Americas CEO for SecuTix, the SaaS Ticketing Engagement Platform with blockchain mobile delivery.
Not that long ago, leaders of many venues thought that fans were not ready or willing to switch to mobile blockchain ticketing. I found this was the case in March 2020. Today, the practice has become more widely adopted.
More organizers are turning to blockchain technology for their events. For example, I am the Americas CEO of a company that offers mobile blockchain ticketing, and at a sporting event a few months ago, our technology was used to inject about 1 million tickets into the blockchain for fans in 11 venues across 10 countries.
What is important for event organizers to comprehend is that blockchain technology can address four significant challenges in the industry: fake tickets, ticket scalpers and bots, security and data.
1. Fake tickets: Perhaps you’ve been in this situation: You bought tickets to your favorite show, which is coming to town. The entire family is excited. The day has arrived, you park your car, and, while walking to the venue, you look at the big smile on the face of your kids. You arrive at the entrance, show your tickets, and you are told that, unfortunately, they are fake. This has happened to many people. Mobile blockchain ticketing can help prevent this in the future. Each ticket going through the blockchain receives its own “identity,” and if consumers want to resell or transfer the ticket, they need to go again through the blockchain.
2. Scalpers and automated bots: One of my favorite artists was coming to South Florida. The organizer was opening the online sales at 10 a.m. sharp on a Friday. At 9:55 a.m., I was ready in front of my computer. At 10:01 a.m. when I clicked “Buy tickets,” the only tickets left were in the back of the venue, or I could already buy better tickets at outrageous prices on a reseller marketplace. Bots have presented a serious challenge for the industry. Mobile blockchain ticketing can help block the bots, and the event organizer can define the rules around which tickets can be resold.
3. Security: The bad guys have not retired. Even if this topic was left on the back burner in the last couple years, the need to secure venues is as important as it was before. Additionally, venues may now need to include the capability to check a vaccine pass or whatever security measures a venue decides to implement in the future. Mobile blockchain ticketing allows organizers to identify their patrons precisely, even if a ticket has been exchanged five minutes before entering.
4. Data: Who is not tired of receiving email blasts with dozens of events they have zero interest in attending? I think that more than ever, it is crucial for organizers and venues to understand their audience better, to tailor specific offers that would resonate with them, to create new and more qualified leads, and, last but certainly not least, to design a more attractive customer journey. It can be almost impossible for anyone to do so if they don’t own their data and if they are not able to analyze it. This is another application of mobile blockchain ticketing.
From insurances companies, financial institutions and watchmakers, to precious stones, telecommunications, computer hardware and so many more, it seems that every industry is being impacted by blockchain technology. The events industry is no different.
If you start by examining customer needs, as outlined above, you may realize the potential for the events organizers to use blockchain. Now, you might not be familiar with the technology and, quite frankly, might be wondering how to make good use of it and where to start. I like to compare it to driving a car: I don’t need to understand how the engine works, but I understand how to drive the car and get to where I want.
So, the first step for any event organizer is to select a company that is able to answer your needs with mobile blockchain ticketing. (Disclosure: My company helps with mobile blockchain ticketing.) Which problems are you trying to solve? What is the volume of tickets you are looking at injecting in the blockchain? Do you want/need to transform your ticket into an NFT afterwards? Don’t settle for one company, and do your homework to define a shortlist of at minimum three different potential vendors.
The second step is to identify how the technology will impact your processes: from issuing mobile tickets to access control, as well as the rules you can put in place regarding the mobile ticketing, such as how many tickets one individual can buy, how can they be transferred, at what price compared to their face value, etc.
The third step is to clearly understand which data will be visible in the blockchain and how it aligns with the local rules in place, like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is an important step so you can inform the users and reassure them and address any concerns they might have. As with any topic, the web allows everybody and anybody to express their point of view. Accordingly, the main challenge remains to identify trustable sources and to do your homework.
Today, I believe the events industry is again setting itself up for disruption. The technology often exists at an affordable price and can be implemented in less than three months. This is giving the early adopters a competitive advantage and creating better experiences for the end users, namely, all of us.
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