Data and Dynamic Pricing Protocols
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
by Pamela Sherborne | Venues Today
Updates on ticketing best practices permeate IEBA conference
REPORTING FROM NASHVILLE — Pixel placement systems which collect customer preferences and capturing the resale market were among the ticketing topics explored on stage and in the hallways the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) 2017 Conference, held here Oct. 15-17.
Aaron Bare, Etix, spoke on data collection using Etix's pixel placement system. "Have you ever wondered why something you looked at earlier on your computer keeps popping up in ads on other sites?" he said. "The website you visited had a tracking pixel, a piece of code dropped on the site to track users."
This tracking pixel is able to remember where a potential ticket buyer is browsing and what that buyer has bought in the past, Bare said. It makes data collecting easy and can be used to send out marketing emails.
The number of tickets going to other cities and resellers was a major concern of the Award Winners Power Panel, composed of Ali Harnell, AEG Presents, moderator; Jeff Nickler, BOK Center, 2016 winner, Arena of the Year; Renee Alexander, Minnesota State Fair, 2017 Fair Buyer of the Year winner; David Kells, Bridgestone Arena, 2017 Arena of the Year; and Darin Lashinsky, NS2, 2016 winner, Promoter of the Year award.
They acknowledged that the days of fans sitting at their computers waiting to buy a ticket are somewhat over. They know they can buy it later from a reseller.
A sticking point with this is that, oftentimes, the reseller will make more money than the artist, said IEBA Executive Director Pam Matthews.
A diagram produced from IEBA member surveys and given out at the conference demonstrated this. The diagram follows the exchanges of an original $200 ticket. On one path, it is bought for $200 by a patron. On this simple path, the artist gets $120 of the face value and the promoter gets $80 to cover expenses.
On another path, a $200 ticket is sold on Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster gets a $21 processing fee, making the ticket total $221 for the buyer. The buyer then resells it on StubHub for $1,000. StubHub collects $100 from the buyer and $150 from the seller for a total of $250.
Matthews said one solution would be dynamic pricing where ticket prices would fluctuate depending on location and demand.
"If a reseller can sell a $200 ticket for $1,000, then maybe we should be selling the ticket for $1,000 in the first place," Matthews said. "If people are willing to pay that much, maybe we should be asking that much."
On the third day of the IEBA conference, Matthews moderated a panel entitled "Ticketing: Incentive to Innovate." The panel consisted of industry experts Fielding Logan, Q Prime South, Nashville, Tenn.; Justin Atkins, Ticketmaster; Jason Comfort, Red Light Management, Charlottesville, Va., and Charlie Goldstone, Frank Productions Concerts, Madison, Wis.
The group agreed that the current way tickets are sold is broken and needs to be revamped. But doing so will be difficult.
Creating more accurate ticket pricing is a solution. Educating fans on ticket buying is important. Fans need to know where their money is going and they need to understand that when a performance is being reported as a sell out, that doesn't mean they can't find a ticket on the secondary market.
The panel addressed incentive programs to encourage patrons to purchase from a primary ticketing source. Those could come in the forms of rewards or loyalty programs.
Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, a pre-registration process that removes the scalpers and BOTs, is a step in that direction. The program enables Ticketmaster to collect information on the actual fan and what that fan is buying. Ticketmaster then sends out pre-sale invitation emails.