Many companies in the ticket resale industry focus their energy on the familiar North American market where they feel safer. Europe is viewed as a market that is slowly emerging to the forefront, but is still not fully tapped into by many.
The Emerging Markets: Europe panel during the second day of Ticket Summit 2008 attempted to show that Europe is a place full of opportunity for secondary ticket companies. Andrew Blachman of GET ME IN!, made the prediction that by the same time next year Europe will no longer be considered an emerging market, but instead an important and viable market.
Blachman was joined by other panelists including Joe Cohen of Seatwave, Graham Burns of Association of Secondary Ticket Agents, Christopher Goodhart of Blackbaud and Ryan Baker of Global Collect. While each of the panelists acknowledged the challenges of entering the European market, they also stressed the potential of it as well.
“The European population is more than double the U.S. and Canada combined,” Goodhart said adding that Europe’s gross domestic product is $4 trillion more than the two combined.
In order to get a piece of the money that is out there, brokers will face the challenge of handling multiple currencies from different countries. Baker’s company, Global Collect, is an international payment solution provider and shared some trends of the market. He explained to attendees that across Europe many don’t have a credit card like we know it.
“In Germany only 28 percent [of the population] has a credit card,” he said.
He added that the European population encompasses many different cultures, each defining what a normal and reliable payment method is.
The part of Europe that most closely mirrors the U.S. was the U.K., and Blachman and his company believes that the U.K. is a billion dollar market. In a survey conducted by GET ME IN!, they found that nearly 52 percent of people bought tickets on the secondary market in the past year and, of those people, 90 percent were happy with their experience.
Joe Cohen looked to the future of the secondary ticket market in Europe, saying that there is plenty of opportunities available. Just like in the U.S., government officials are looking closely at regulating ticket resale, but Cohen was confident of the prospects of any restrictions.
“There will be no regulation,” he said.
The panel concluded that it is not unreasonable to think that the European market could be two thirds the size of the U.S. in the near future.
“If you provide safe, reliable tickets,” Blachman said. “People will buy.”