The end of hospitality and ticketing silos

The line between ticketing and hospitality is blurring, forcing software solutions and organisations to react.  We spoke to UEFA about why they merged the two and how they have put a stop to hospitality and ticketing silos.

Traditionally the ticketing and hospitality departments within an organisation were very separate, the result being that operationally there was very little integration between the two.

The same could be said for software solutions.  There were ticketing platforms offering no hospitality options whatsoever and at the other end of the spectrum, bespoke hospitality systems with absolutely no ability to do ticketing.  But that’s all changing, in the main because of two key factors.

The changing profile of the hospitality customer

Firstly, due to the economic climate, businesses need to streamline and it’s both costly and time-consuming to have two departments performing similar tasks, alongside two separate systems.

Secondly, the line between ticketing and hospitality is being blurred and that’s down to a dramatic shift over the last four years in the profile of the hospitality customer. We are seeing a decline in corporate bulk buying of hospitality packages and an increase in individuals wanting varying degrees of hospitality and VIP experiences.

Take a football club: they may offer a ticket with a free pint; the next level up is a ticket with free pint and a burger; another tier is a ticket with a free bar and so forth. This changing landscape has forced the need for a hybrid solution combining both ticketing and hospitality. As a result, those working in live sport and events are looking to save costs and integrate their processes by considering platforms like those we offer at SecuTix that can marry the two worlds.

UEFA streamlines four systems into one

Back in 2013, UEFA’s Revenue Operation’s Department recognised the need to streamline their ticketing and hospitality systems.

“We found ourselves with four separate systems and databases: one for Euros ticketing, another for Champions League ticketing, and then two different hospitality systems to cover Euros and Champions League. It was clear that a more efficient way of working was required,” said Philippe Margraff, Head of Revenue Operations at UEFA.

The situation was costly in terms of resource, time and outsourcing to third parties so UEFA run a tender process out of which SecuTix was appointed.

The SecuTix system was first used for the 2015 Champions League and Europa League Finals and, following that success, for the UEFA EURO 2016. The implementation of the SecuTix system brought greater flexibility and control. This was a key success factor in filling the stadia with fans from all over the world at all 51 matches. The system successfully handled hospitality orders and all the complexities that come with that (VAT breakdowns, invoicing requirements etc).

And because it’s one system, UEFA could easily move around inventory between hospitality and ticketing.  Returns of hospitality tickets has always proved problematic, but now it was an easy process to take back inventory and trigger further general sale ticket availability.  Opportunities for upselling to fans based on their ticketing data increased and the full control over the inventory allowed selling until the very last minute.

“This flexibility has made a huge difference,” commented Margraff. “With all the data and CRM for both ticketing and hospitality in one place, we now have a holistic view of fans and those insights play a fundamental role in our fan engagement strategy for future tournaments.”

How to Drive Your 2017 Ticketing Success?


Download our new discussion paper “Key Trends To Drive Ticketing Success in 2017” and learn more about the challenges facing the ticketing industry.

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