Glastonbury Festival joined those organisations determined to stamp out re-selling and ticket touts by requiring potential purchasers for this year’s festival to pre-register before 28 February 07. They must supply a photograph to prove their identity, which will appear on the ticket. One clear advantage is that families or a small group of friends planning to attend together in June will be able to purchase up to four tickets in one transaction, if all members have registered. The downside some commentators have identified, is that it will be harder for those wanting to assemble tickets to re-sell for corporate hospitality purposes.
Pre-registration opened on 1st February, and, though it is not first-come-first-served when tickets go on sale on 1st April 07, the registration website quickly crashed under the weight of traffic, soon put right.
Pre-registration is increasingly being argued for Internet ticketing, so that purchasers set up an account and log-in to buy tickets. The strongest argument is that this means more people complete their transactions. Some managers think this may also weed out those who use it as an ‘availability checker’, but that may also be a useful service which helps make sales. And for people with special needs, registration and recognition means they get privileged access to assistive technologies or booking wheelchair and companion spaces.
There also appears to be an increasing interest in the use of promotional codes, since they give off-line distribution techniques the chance to give people privileged access to offers online, in the way links from e-marketing campaigns easily lead to micro-sites with special deals. And in the same way, help track the source of responses.
Not all systems offer this with equal felicity. When are people asked to log-in on the website and do they need to have started Internet ticketing to do so? Can friends or members or subscribers log-in and then only see prices and deals specific to them? Do promotional codes only work when clicked into that event or do they automatically link straight from the code? Are wheelchair spaces available for booking online?
As the web converges with ticketing more and more, becoming central to ticketing and not just an additional channel, systems and their suppliers need to address these fundamental issues of design and usability.
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