You manage to secure a band or a trending artist to perform at your event. You book the venue, decide on the ticket price, open your ticket sales and BAM! In an instant your event is sold out! What a glorious feeling.
Then you start to see those same tickets are being sold on other platforms for 3x to 4x’s higher than their original price.
You, as the event organizer did all the legwork of getting those artists onboard. You paid in advance for the venue and put your neck on the line, creating the event. Suddenly someone else pops up to make a profit from all your efforts? It’s happening everywhere online and there are not enough hours in the day to combat the nightmare of bots and scalpers profiting from your hard work.
Not fun, Bots
A person or a group of people known as ‘scalpers’ had set their eyes on your event for quite a while. The moment your ticket sales went live, they bought every ticket they could get their hands on. Your real anticipated attendees never stood a chance.
It’s a treacherous scheme and it’s dead simple for the scalpers. Using an algorithm running on a computer, commonly known as a ‘bot’, their mission is complete.
Scalpers use “bots” in order to gain an arbitrage opportunity. This means they make a profit by buying and then immediately selling the same thing (your event tickets in this case). Those tickets are sold at a much higher price than their face value in secondary markets making the scalpers rich. Ultimately forcing fans to break their banks to partake in the event.
Guilty by Association
The skyrocket of tickets prices on a secondary market creates one of the biggest blockades for your attendees. Scalping only allows the wealthiest fans to attend the concert, meaning there will be a whole lot of real fans who are not be able to attend. As a result, less die-hard fans buy merchandise or other concession products from the stands. Fans might even associate this bad experience with that venue, artist or your brand. Essentially, this results in a loss of revenue for the venue, artist or the brand.
Stop the Madness
Artists try their best to keep the prices low enough to allow fans from all socioeconomic backgrounds to join them. The promoters have their hands full ensuring attendee satisfaction and venues focus on how to maximize revenue by selling foods, drinks and other concession items. Sure, governments worldwide have been instating laws against ticket scalpers but let’s be honest – live music concerts and sporting events are not matters of immediate attention as governments are concerned. Besides creating the laws, there is very little enforcement.
Join the Rebellion
Let’s look at some of the options available.
Selling tickets onsite at the venue
Nine Inch Nails took this approach for their “Cold and Black and Infinite Tour” stating on their site, “The promise of a world made better by computers and online connectivity has failed us in many ways, particularly when it comes to ticketing. Everything about the process sucks and everyone loses except the reseller. We’ve decided to try something different that will also likely suck, but in a different way. We’re hoping many of you will be happy with the results, while some may do what they always do and bitch about it.” After which, they went on to describe what the world of ticket sales looked like pre-1995.
This approach would definitely stop scalping, but at the same time could affect the turnout. In a world where you can buy a cruise vacation on the internet, who would want to stand in a line for hours to get a ticket – not to mention, the monstrous task of crowd management that this imposes on you.
Verifying ownership by a credit card
The credit card used to buy the ticket (for the said event) could be used to verify that it hasn’t been scalped. Seems like a secure enough way to ensure your fans arrive to the event, except in the case of U2 at BC Place in Vancouver. Because it took so long for Will Call to verify CC# matched the tickets, fans waited up to 2 hours to get through the gates, completely missing the opening band which happened to be Mumford and Sons. Needless to say, Mumford and Sons played to a half empty BC Place and their fans waiting outside were devastated. The fans blamed the venue, the venue blamed the ticketing company, and the ticketing company blamed the artist! Not a happy ending at all.
Attendees register themselves as “True Fans” with the ticketing company or directly with the artist to receive early on-sale notice. We probably don’t need to cover all the gaps in this solution… Cause really, you snooze you lose.
There’s got to be another way!
Artists like Adele, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, to name a few, have tried numerous, creative ways to tackle this issue. If only there were a system which was transparent – so that everyone could see the availability and original price of each ticket. Decentralised – so that rendering it useless would not be an option. Safe – so that the scalpers would not be able to use their bots to hack the process, and buy majority of tickets…
Hello, I’m EventChain. Nice to e-meet you.