Changing perspectives: four ways to rethink ticketing in 2024

rethink ticketing in 2024
rethink ticketing in 2024


Business as usual is no longer an option, change is coming to the live event and sports ticketing sector. It’s often tempting to stick with the status quo in exchange for short-term gains, but organisations that are willing to implement a long-term vision will always outperform the competition in the future.

The ticketing industry has largely been slow to adapt to the shifting consumer and technological landscape. For the major players, there was little incentive to innovate, but now, the tide has turned. Rights holders and organisers have grown tired of the outdated approaches, while ticket buyers are demanding new and fairer processes. 

Many in the ticketing industry are now grappling with this evolution. Of course, everyone wants to maximise revenues and provide exceptional fan engagement but to do so, a new playbook is needed.  

Below are four crucial areas all ticketing leaders must be looking at for 2024. These considerations won’t just be vital over the next 12 months but are ones that will shape the sector for decades to come.

Take back control of ticketing and have a direct relationship with the customer

The ticketing industry is, at last, primed to follow the same disintermediation process that’s happened across many other sectors. In travel, finance and retail we’ve seen a successful reduction in the use of ‘middlemen’ and this change to how business is done is now well overdue in ticketing.  

The barriers to disintermediation are vanishing. Technological advances make direct-to-consumer transactions simple and ticketing operations easy to insource, whilst venues are becoming more independent. We believe that the value of the inventory and resell can now be one hundred per cent under the rights holder’s control.

However, the move to take back control of ticketing is slow and facing some difficult headwinds due to the vertical monopolies controlling all parts of the event industry value chain, including venues, ticketing distribution and promotion. These legacy players are fighting to maintain the status quo and prevent rightsholders from capturing the benefits of disintermediation.

Arguably, the big brands in sports and live entertainment don’t need intermediaries to sell their tickets. Take for example the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where ticketing was handled directly by FIFA from their headquarters in Zurich. 

The tournament was a great success, exceeding expectations in terms of both revenue and spectator numbers, and is proof that an organisation can take back control and run an event at scale, from the other side of the world, without the need for a local ticketing provider.

The benefits of disintermediation for both event organisers and fans are far and wide. It gives event organisers the ability to control their brand, increases cross-sell opportunities, reduces costs as there are no distributor fees, and nurtures a direct-to-fan relationship. For fans, it offers them a transparent ticketing process that they can trust.

Disintermediation isn’t something to be afraid of. It was only a matter of time before the process of cutting out the intermediary became a reality for the ticketing sector and there is plenty of support available for those wanting to make the change. 

In a world where competition for consumer attention is tough, building close connections with the fanbase is critical to long-term commercial success. Disintermediation is fundamental to forming this direct relationship.

Customers are fans first, not a revenue source

When it comes to passions such as music and sport, we need to think about the lifetime value of a fan. Recent research by the sports marketing agency Two Circles found that nearly half of sports fans are ‘made by’ the age of 14. Many of these will remain fans for life.  

If we put the fans’ needs at the heart of our commercial strategies and recognise that their needs will vary at different life stages, we can nurture long-term relationships with ticket buyers and reinforce trust with the fan base. For example, technology can be employed to reward fan loyalty, offer complementary services such as discounted travel and accommodation and improve fan engagement programmes.

Right now, fans want a change in the ticket-buying experience. The power dynamic has shifted with fans crying out for transparency. Without honesty, these potential lifelong fans simply can’t trust your brand. If we put the fans first, rebuilding trust must be a top priority in 2024. 

Technology, combined with disintermediation, can help our industry regain trust through a transparent process, giving fans confidence that they are buying a genuine ticket at the right price. It can also help build large and loyal communities of true fans where loyalty can be rewarded and organisers can really get to know the fans.

For sports, music or cultural organisations, technology allows a two-way conversation with fans. By listening to their needs, events and offers can be tailored more effectively and the overall ticket-buying experience can be richer and more personalised.

Looking ahead, future demand and forecast tools will also help position and offer the right products, prices and services to each individual fan, whatever stage of life they are at. If you know your fans and put them first, you can have a relationship with fans for life.

Adopt a mobile-first strategy  

The live event industry is already late to the party when it comes to digital mobile ticketing. This is partly due to the market being dominated by legacy players who have either struggled or refused to keep pace with innovation

However, switching to a mobile-first approach can no longer be a ‘should or shouldn’t we?’, it is now a case of embracing it or being left behind. 

Our phones are either in our hands or within reach at nearly all hours of the day. This is where attendees around the world are primarily engaging, wanting the flexibility and convenience of a ‘one-click’ anytime-anywhere access to event experiences. 

A staggering 73% of all global e-commerce sales originate from mobile, a trend that shows no sign of slowing. Therefore, a mobile-first approach to any ticketing strategy is now paramount. 

Once mobile ticketing foundations are in place, event organisers can quickly transition to a mobile-first strategy. This approach also opens an array of opportunities for diversifying revenue with Web 3.0 decentralised, trustless, and secure products, including digital souvenir tickets and other NFT collectables.

Ticketing leaders simply cannot afford to delay implementing a mobile-first strategy. It effectively engages millennial and Gen Z attendees, reaches a larger fanbase and creates a solid, meaningful fan connection for the future.

Ticketing is not just about selling tickets  

Yes, selling tickets is, of course, always going to be a good thing. That being said, being able to broaden the focus beyond this is priceless for organisers in achieving long-term value beyond just revenue. 

Technological innovations enable ticketing to have a wider impact across a business. In today’s interconnected landscape, ticketing should be seen as a key component of the ecosystem that involves marketing, product and commercial teams, social media and data analytics. 

Take ticketing data as an example. By leveraging fan data collected during the purchase journey, organisers can harness insights into customer behaviour to inform more than just pricing strategies but that can also enhance overall event planning and execution. 

One-stop ticketing technology platforms allow in-house teams to manage not just ticketing revenue but high-value add-ons like fan clubs, merchandising, membership and hospitality. Organisers can also link with external partners to sell things like travel and accommodation, benefiting fans while simultaneously creating an additional revenue source.

Ticketing teams must begin thinking beyond the event they're selling a ticket for, and instead how technological innovations and collaborative thinking can enhance the fan experience before, during and after.

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