by e-tickets with identity cards being replaced by QR codes. And yet, it still holds great potential for further transformation. It is just a matter of time.