After attending this year’s Ticket Summit and NATB’s World Ticket Conference, I am inclined to address a question that many brokers posed to me:
“Why is the term ““Point of Sale”” (POS) thrown around so loosely today?”
If you are a ticket broker, you know the names of the companies and platforms that have helped grow our industry: TicketNetwork, StubHub’s Ticket Technology, and EIBoxOffice
The aforementioned companies have put 10 years or more of time and large capital investments towards building “enterprise” Point of Sale systems. These applications, plus Tix2000, Master Broker, Ticket Trader, Real Time Ticketing and several others built the foundation of secondary ticket applications that brokers use in their daily operations.
Having used each of the platforms mentioned above over the years, I developed a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for our industry’s software and dreamed of someday working to build out my own POS from the ground up.
I always believed that an enterprise POS that could become the backbone of a professional ticket brokerage would instinctively include the following:
● The ability to sell tickets to customers and accept credit cards (Don’t take this one for granted.)
● A robust and active real-time exchange that allows for buying and selling tickets from the most qualified ticket brokers in the world
● The ability to power your web site and seamlessly process web orders in real time.
● Accounting and the ability to share data effortlessly from the platform to accounting software
● Available and knowledgeable technical support – after all, this product forms the backbone of a ticket brokerage
● The ability to manage consignment inventory
● A way to manage category orders for national events before inventory arrives
I could keep naming features I believe a system MUST include, but a POS without the critical functions mentioned above is nothing more than a listing tool. If you are a part-time broker and don’t require all these POS features, there are plenty of options available. However, if you are a full-time broker who wants to grow your business and embrace technology, a glorified listing tool will not meet your requirements.
I will never forget the conversations I had with many people involved in building ElBoxOffice, Ticket Technology and TicketNetwork early in the “Ticket Evolution days.” They would tell me how crazy I was for wanting to build a POS and that I had no idea what I was getting involved in with such a project. I can honestly tell you, they were 100% right.
I have spent the past four years building a platform capable of real time trades, seamless and complete integrations with websites and other marketplaces, a proprietary payment system, proper accounting methods, accounting for thousands of edge cases, every type of ticket substitution, and much more. This was a massive and expensive undertaking that required the most extensive knowledge of the industry as well as the patience of a saint!
I can tell you that there is no physical way to start backwards on this type of application. We started by building a solid foundation for the marketplace. Then we added real time trades, solid accounting and data integrity around real ticket scenarios. There was absolutely nothing fun about it, but it is the core of the entire platform and it needed to be 100% solid and stable before building the bells and whistles. The approach we have noted by POS systems today is the exact opposite. These companies seem to be building bells and whistles and sexy features with no real engine behind it. Our goal from day one has been to build the Bloomberg terminal of the secondary ticket industry, not simply a tool to replace StubHub Pro.
Do Not Make Assumptions
Before you select a new vendor to serve as the backbone of your company, make sure you ask the right questions. I write this article not to advocate or advertise for the Ticket Evolution POS. Certainly I feel that Ticket Evolution has a strong offering but as a broker you have options. Having run a large brokerage, I encourage you to think about what a POS should be. Consider the needs of your organization before settling on a tool that might not meet them.