Contactless Tickets Equate to More Contact Opportunities
In college, my dorm walls were papered with football tickets, basketball tickets, and concert tickets. Each one had a story, a memory. Nowadays you’re hard pressed to find a paper ticket. A study from Juniper Research has found that global digital ticketing transaction volumes will exceed 33.8 billion in 2023, from just 20.8 billion in 2021; surpassing pre-COVID levels for the first time. The research found that this 62% growth will be driven by a resurgence in travel, as well as the recovery in events ticketing. So while some of the nostalgia is lost, what has been gained from digital ticketing is worth the trade-off. And hey, it’s only a matter of time before NFTs cash in on the digital ticket model, right?!
Of course, while digital ticketing has become mainstream in professional and DI sports, many programs are working to identify digital ticket platforms that support their event model and meet their engagement requirements. According to new research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which involved more than 850 companies worldwide, successful digital transformations increase EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) by a significant 21%. However, in 2021 only about 35% of companies said they achieved their digital transformation goals. We’re seeing a similar picture across the live event industry, where the opportunity to embrace modern technology is yet to reach its full potential.
Below are 6 trends that are driving digital ticketing platform considerations for university, junior college, and high school athletic programs.
1. Contactless is Actually Creating More Opportunity for Contact
Digital ticketing surged as a response to COVID safety precautions. But contactless is here to staybecause the switch to digital opens the possibility to get to know audiences better, generate leads, and improve the customer journey. It’s also establishing closer audience relationships because preferences can be understood so that hyper-targeted, personalized marketing initiatives can be created. A mobile ticket wallet is a powerful vehicle to communicate with audiences, both in operational and marketing terms.
2. Digital Tickets are Winning Mobile Real Estate
Fans can purchase tickets directly from a team’s mobile app and can even use Apple Pay or Google Pay. Ticketing platforms rely heavily on mobile apps that make it easy for fans to find answers to their questions or issues. This provides ticketing and event companies real estate on their patrons’ phones, which has the additional benefit of push notifications for additional engagement.
3. Fans Can Experience the Action Faster
With easy-to-use QR code scan systems, digital ticketing platforms make every event entry a quick, seamlessly managed, and professional experience. Digital tickets allow for more flexibility and don’t require the time and resources for traditional paper ticketing. You can even scan multiple tickets with one QR code to make lines move even faster.
4. New Revenue Streams Have Been Identified
Many athletic programs are working to identify new revenue streams in order to supplement all that was lost these last 2 years. While ticketing will remain the cornerstone of revenue generation for most, new ways to monetize value-added products and services simply and efficiently in a consistent digital journey experience, will be explored more through technology. This can be seen through customized fan packaging and monthly subscription-based offers designed to engage differently with local and remote audiences alike.
5. Live Streaming and Digital Ticketing Go Hand-in-Hand
One of these monetization trends is leveraging the increasing demand for streaming content. Between February and March 2020, streaming consumption increased 73% in the United States alone. In fact, it’s becoming an important source of audience contact and income for events that have been paused because of social distancing protocols. Many ticketing platforms quickly pivoted to livestreaming and have evolved since to offering hybrid events. While livestreaming may not replace the actual in-person event, live streaming and hybrid events have huge potential for the future of the ticketing industry. Programs can reach a much wider audience on a global scale, and teams can still interact with fans no matter where they are.
6. Peer-to-Peer is a Requirement of Fans
Thanks to payment applications like Venmo, fans expect the same convenience in payment and ticket management. With the right digital ticketing platform, programs can enable their fans to manage their own tickets, splitting the cost of group ticket orders, adding the event to their calendar, getting directions, and even transferring tickets via email to another fan.
Ticketing has come a long way, from tearing along a perforated line and tacking your ticket to the wall, to using RFID technology to wirelessly communicate with an app on a phone. Digital engagement is what fans are experiencing in banking, shopping, travel, and everything in between. No matter the size of your athletic program, digital ticketing is a must. With the right platform, you can find a solution that scales to your needs and your budget.
Learn more and see how a digital ticket solution could improve your fan experience.