We live in an increasingly paperless society, and mobile ticketing for events has been on the rise for a while now. So we’ve decided to look at mobile-only ticketing and its future.
Read on to learn about the…
- Current trends
- Pros and cons
- Future outlook
…of mobile ticketing. You may have to implement it for your own events one day.
Current trends in mobile ticketing
More and more events and venues are joining the paperless revolution with mobile-only ticketing. The American sports industry has gone a long way to pioneer the concept.
US sports events go mobile-only
The ALDS (American League Division Series) games in the US recently announced that tickets for the Rays and Yankees games will only be available on mobile. The Chicago Bears have jumped on the bandwagon as well, as have the NFL, the Detroit Tigers, the Bulls and Blackhawks, the Broncos, and Penn State University.
Most of these events will have their own ticketing app associated with them, but physical tickets can still be issued after the game for fans who want to keep them as a collectable.
And—should technology fail—attendees can still get physical tickets at the box office in exchange for their personal details.
But not everyone is happy with the changes.
Some Blues fans have complained that they have issues with their phone or feel more secure with a paper ticket in hand. Texan baseball fans have also complained about mobile-ticketing causing significant delays and long queues.
The latter issue isn’t news.
UK events and venues follow suit
Ticketmaster has also introduced its mobile-only system on the other side of the pond. Here, events like Lovebox and Citadel have gone paperless as well.
Notable venues in London, such as Scala, the Troxy, and Islington Assembly Hall have also ditched the physical tickets. This move is part of the venues’ new partnership with DICE, which is a ticketing app that has received a lot of media attention recently.
And the rest of Europe is hot on the heels of the UK.
Primavera Festival in Italy recently announced that they would use the DICE app for all future events. According to its website, DICE has also partnered with Goldenvoice and Acast Live.
Pros of mobile ticketing
There are many advantages to mobile-only tickets, which explains why it has gained such momentum. Here are six reasons you might want to consider jumping on the bandwagon.
1. Everything in one place
Many smartphone users already have their payment cards and other tickets tied to apps like Apple Wallet. Mobile ticketing for events helps keep everything in one place.
2. Reduced ticket fraud
Apps like DICE won’t reveal the ticket’s QR code until two hours before the event. That gives fraudsters very little time to figure out how to replicate the QR code to create a fake ticket.
3. No more ticket touting (or ticket scalping)
Ticket touts buy up paper tickets and resell them on the day of the event at extortionate prices to desperate would-be attendees. Mobile-only ticketing makes that practice very difficult.
4. Transfer and resale
DICE locks mobile tickets to your phone, but it’s still possible to transfer them to another user in case you can’t make it to the event. Other apps allow for ticket resale on appropriate platforms.
5. No lost or forgotten tickets
Paper tickets are easily misplaced, but mobile tickets solve that problem. Since most people are glued to their phones, the likelihood of them misplacing it or losing it is small.
6. Extra attendee engagement
We advocate for regular attendee engagement here on the blog, because it’s important to nurture your relationships. Mobile tickets allow for more ways to interact with your guests.
Cons of mobile ticketing
There are always two sides of every coin, and you’d be right to have questions about mobile-only tickets. Here are potential challenges to be solved by event organisers who use them.
1. Battery and charging
Although the battery life of smartphones has improved greatly, it’s still not enough to support regular use for a three-day conference or festival. Events will need to have charging stations.
Phones and most of their apps are also reliant on a good connection. If there is no reception or WiFi connectivity at the event location, you might have a problem with the ticketing system.
3. Lost and broken phones
Few people will forget their phones, but many of them will either lose or break them. That’s particularly true for inebriated festival-goers. What happens to their mobile ticket then?
4. Attendees who aren’t tech-savvy
Smartphones are still confusing to some people. Introduction of mobile-only tickets can alienate them or make their life difficult if they’re used to paper tickets.
5. People who don’t have or want a phone
There will also be instances where attendees don’t have the app and don’t want it. Again, festival-goers may want to leave their phone at home so they don’t lose or break it.
The future looks bright for mobile ticketing
Whatever you think of the benefits and downsides of mobile ticketing, the phenomenon is not going away.
In fact, it’s on the rise.
Several wine events and music festivals in Australia have reported that over half of their ticket sales were mobile tickets. Meanwhile, mobile tickets are now 23 times more popular in the UK as they were in 2015.
But it’s not just events that are going paperless.
Mobile boarding passes have been used by the airline industry for quite a few years now. Governments are being urged to work on implementing mobile-only ticketing solutions for public transport. There are even talks of mobile passports to reduce lines at airport control.
In other words, the future is already here.
It’s only a matter of time before the majority of venues, events, and transportation modes will use mobile-only tickets.
Are you ready?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Make sure you have a way to offer mobile tickets for your events and a plan for dealing with potential drawbacks.
The Billetto app gives you an all-in-one solution to buy and keep track of your mobile event tickets. If you’re organising your own events, you can switch over to the “Event Manager” mode to manage these.
What do you think about mobile-only ticketing? Leave your comments in the section below.