8 minutes

Jeff Kreuser (JK), Softjourn’s CTO and Fred Maglione (FM), Principal of the Maglione Group recently attended the FutureTix Ticketing Symposium, held November 12th and 13th in Miami, Florida. The Symposium is one of the most important ticket industry events of the year, focused on deep ticketing industry knowledge and innovative solutions. Jeff and Fred participated in five roundtable sessions that were very well attended. Below are questions posed to attendees during the five sessions, and their respective responses.

How big of an issue is security (the safety of the patrons while in and around your facility) and how do you expect your ticketing platform to help in this area?
FM: For the most part each group agreed that security is a very real issue. But it was almost universal that the audience didn’t feel it was the responsibility of the ticketing system to manage this process.
JK: I do remember a few people mentioning that the ticketing provider should be more involved and they saw the need for an attendee manifest in the future.

How do you see distribution changing? A year ago, we all thought Amazon was going to be in the space. They pulled out, but chances are they, or someone like them (Google, Apple, Comcast) will enter the space. Will your contract and/or technology prohibit you from taking advantage of this new distribution channel? Do you even want to take advantage of it?
FM: Here the responses were mixed. Some delegates were adamant that the venues were going to want to control how tickets are sold and the messaging and pricing around the sale. Others were the complete opposite and embraced the idea of open distribution.
JK: Agreed, some will never let someone else sell their tickets and others said the more that sell the better. Although many do want control of any markup or discount.

Let’s talk pricing. Do you see the live events space moving more toward the travel model of hotels and airlines – totally based on demand?
FM: Almost universal agreement that the industry is going in the direction of dynamic pricing and the concept of a fixed price will be obsolete in a few years.
JK: I heard the same, all dynamic in the future.

How big an issue is credit card fraud for your organization? What would you like to see implemented to alleviate this problem?
FM: This topic was interesting. Everyone agreed it is a problem, but the venues that were in the sessions, that have a vendor like Ticketmaster which manages credit card sales and fraud issues, didn’t see it as a big problem since they don’t suffer the loss. The companies that manage the ticket sales process and handle their own credit card sales are looking for solutions, although most felt it was the responsibility of the credit card company to solve this issue for them.
JK: I heard the same. We did try to talk a bit about friendly fraud, but did not get much in terms of response about how to deal with it.

How integrated are the systems on your campus? Do you still have someone taking statistics from multiple systems and entering them into spreadsheets? Here is what our ticket sales are, here is what our food and beverage sales are, here is what our group sales are? Parking, etc.?
FM: Didn’t get a strong reaction here.
JK: Yes, some still use a spreadsheet to gather the data. Maybe the audience makeup reduced the feedback.

I am in the box office, should I care about whether or not our ticketing service uses blockchain?
FM: We didn’t seem to get a lot of strong reaction here. People felt it was coming, but still aren’t sure of its value.
JK: Had some blockchain vendors of course say it was important, one box office person I remember saying it was important for her, but could not really say why.

What is new that will help me sell more tickets for my events?
FM: We only got to ask this in a few sessions, overall reaction was “social”.

What’s new in access control? Face recognition, voice, strolling in, what is cool and what is it going to take to really operate with it? What issues do I have with our current access control? For your venue/events – if festivals – what do you think of the devices like what Eventbrite has? Everyone to scan their own wristbands?
FM: Most of this topic blended into the security question above. The audience felt there would be a lot of development with biometrics and access, but again, didn’t feel it was the responsibility of the ticketing company to deal with this (not sure I agree). Don’t think we had any festival operators in the audience.
JK: Yes, this kind of merged with security, ticket fraud, etc. from what people talked about. DID not care too much on tech as long as it was fast and did not interfere or slow down the patron/fan.