The Unintended Consequences of Event Ticketing Technology

New technology is typically adopted at scale because it makes life easier, more convenient, or opens up a world of new experiences and possibilities. But as we’ve seen throughout history, the benefits of newly developed tools can bring unfortunate consequences. Farming offered food security, but led to an increase in animal-borne disease. The electric lightbulb liberated the night for human activity, but in doing so has wreaked havoc on our natural circadian rhythm. We’ve seen a similar pattern in the event ticketing space. As we explored in a previous article, the evolution of event ticketing is a story of digitalization and adaptation to a mobile-first world.  But unless businesses are prepared to deal with the real-world impact of digital tickets and mobile ticket transfers, any benefits they see will be tainted with human error, increased risk of fraud, and a ticket strategy that does more harm than good. Let’s look at a few of these unintended consequences and how your business can address them effectively, for a future-proof ticket management system that delivers long-term value. PDF tickets are a scammer’s best friend PDF tickets are a key milestone in the digitalization of the ticket industry; but they introduced significant risk, as many venues, businesses, and attendees found out the hard way. For instance, if multiple people printed out the same PDF and tried to use it at a venue — either accidentally or having been sold a duplicate — some attendees were denied entry at the door because their barcode had already been scanned. Even with unique ticket barcodes, other elements of a PDF ticket could be modified, like seat information. Imagine buying a floor seat at a concert, only to arrive at a venue with someone sitting in your seats. Someone changed your PDF to sell you a better ticket at a higher price — yikes! PDF tickets also increased pressure on the venue, as their security personnel needed to identify and deal with every attempt at fraudulent entry. Spotting counterfeit and duplicate tickets also meant ticket scanning technology needed to work as intended, which added another dimension of risk. Given these downsides, PDF tickets were unappealing to companies. Over and above the risk of fraudulent and duplicate tickets, there was the added risk of human error. If you’re responsible for manually acquiring, verifying, and transferring specific PDF files — and making sure the right people receive and know what to do with them — mistakes can easily slip through. Given the scale and stakes of sports and entertainment tickets in a business context, with luxury suites and season tickets going to key stakeholders, this risk was simply unacceptable. A robust ticket management system like TicketOS can help ticket administrators mitigate these risks, eliminating human error and making it possible to track and validate tickets from acquisition, to utilization, and beyond. Mobile ticket transfers are an administrative headache Mobile tech is all about convenience and flexibility for end users. From an event ticketing standpoint, this is largely the case. After all, with mobile ticket transfers, attendees only need their mobile device to gain access. And because every transfer creates a new ticket ID, mobile ticket transfers solve many of the security and verification issues of PDF tickets. That said, mobile ticketing introduces its own set of challenges — especially for businesses and their ticket administrators. For example, attendees often need to share personal information with the event venue – which is less than ideal when tickets are given to prospects, clients, or other business stakeholders. Companies are understandably reluctant to share this information with third parties, potentially souring the value they expect from their entertainment assets. Furthermore, as easy as mobile transfer is, it can still be difficult to adopt. A lot can – and does – go wrong. To name a few common issues: end users don’t always understand how to get the tickets in their application, they forget which email address they gave, or the email notification is blocked by corporate firewalls or ends up sitting in the SPAM folder. The confusion and complexity introduced by mobile ticket transfer can easily overwhelm the ticket administrators of a company. If you’re in charge of managing the company’s tickets and distributing them correctly, your job depends on every piece of the puzzle clicking into place. The tickets need to arrive on the right person’s device at the right time, and then be accepted without a hitch. The more tickets moving around, the higher the probability that something can go wrong. This is especially tough for ticket administrators responsible for luxury suite tickets. Say you're managing a suite of 20 people for 150 events a year. This means, roughly every other day, your ticket administrator is making sure 20 separate people have accepted their mobile transfers, and dealing with any issues that arise. Multiply that by additional suites or season tickets, and you’re looking at a full-time hire to handle mobile transfers alone. In short: mobile was supposed to make everything easier, but ended up creating a logistical nightmare. Thankfully for ticket administrators everywhere, ticket management systems like TicketOS offer a remedy to these event ticketing headaches. Future-proof your ticket strategy with a powerful ticket management system The best way to deal with unintended consequences is to keep an ear to the ground and solve challenges as they arise, with purpose-built tools. In the world of corporate event ticketing, that means listening to the frustrations of ticket administrators and equipping them with software that makes their lives easier. TicketOS does just that: turning the transfer of tickets into a seamless, one-application solution, with an expert client services team providing all the assistance that end users need. Our intuitive and user-friendly ticket management software solution gives ticket administrators more control over how tickets are acquired and allocated, improves visibility into utilization and ROI, and is highly configurable to meet specific business needs. If you’d like to see what TicketOS can do for you, book a demo today.