by Tom Patania, Special to Ticket News

In case you didn’t hear, Ticketmaster had a major failure in its system last week. Fans at venues across the country were stuck in massive lines, and had their event experience tarnished – if not ruined – on account of a system they were forced into using.

I can certainly appreciate all the technological advances that have been done in our industry and I credit Ticketmaster with being innovative in many of the changes. Providing data to teams and content holders to support the sales efforts is a value add. However, when that provides a bad consumer experience, we have to ask ourselves, what’s more important: honoring consumer choice or forcing technology? This is not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals

What is your contingency plan? Why not give the consumer the option on how they wish to receive their ticket? There is a reason the airline industry pays heed to consumer choice in printing their boarding pass or leave it on their phone as mobile. Planes need to be boarded and be out of the gate at a certain time. The ticketing industry needs to have consumers through the doors prior to show time: no difference. So why not allow that consumer choice?

That begs the question should it be a consumers choice how they wish to receive their tickets or the content holder? Having been in this space for 40 years I’ve certainly seen the revolution. My experience with clients especially baby boomers is they want choice. Many consider it a hassle to go through all the steps they now have to in order to get a ticket. Then there is the nostalgia factor. Many clients ask us for hard tickets as a memory of their special event. There is an opportunity here as well. Why not offer hard or commemorative tickets as an option to consumer for an additional fee?

So who’s choice should it be consumer or content holder as to how they get their tickets?

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. Tom Patania is the CEO of and President of the National Association of Ticket Brokers