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5 Ticket Industry Trends to Watch in 2019

January 08, 2019 by Emmy Gengler

Ticketing Trends
Ticketing Trends
Chatbots, Blockchain, Facial recognition

Alexa itemizes your grocery list. You tap your cell phone for payment at the store. Your receipt generates data and; before you know it, a coupon book filled with all of your most-purchased items lands in your mailbox. 

The cycle has become routine – standard even – because we live in a digital age.

Simple, secure, and immediate gratification is the name of the game and technologists are in a constant scramble to stay ahead of the curve.

Ticketing trends are no exception. A sporting event; for example, no longer requires long waits with paper tickets. In fact, they no longer require a physical presence within an arena to enjoy the “crowd-goer” experience. Rather, many traditional sports teams now host “watch parties” for fans to tune in and view a live video-stream of an event featuring chat room engagement with other fans around the world.

To keep up with the ever-changing world of events, companies within the ticketing space are making big changes. Read on for the top five trends this year:

1. The death of the ticket

How many times have you found yourself checking your watch at the entrance to a concert as the person in front of you rifles through jacket, purse, and pants pockets looking for a lost ticket? Or bought last-minute tickets from a third party only to find that you had been dramatically overcharged? The impending elimination of paper tickets promises to do away with many of these frustrations.

More and more organizations eradicated paper tickets entirely over the last few years and that trend is expected to continue. Mobile-only event entry with QR or Bar Codes has become the most common mode of ticketing, but facial recognition is likely to continue gaining traction in the coming months and years.

2. Facial recognition

Ticketmaster, the largest company in the ticketing space, has made a considerable investment in facial recognition technology. While this controversial development remains unpopular among privacy groups, its many benefits cannot be ignored. 

Security has proven the most impactful argument in favor of facial recognition software. Venue operators and event organizers use the technology to scan the faces of attendees and recognize anyone listed in a security database as a threat. Such software may have proven preventative in instances such as the concert shooting in Las Vegas, and did prove quite useful on Taylor Swift’s most recent tour when every patron’s profile was run against a list of known pedophiles.

Credit card fraud is also negated by facial recognition software, and check-in and registration are facilitated by the tech. Additional to making the event-going experience easier on attendees, facial recognition software allows more targeted marketing from sponsors and enables a sense of community across social media.

3. Blockchain

Ticketmaster is just one of countless companies within inestimable industries who has acquired a Blockchain company and continues to invest resources into the space. Blockchain serves as an open, public ledger that allows an event organizer to control the lifecycle of a ticket in its entirety. While it is costly to operate and cannot handle large volume transactions, it does allow an unrivaled degree of control over the purchase and resale of tickets.

4. ChatBots

Sitting on kitchen counters across America, ChatBots like Alexa, Seri, and Echo have become a mainstay in our day-to-day. Event venues are on track to be no exception. A highly anticipated trend in 2019 includes the employment of ChatBots to assist attendees in next steps during their ticket purchases, to field questions ahead of an event, and to act as a personal attendant during the show.

5. Industry regulation and consolidation

As security measures make it more difficult for ticketing software vendors to bulk purchase and resell tickets, there has been an uptick in mergers and acquisitions within the space. Meanwhile, governments are reviewing the secondary ticket market on a global scale. These industry changes have brought about the concept of “right pricing;” that is, selling the best seats in the house at a high price then pricing remaining seats based solely on demand (eliminating the second market). 

While many of these trends have been in the works over the last year, 2019 can expect acceleration in technology influencing the simplicity and security of the ticket-buying process. 


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