Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here's What's Coming Up At Ticket Summit®!

Ticket Summit® is still several months away, but there is already a lot in store for the conference! Exhibitors and sponsors are lining up and the staff is getting all set to make Ticket Summit® at ARIA an event to remember.

Ticket Summit® will be held at ARIA Las Vegas, located within City Center in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. ARIA is home to numerous restaurants, HAZE nightclub, Gold Lounge, and The Deuce Lounge. There’s also great shopping in near-by Crystals and a variety of spas and pools available to guests. ARIA is also home to Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana and a world-class casino.
The Ticket Summit® Trade Show/Dining Hall will be in ARIA’s beautiful Ironwood Ballroom. Booth spaces are filling up rapidly. Exhibiting companies will include ATBS, Fan Freedom Project, MassMutual South Carolina, Mobile Ticket App, Ticket Platform, Transaction Services, United States Postal Service, and many more.

Sponsoring companies already include ATBS, ezEvent, MassMutual South Carolina, Ticket Liquidator®, TicketNetwork®, and others. There are still countless opportunities available for companies that are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring the conference.
Ticket Summit® will be held July 16-18, 2014 at ARIA, with a jam-packed schedule of  So, don’t let winter get you too down! It will be plenty warm in Las Vegas during July!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why should you exhibit at a trade show?

Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to reach new customers, promote your brand and products, and make connections with potential partners. But, if you’re on the fence about exhibiting, here are some other benefits you may not have considered.
Trade shows may appear time consuming, since they require planning and travel, but they can actually save you quite a bit of time. Compared to recruiting new customers and setting up individual time with them, trade shows enable you to meet with many people at once. Additionally, face-to-face interactions give you the chance to provide further information than a sales call will. At a trade show, you’ll not only reach many customers, but you’ll also be introduced to new segments of your industry.

Staying up-to-date on your industry is essential to successful marketing. Trade shows expose you to your competitors and other members of your industry. You’ll learn where your industry is going and what trends you should be capitalizing on.  This also means that you’ll have access to all of the influential players in your industry, who might be interested in adapting your product or service.
Attending a trade show is an investment in your company’s future.  If you approach exhibiting with a measurable goal in mind, it’s a great opportunity to be involved in your industry. Your sales team will be able to reach new customers and have more meaningful interactions with those customers. Trade show exhibiting is a chance to make your company, brand, and products shine.

You can also combine exhibiting at a trade show with sponsoring the event. This combination will increase your company’s profile at the event and make your brand stand out above the competition. Whatever your exhibiting and sponsoring goals, Ticket Summit® has a number of packages that are suited to fit your needs. Prices are going up January 1, though, so you’ll want to act soon. To learn more, visit www.ticketsummit.org or call 860-416-5767.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Webinar Recap: Become a Better Broker

The Fall 2013 Ticket Summit® Plus webinar series concluded yesterday with Become a Better Broker. In this webinar, two premier brokers—Lon Belvin of TIX CITY and Andy Wallenstein of Best In The House Tickets—discussed best practices for running a ticket brokerage in the secondary market.
The two brokers covered a variety of topics, including daily logistics, last-minute orders, pricing, customer relations, and marketing. Each broker discussed how these issues impact his business, depending on its size. Belvin runs a large brokerage, with about 15 employees, while Wallenstein’s is smaller with only one employee besides himself.

Belvin’s buying and pricing philosophy is simple—he wants to be the first in to an event and the first out. “The only way we have inventory late is if we really believe in the event,” he said. Customer service is also very important to his business. As he says, “the way you say ‘there’s nothing we can do’ makes all the difference. Say it nicely and they’ll come back.”
Wallenstein agrees about the importance of customer service. “It’s really not that hard to do customer service well,” he adds. His pricing philosophy is a little different though, he looks at the price on the TicketNetwork® Exchange and prices based on that. He also defines his competition slightly differently: “Someone buying three tickets isn’t actually competing with pairs or four-packs…they’re different customers.”  He also advises brokers to diversify their inventory, unless they have a great knowledge of a specific area.

Ticket Summit® Plus will continue in February 2014. More details about the spring webinars and registration will be available on the Ticket Summit® website soon.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Automation: The Industrial Revolution of the Secondary Ticket Market

By Scott Barrows, CEO, Symbioticks

The secondary ticket market has entered its most competitive period in history. An increased number of brokers are listing more inventory than ever on the ticketing networks and primary sellers are aiming to capture secondary market profits via variable pricing.  It is clearly essential for brokers to embrace the tools that are available in order to maximize efficiency, reduce overhead, and increase their chances of success.

Automation is the key component to increasing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a broker’s operation and thankfully third party vendors have brought automation tools to the secondary market.   These tools were previously enjoyed by large brokerages that invested large sums into in-house development teams and enjoyed a competitive advantage over “the little guys”.   Auto holds, auto processing, auto ticket download, auto pricing, and auto PO creation  have arrived and new iterations and improvements are being released to the broker public on a constant basis by a growing number of independent development companies.

When deciding which technologies are worth investing in, it is important for a broker to have a firm grasp on their current operating expenses. Questions worth knowing the answers to include “How much of your monthly overhead costs go to processing orders?”, “How much would additional profit would you gain if your net returns went up 1%?”, “How many man hours are consumed by pricing?  PO entering?”, and “What is preventing our company from growing?  Or being more efficient?”  Knowing your operations from both a human and analytical basis is crucial when considering investments in an automation tool.  $10,000 might seem too costly, until you frame it in the context of your current cost structure, it may very well be that a $10,000 investment creates $30,000 per year in overhead cost savings. 
Three individuals that are at the forefront of this revolution are Sam Sherman of Broker Genius, Billy Becher of 24/7 Broker, and Dominic Laico of Autoprocessor.com.  All three are continuously developing new automated software solutions for the broker community.  When asked, all three expressed similar views regarding the present and future of automation in our industry.

Sam Sherman of Broker Genius believes one key to the continued success of automation development are competitors working together to create more efficiency and to ultimately build better products for sellers.  Dominic Laico of Autoprocessor.com believes that adoptions of formal APIs by the POS providers and exchanges will help create more stable products for everyone.  Billy Becher of 24/7 Broker also feels that opening up APIs will be critical for the industry to evolve.  He also feels strongly that the exchanges need to continue to work together with developers to achieve true real-time systems.

When asked about their vision of what is to come, both Laico and Becher stated end-to-end automated solutions that encompass all aspects of an order's life cycle are what they see next. Whatever the future does end up providing, there is no question that there is an abundance of valuable tools available today for brokers to utilize and maximize their efficiency.

To learn more and stay up to date on all available technologies and tools in the secondary market, you can go to http://www.symbioticks.com for a free membership. There are currently 50 industry specific tools ranging from automation, marketing, exchanges, POS, credit card fraud protection, and more to learn about. In addition with your free Symbioticks membership you will also be notified of any new technology release, along with exclusive free trials and pricing.

Monday, October 21, 2013

How Mobile Has Changed Ticket Sales

By Mark Hunter, Senior VP of Sales and Business Development, Mobile Ticket App

Mobile devices and smartphones are everywhere.  People are reading emails, sharing their lives on social networks, staying connected, and buying products and services including tickets.
ComScore data revealed that smartphone penetration ticked up in the three months prior to August 2013 to about 61%.  It is noted that people who carry smartphones also have higher disposable income and use their smartphones more frequently.

According to Google, tickets are the #2 product category purchased on smartphones, just below clothing and accessories.  Additionally, 66% of ticket purchasers used more than one device to research and buy their tickets. 
Sales Process:
When ticket apps where first released 3.5 years ago, many ticket brokers looked at apps and mobile sites as separate sales channels.  Traditional ideas about traffic and conversion rates were applied to apps and mobile sites to judge their success.

Today, the facts show, that the mobile device is an integral part of the ticket buying process, and that traditional conversion rates are hard to apply to measuring the success of the mobile app and mobile site.  Logic and observation need to apply here and the correct way to measure mobile success is through mobile activity and use. 
The mobile industry has two successful platforms that are measured by use- the Apple iPhone and the Google Android. 

A mobile site can be used by all smartphones including the iPhone and Android, which should be considered the bare minimum if you want to have a mobile presence.  Like your traditional website, a user must come to you to shop for tickets on your mobile site. 
Having an iPhone and Android app is a necessary product set for any ticket broker who proactively sells tickets to retail buyers.  The ticket app is a piece of software that sits on the mobile device and uses all features of the mobile device to make finding and buying tickets easier.  A correctly built app will be built using the same operating system code as the mobile device,  meaning an iPhone App should be built using iPhone software code and an Android app should be built using Android software code.  Some developers have cut costs and outsourced development to India using a standardized software code called HTML5, which Facebook and LinkedIn have dropped for numerous reasons.

When you decide to embrace ticket apps, it is prudent to have an individual iPhone app and a separate Android app. They are two different systems and each should have an app tailored to that specific platform.
Information and facts have shown us that having a mobile presence isn’t just important for customers that wish to start and complete the entire purchase process on their smartphones, but is necessary for any ticket broker who sells tickets to retail buyers.  Having a mobile site is an entry point, and having an iPhone app and an Android app is the norm for any organization trying to sell their products and services to the community of retail buyers who use smartphones to research and purchase tickets, which is 61% of the United States population. 

For more information on out mobile ticket apps and mobile ticket websites, email Mobile Ticket App at info@mobileticketapp.com.
888.206.6374, extension 1

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Why should I sponsor a trade show?

Sponsoring a conference or trade show is a great way to get your company name out there. It can really supplement your traditional marketing plan and promote your association with a specific event. Sponsoring an event is an opportunity to gain visibility in a new and exciting way.

Event sponsorship allows you to target your marketing in a way that traditional advertising does not. Many events offer a list of the companies that plan to attend their conference or trade show, allowing you to know in advance exactly who will be there. If your customers are there, then your name should be everywhere at the event!

Sponsorship can also create positive publicity and increased visibility for your brand. The local and national media often cover large events, allowing for more exposure of your company name. Check to see if your sponsorship includes mentions in a show’s press releases or advertising materials. This will give your brand name access to an audience you might not be able to reach otherwise.

Conference or trade show sponsorship also sets your brand apart from the competition. Sponsoring an event that will be attended by your customers and your competition will put you heads above the rest. Your brand and logo will be found throughout the conference, be it on signage or a sponsored item, while your competition’s might not. The attendees will remember your brand when they get home.

Sponsoring events is a great opportunity to showcase your brand to your customers. For more information about sponsoring Ticket Summit® 2014 at ARIA, please call +1.860.416.5767 or email info@ticketsummit.org.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Webinar Recap—Publicity: Boost Your Profile!

This Wednesday, publicist and media strategist Carrol Van Stone shared some tips and tricks for using media coverage to boost your company’s profile in her Ticket Summit® Plus webinar! Van Stone works to position small business brands for media coverage to have a dramatic influence on awareness and growth. Her work with a ticketing industry company has led to profiles in Forbes and regular appearances on Fox News Live, Yahoo Post Game, and ESPN Radio.

In the webinar, Van Stone said it is important to know how you WON’T get publicity. She has a few hard and fast rules: never call the media to say how great you are, never read the company brochure to a reporter, and never ask why they have quoted your competitor and not you. Remember that reporters and editors work for their company, not yours. Your mention or quote will be the result of your assistance to them, not theirs to you.

You can keep a PR representative on retainer, Van Stone suggested, or you can have a pay per placement arrangement. However, you should never expect any media coverage guarantees. Van Stone offered the old adage: “Advertising is what you pay for, media coverage is what you pray for.” Instead, Van Stone recommends gauging the media efforts of the PR rep you are working with.

Van Stone also discussed unusual or underused methods of boosting your company profile, such as paid editorial or op-ed pieces. Paid editorial will guarantee your coverage, but might be obvious to viewers/readers that you have paid for the opportunity. Op-Ed pieces and letters to the editor can provide extra coverage, but must cover timely and relevant topics.

Be sure to follow Van Stone on Twitter at @VanStonePublic for more tips! The Fall 2013 Ticket Summit® Plus webinar series continues on Wed., October 23 at 1 PM ET with How to Prevent Online Fraud. Register now for FREE!