We live in a digital world. The Financial Times recently reported that spending on smartphones is now so high it has overtaken spending in shopping centres, with 58% of British adults shopping on a smart device and an estimated £25 billion spent on goods ordered by smartphone in 2019.
Whilst the smartphone revolution may have started on the high street, it is now branching into every aspect of purchasing - including tickets. As with traditional shops, those venues and companies who adapt and embrace new technology in order to broaden their market, develop their business and simplify their internal processes will ultimately be the ones to reap the rewards.
Cork Opera House
Whilst they may have moved online, almost all UK venues and even major ticketing platforms still use technology based on legacy systems that were developed in the 1970s. Cork Opera House, a cultural mainstay on the Irish arts scene since 1852, was one of the many venues struggling with its legacy box office function; as a result, it decided to launch an extensive search for a ‘best in market’ ticketing and CRM system last year.
The Opera House ultimately chose SeatGeek’s innovative SRO system. Built for the digital age, this mobile-focused ticketing platform provides the most modern ticketing technology on the market. Already used by big name entertainment and sports clients across the globe, including UK clients such as English National Opera, London Palladium, Leicester Tigers RFC and seven Premier League football teams, SeatGeek’s software allows box office staff, promoters and directors to manage inventory, maximise sales, create events, and serve annual members. It also provides ongoing analysis of data, which enables clients to be more strategic in their ticketing.
Real time reporting and dynamic pricing
“SeatGeek’s SRO system has unrivalled functionality to handle ticketing through all of our sales channels – online, telephone and box office - and real time reporting dashboards to give our internal departments and external producers up to the second sales figures,” said Martin O’Donoghue, Business Development Manager of Cork Opera House.
“Furthermore, the unique rules engine allows the Opera House to dynamically price each event according to set criteria in real-time. It is a system that understands the complexities of marketing, fundraising and memberships through its integrated CRM solution, allowing the Opera House to automate lots of work previously being carried out on a manual basis.”
Since launching, the Opera House has seen:
- a 20% increase in the number of tickets sold
- a significantly higher number of orders being placed through the simple online purchase flow.
The Opera House box office has also worked alongside the SeatGeek team to drive innovation around the management of corporate memberships, dropping the time commitment needed from the box office by 80%.
Open distribution ticketing
SeatGeek believes that fundamental changes must be made to the way ticketing is handled in order to keep up with modern consumer habits. This week it has continued on its mission to bring about those changes - by introducing open distribution ticketing to the UK.
This means that venues will be able to sell their tickets in more places than ever before, without the need for additional software. Already a success in the US, where SeatGeek has launched partnerships with Facebook, Snapchat and Airbnb amongst others, this new product allows clients to open up performances and events to new audiences, with the end result of selling more tickets and developing new loyal customers.
Using digital dependence to attract new audiences
Whilst it may be impossible to predict the future of the arts, it is clear that clever technology will play a key part in shaping its continued mainstream success. With official UK Theatre figures showing that 29% of all UK theatre seats remained unsold last year, it’s time to turn this digital dependence to our advantage and use it to target new audiences.