I recently came across a blog posted by StubHub’s CEO Chris Tsakalakis regarding paperless ticketing. With all due respect to Chris, it reinforced to me that many misconceptions still exist about the technology. With everyone from our legislators to performers to fans trying to sort through the facts about this emerging ticketing platform , I thought I’d use this forum as an opportunity to correct and clarify a few things.
For a number of years, consumers in the airline and hospitality industries have embraced paperless ticketing. Today, the live events industry is using the technology to provide an exceptional experience for its customers. Our company, Veritix®, offers the patented digital (paperless) ticketing option Flash Seats®, which provides for the safe and secure sale and transfer of tickets. Our customers give us a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating, and on average, fans using Flash Seats attend events seven percent (7 percent) more frequently than fans using paper tickets. Our technology has been used by more than 3 million fans to attend NBA, NHL, MLS, and other professional sports events, college events including the 2011 NCAA Final Four Championships, as well as concerts and other live events at major arenas across the country.
One misconception I’ve heard quite a few times is that consumers are unable to purchase tickets as gifts or give them to others to use (transfer) when plans change when using paperless tickets. The fact is, Flash Seats allows for the instant and secure ability to buy, sell, AND transfer paperless tickets from a computer or a smart phone. Consumers have been using this technology with live event tickets for more than three years, proving there IS a choice in the marketplace. The teams, artists and venues offering these choices are dedicated to enriching the fan experience and focused on ensuring a legitimate and convenient ticketing experience. If a fan has trouble making it to an event, they can instantly and safely send their tickets to a relative or a friend by email…or they can sell them. When optimized, the paperless ticket technology prevents counterfeit or stolen tickets and provides the ultimate convenience for fans.
When it comes to the secondary market, many tickets listed on resale sites are from professional resellers or brokers who often sell tickets they don’t at the time own or possess. What differentiates the Flash Seats digital marketplace is that when brokers buy and sell tickets on Flash Seats, consumers are guaranteed that the seller holds the right to that ticket, and that it will be delivered instantly when a transaction is completed. Consumers have embraced and accepted the paperless ticketing alternative for its proven safety and convenience and many brokers use Flash Seats in markets that use our technology. The ability to buy, sell and transfer a paperless ticket is here, accepted and ultimately more convenient for fans.
The Fan Freedom Project has been very outspoken about paperless ticketing and touts itself as an organization to “preserve and protect fans rights”. If that is the case — and I hope it is — the Project should be well aware of the convenience and security a technologically advanced paperless system like Flash Seats provides fans and note that not all paperless ticketing platforms are created equal.
Jeff Kline is the president of digital ticketing provider Veritix. He delivers many years of sales, marketing and organizational expertise to his position, and among his jobs prior to joining the Veritix, Kline spent fourteen years in various senior management roles with Ticketmaster, and served as executive vice president in the office of the chairman. During his time at Ticketmaster, Kline was instrumental in helping the company grow and expand into new areas of business and services. In addition, Kline has served as vice president/chief of staff at Media Live International (formerly Key3 Media), and as senior executive vice president of business affairs at TBA Global Events.