In 2012, I see so many opportunities for the ticketing industry that I barely know which one to go after first. Between the rapid explosion of mobile technology and the almost immediate upgrades cloud-based systems can offer, there’s almost no limit to what is possible in the next 12 months.
For my first prediction, let’s start with mobile ticketing. According to Yahoo, “iPhone” was the No. 1 most-searched term in 2011. Approximately 44 percent of Americans already have smartphones, according to data recently released by Nielsen, and I don’t think it’s going to be long before most Americans have smartphones.
My long-term prediction for mobile, based on the sales growth we’ve seen in this area in 2011, is that by 2015 at least 50 percent of our business will be mobile. During the next 12 months, I expect mobile to be the fastest growing area of our business.
My second prediction is that cloud systems will skyrocket. According to Moore’s law, technology doubles every 18 months. So, we probably haven’t even seen some the new cloud-based technologies we’ll be using by the end of 2012.
The advantages of operating in the cloud are crucial if we want to stay ahead of the latest trends and technology in ticketing. The speed and flexibility that cloud-based systems offer will significantly change the ticketing industry. Let’s not forget to mention that cloud-based ticketing providers can offer these upgrades to all customers almost immediately and with very little distribution cost.
My third prediction is that new mobile ticketing and cloud computing capabilities will greatly change our clients’ events. All you need is a smartphone or a tablet, and you can sell tickets virtually anywhere. This enables ticketing providers like Vendini to put mega-venue technology in the palm of your hand. And because of the low cost of entry for mobile ticketing, even the smallest events will be able to take advantage of this technology.
Finally, social media tie-ins will play a much larger role in ticketing. Currently, I don’t think that most ticketing companies are making the best use of social media — not as far as increasing ticket sales, reaching potential customers, engaging current patrons and, in general, adding to the entire experience. In 2012, many more venues will see the advantages of having patrons check-in via Foursquare, and enticing friends to attend events or being able to fill the house with last-minute Groupons.
What I really expect to see in 2012 for the ticketing industry is a true explosion when it comes to the technology we use and how we use it.
In November of 2001, Mark Tacchi set up a computer on a card table and started creating Vendini with nothing more than sweat equity, superb Web development skills, a background in business and the gracious help of friends. As president and CEO, he says his only job now is “to make sure customers love us.” Mark earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1991. He later accepted a job working with Steve Jobs at NeXT and then followed him to Apple. From there, he went on to start his own software company Hipbone, Inc., which he later sold.