Mobile is swiftly becoming the primary information consumption and ticket buying channel; Contactless ticket scanning and purchasing will be the norm within the next couple of years; As Covid is an ongoing issue, safety and health will remain a primary concern; Venues and organisers need integration and cross- functionality across all systems; When it comes to marketing, hyper-personalisation and mobile offers will become increasingly powerful and effective for existing patrons and attracting new customers.
Two of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the recovery of the Live Events industry is how we all have adapted our approach to coping with Covid-19, everything from seat spacing to safety protocols, to adding more shows with smaller audience capacities, to bulk refund functionality for canceled events, to offering controlled self-service ticket management for ticket buyers, to broader adoption of offering online viewing experiences. Contactless and mobile ticketing has become increasingly important, especially as we navigate attracting the non-returning audiences, who, despite the industry’s leaps in recovery, continue to impact Performing Arts revenues.
What does this mean for live events going forward? And, how will the use of mobile tickets and contactless ticketing scanning apps further streamline the patron experience and rebuild confidence? In this article, we take a closer look at trends we expect in mobile ticketing.
Mobile Ticketing Trends: 100% Mobile Everything
There will always be patrons who are more willing to buy tickets through traditional means, such as over the phone, standing in line at the box office on a big onsale day, ordering from their desktop computer at their desk through your website, or through third-party platforms. Some still truly enjoy giving paper tickets as gifts or retaining their ripped ticket as a memory keepsake.
However, the pandemic accelerated the trend towards mobile ticket purchases and contactless processing across all industries, not just live events. As the world gets moving again, more people than ever before are buying tickets on the go through their mobile devices, whether for food, drink, transportation travel or for your live events.
This means that venues and event organisers like you need to ensure your mobile ticketing capabilities are frictionless, for your patrons as well as your event teams. Taking a mobile-first, web-first approach better positions you for future adaptability and is far more convenient for most ticket buyers than more traditional options.
We at Tix Ticketing are strong evangelists for a mobile-enabled and user-first mentality in the Performing Arts. Catering to the needs of increasingly mobile-centric audiences and donors, our ticketing software is built to enable patrons and ticketing operations teams alike, to buy and manage tickets from anywhere and on any web-connected device.
In order to understand mobile trends within live events, it’s important to zoom out to a more broad reaching global market trends, particularly travel. Between 2017 and 2021, global mobile eCommerce sales increased from $1.4 trillion to $3.6 trillion, according to Skift Research. With online travel and hotel bookings, the volume of these increased to 40% of total bookings worldwide. Likewise, contactless payments in the UK alone reached nearly 1.2 billion, according to a BBC spending report late last year.
At Tixly, we expected mobile ticketing to accelerate over the next few years, even before the pandemic hit, as we saw more and more people consume information and increasingly make purchases online through their tablets, smartphones and smart watches. As such, we created mobile solutions for our performing arts, multi-event venue and cultural organisation customers in anticipation of their need to implement more mobile-friendly ticketing strategies.
In tandem, contactless payment technologies have been more widely adopted at the consumer level thanks to services like Apple Pay and other mobile wallets. Contactless spending limits have also increased with each year, especially during the pandemic when limits were swiftly increased to enable easier, safer shopping.
Our ticketing solution comes with an array of mobile enabled and contactless scanning features, that are easy to implement, helping our customer venues and event organisers more quickly adapt.
Ticket Scanning App– contactless event flow
When tickets are booked on mobile devices and through mobile apps, it is important for event organisers to have the ability to easily scan digital tickets, making the process of getting patrons to their seats fast and hassle-free.
Cinemas across various countries were early in implementing both social distancing and contactless ticket scanning during the pandemic. This enabled them to keep their doors open and provide a safe, enjoyable experience for their audiences. Similar measures were later adopted for live events, albeit with some hesitancy.
Understandably, some venues (and patrons) either resisted this change, especially those with older or more vulnerable audiences, or simply lacked the mobile infrastructure to do so. Some took a hybrid approach, giving customers the option of printing out their tickets, but demonstrating the value of digital and contactless processes through various points throughout the event experience, as they arrived to their events as their their tickets were scanned through mobile apps on arrival, or at concessions and merchandise kiosks where mobile-only offers and purchase options could be leveraged.
Tixly venue customers have been at an advantage in the pandemic recovery process, using our Tixly Scan app on iPhone or Android devices to scan and track their ticket holder arrivals, with just a Wi-Fi or 4G connection. These contactless scans are then automatically updated to our Boxoffice dashboard showing, in real time, how many seats have been filled and who has arrived to the event. Event organisers can additionally use either handheld wireless Android-based scanners with the Tix Scan app, or USB-enabled scanning devices that plug into laptops, to create more flexible scanning stations that give venue staff to adapt to changing audience traffic flows from the time doors open to when the show starts.
Hyper-personalised mobile marketing
Hyper-personalisation has been a hot button topic in event marketing for years. Now, however, the tools and services exist to collect and drill into customer preferences to create and deliver relevant event promotions, donor opportunities and mobile-only purchase offerings to your patrons.
With a properly functioning CRM, venues and organisers can gain a much clearer picture of patrons and donor preferences, and manage or develop more compelling relationships with them. Tix Ticketing, which has both built-in CRM and CMS features and additionally offers API integrations that connect to your external CRM and CMS systems, enables hyper-personalised multi-channel campaigns in just a few clicks, helping you engage your customers on mobile with the right data to create the right messaging, advertising and offers across email, SMS, and social media.
Complete Integration through APIs
With those trends in mind, when it comes to customer expectations, we need to consider what venues and organisers need behind the scenes to limit buyer disruption and mitigate data loss, often caused by disparate, competing or segmented venue systems lacking the ability to integrate effectively.
Tixly's APIs do a lot of heavy lifting beneath our ticketing engine, beyond CRM and CMS, to ensure that the various technologies and softwares needed for a successful live event work seamlessly, sharing and updating important data across multiple services including POS terminals, self-service kiosks, online shopping carts, financial systems or event production services like our partners at YesPlan.
Hrefna Sif Jónsdóttir