Archive for September, 2010

Hang on … who runs the venue – The venue management or Ticketmaster?

It may be me being thick, but this article seems to continue the confusion over who runs a venue, who hires the venue and owns the act and who is just an agent.

This article would be amusing if it were not for the large number of annoyed customers and fans judging by the comments.

Just because you can gouge some customers does not mean you should disadvantage  all customers. This is a shortsighted tactic that hopefully will be discouraged by consumer backlash.

Or am I just being naive?

Some classic quotes for your amusement:

Ticketmaster, the official ticket agency for the O2, tells fans that using “market-based pricing” for tickets will give them a better chance of seeing their favourite groups than using set prices.

The most expensive price of all – £675.03 for a pair of tickets in block A1 – was charged by Simply Red, the Mancunian band fronted by Mick Hucknall, the Labour-supporting singer whose songs include ‘Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)’.

Why do we charge £200 a ticket? Because the touts do, says the O2

30 September, 2010 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

Do you like to pick your own package of benefits?

This is beautiful for its simple clear logic and implementation.
 
Kristen Denner, Director of Membership at the Whitney Museum of American Art started with a defining observation as described on Museum 2.0:
 
… we realized that our museum is different from other museums, but our benefits and membership structure were the same as others. We saw an opportunity to really differentiate ourselves, the way we do with our exhibitions and programs. Our membership program should be as unique as our institution. 
 
They started with a major research project focussing on membership and including focus groups with current and prospective members:
 
I wanted to test a hypothesis that we should be segmenting our members not by demographics but by interest, in order to foster that emotional connection. And we confirmed that hypothesis.”
 
The focus groups revealed these five strong attitudinal segments among members and prospective members:
  1. Social
  2. Insider
  3. Learning
  4. Family
  5. Philanthropy
The members select one of the five specific package of benefits in addition to core admission and discount benefits.
  
Our membership base right now is about 12,500, and about 8,000 of those people are at our individual ($75) or dual ($120) levels. Curate Your Own (CYO) is $85 for individuals, $125 for duals.
  

Curate Your Own Membership: An Interview with the Whitney’s Director of Membership

29 September, 2010 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

Do Trends in the Travel Sector Holds Clues for Entertainment?

History shows that the travel sector, more than most others, is at the mercy of the global economic tide, growing slightly faster than the economy in boom periods, falling slightly more than the economy during the downturns.” I wonder if entertainment responds similarly?

Traditional cabin classes to be replaced by “virtual classes” as individual traveller preferences create a personalised experience. The future of the aircraft cabin is set to go through significant changes as customers are able to share their preferences with airlines and airlines will be expected to meet their individual needs leading to the decline of traditional cabin classes.” Looks like another example of simple segmentation not cutting the mustard, let alone ‘one size fits all’. More one to one marketing is likely to be demanded and that is increasingly technically feasible with information enabled relationship marketing.

64% of people believe it is very likely that they will be booking the bulk of their travel online by 2015 (Fast Future 2009).” The rates of adoption we are seeing with online ticketing for entertainment would suggest that the majority of entertainment will be booked online in the very near future.

Agents are likely to reinvent their role as bespoke travel advisors and as a trusted source of information.”  Similarly, entertainment ticketing agents must become advisors and trusted sources of information moving beyond the current purely transactional focus. If not, here is another reason why the ticket agent is a dinosaur that has outlived its purpose.

Agents to focus on industry niches and expert advice in the future. Their customer offer will focus on ensuring that their clients are assisted across the entirety of the travel experience.

In discussing some of the possibilities to generate more revenue, ancillary revenues are mooted: “À la carte Ancillary Services, products and services which were previously included in the ticket price such as checked baggage/ sports equipment, seat assignment, priority boarding, in-flight meals, snacks, beverages and pillows. This also covers totally new added value services such as “elite security” lanes or guaranteed exit row seats.” I find this interesting as it suggests offering and being charged for extra services i.e. augmenting the basic service offered. Maybe entertainment could learn from this. However an important distinction is that this is charging for extra services, not just charging extra fees for “convenience” or “print at home tickets”! If entertainment could learn one thing from travel let’s hope it is getting rid of additional and annoying fees.

It is likely that successful agents will exploit their traditional role as information aggregators – saving time and money for their clients. However, this is dependent on their willingness to embrace and work with new technologies rather than against them.

Thanks to Roger Tomlinson for putting me on to this report.

READ FULL REPORT ONLINE The Travel Gold Rush 2020>>

27 September, 2010 at 12:42 pm 1 comment

This is your mobile ticket

We have heard of a fair few different mobile ticket options now using different methodologies from 2D to 3D and so-on.

What I find really interesting is how many are coming into the market and the best bit of all is that they are all adding their own unique features. From that will spring all sorts of unique innovation!

By way of example, I was intrigued by some fatures that San Francisco start-up MogoTix offers:

The system can let multiple organizers see who’s checked in, broadcast the names of guests as they arrive and send out alerts to guests a few hours before the event.

These sort of things may not appeal to everyone, but I love the fresh thinking and the application of the technology in new ways.

In actual fact, announcing guests “on arrival at the Ball” may have been around for centuries, but who is to say that in a social media world with its ever connected constituents that this may be as relevant today to Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters as to … the court in other fairytales like Cinderella?

Sending out alerts to guests a few hours before the event, why stop there? Send them out warnings about car park capacity, or a special offer at the in-house bar or restaurant or a special deal after the show and so-on. I know that some organisations have requested functionality to warn subscribers so they don’t forget that they have seats for a show the following week. Maybe the secret of good service is timely, relevant communication, whatever the medium.

24 September, 2010 at 5:28 pm 1 comment

More than 1/2 online ticketing websites may breach consumer laws

More than half of online ticketing websites scrutinised in a sweep coordinated by the European Commission appeared to breach consumer laws. Common issues included: “missing, incomplete and misleading information about prices charged“, and “the imposition of unfair terms and conditions“.

Regulators from the 27 European Union countries, Norway and Iceland investigated 414 sites, and 247 rang alarm-bells … These will now be probed further by enforcement authorities to verify whether they broke any laws.

READ FULL ARTICLE ONLINE Ticket websites breaking EU laws>>

17 September, 2010 at 12:18 pm 1 comment

Proof: How social media sold a theatre ticket on Facebook

A great blog article about monitoring social media and quantifying RoI from San Francisco colleague Ron (Big Game Hunter) Evans of GroupOfMinds.

Ron explores a case of virtual Word of Mouth first hand and then discusses the difficulties of identifying the sources and results of the diversity of conversations Social media may inspire. Ron then suggests some good ways to track the results of social media out in the wild.

Not only is the conversation itself good, as it leads us to discover more about ourselves and the work, but  those conversations can lead to real results at the box office.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON GROUPOFMINDS Proof: How social media sold a theatre ticket on Facebook>>

17 September, 2010 at 2:10 am 1 comment

Mobilising & Learning About More Than Just The Ticket Purchaser

As Forrester Research says “more and more companies are embracing social media networking under their marketing strategy to boost e-commerce”.

BookMyShow in India is at the lead embracing this with a Facebook application to allow FB Friends to “share details of movies playing in the neighborhood and allow each of them to pay for his own ticket, without even leaving the site’s page. Now, BookMyShow is about to release its Facebook ticketing application in the next few weeks.

We all appreciate the potential value of Word of Mouth, personal recommendations and social networking and media, and we are now starting to see some of this potential unleashed.

With greater accessibility of purchase channels, more payment methods and more fluid regular communication between social groups, it looks like there may be less reliance upon the single event attendance organiser and most commonly purchaser of tickets. I believe that many of these initiator developments (invitations, RSVPs and more transaction options) facilitate greater accessibility and remove barriers that demanded a ‘social organiser’. Hopefully many of these social network developments will facilitate easier social organisation that encourages attendance and grows demand accordingly.

One of the greatest stumbling blocks to CRM and Direct Marketing, built upon the source of ticketing transaction data, is that only the purchaser is identified. What I also find exciting in such social networking developments is that there will be a potential to disaggregate transaction data below the level of the single ‘group’ purchaser of x tickets to the individual consumption level.

READ FULL ARTICLE ONLINE Time for ‘social’ shopping>>

15 September, 2010 at 12:42 pm Leave a comment

Sydney Opera House Insiders Revisits Booking Fees

The Sydney Opera House has launched a membership scheme called Sydney Opera House Insiders.

There are a variety of benefits for the annual fee of $110:

  • Insider discounts and offers on tickets and experiences
  • You’re invited to hang out at Insider pop-up lounges and events
  • Get VIP treatment and discounts at bars and restaurants in and around the House, including Opera Bar
  • Discounted parking at the Sydney Opera House Car Park, and …
  • No more booking fees

I find the removal of booking fees very interesting and I do hope it sets a precedent for many other venues. The common logic of punishing loyal or regular customers with add on fees still escapes me. I understand that there is an opportunity cost of foregone income that venue box offices have become dependent upon, but I do find this development offers greater finesse to look after loyal customers as well as develop an ongoing dialogue and engagement.

14 September, 2010 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

iTunes teams up with Live Nation/Ticketmaster

Thanks to Karl Vosper in the UK for pointing out this story.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster have jointly announced that they will be powering the Concert Listings feature in iTunes 10. However, there is no confirmation from Apple that there will be any ability to buy tickets as well!

Robin Wauters questioned this on TechCrunch in Live Nation To Power Concert Listings, Ticket Sales In iTunes 10

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think CEO Steve Jobs left that part out of his keynote, although the official press release does mention Live Nation briefly, indicating only that the company will be providing tour info for Concert pages.

FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT Live Nation Statement on Apple iTunes® Concert Information

7 September, 2010 at 10:10 am 1 comment

Is cooperative packaging of options on to a single ticket competitive?

Click image to see larger screenshot

This is interesting, Smart Destinations has launched a service to tourists that offers numerous attractions that can be purchased all at once on the same portal. The beauty is that the more attractions you buy tickets for at the same time the greater your discount. They claim you can “save up to 55% off buying separate attractions“. It is currently available in 14 cities across the USA.

I am intrigued that they have managed to get the individual attractions to cooperate and sign up and not perceive it as competition. Wouldn’t it be interesting if entertainment options could similarly put concerns of brand based competition at bay and see the greater potential of cooperation?

I find tow elements of this approach disappointing, the requirement for a smart card with its limitation of fulfillment and the requisite dedicated scanning equipment at the entrance of the attraction. 

Surely there are now numerous other ways of verifying validity of a ‘ticket’ and as discussed recently there are several options for validating a ‘ticket’ via a unique identifier. Yes an iPhone application springs to mind, but then several other platforms must be addressed as well (and a minority still own and iPhone or Android). A credit card is used to pay for the package ‘ticket’ online, so maybe it could or should be the ticket as being trialled in Singapore?

Try it out yourself for Chicago online here>>

2 September, 2010 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment


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