Ticket Quarter Wins

Ticket Quarter has bolstered its ticketing portfolio after confirming services for three major Liverpool 2018 events.

The agency will be the primary ticketing partner for the inaugural Bordeaux Wine Festival, which takes place from May 25 – 28, as well as the Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) which returns to Sefton Park on July 21 and 22.

Both events are expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors and form part of the Liverpool 2018 programme – exciting, inspirational and thought-provoking projects taking place across the city to mark the 10th anniversary of Liverpool’s reign as European Capital of Culture.

LIMF’s new ticketed format will enable festival goers to enjoy more than 70 high calibre artists and 18 hours’ worth of unforgettable live music over two days, for just £5 per day for advance tickets and £10 per day on the gate.

Ticket Quarter will also provide an allocation for CBBC Summer Social, the BBC’s first ever outdoor children’s festival which takes place in Croxteth Park from August 3 – 5.

Henry Brown, head of Ticket Quarter, said: “We are pleased to have been selected as the box office for such major events in the city.

“2018 is a pinnacle year as we reflect on how much our event and cultural offering has developed over the past decade.  Our aim is to ensure that as many people as possible are able to enjoy this wide range of fantastic experiences by discovering what is on offer and by purchasing tickets easily.”

Claire McColgan MBE, director of Culture Liverpool, said: “This is a landmark year for Liverpool and we are pleased to be working with Ticket Quarter as our ticketing agency for three of the region’s major events this year.

“Not only does the company have its headquarters in the city, but they are experienced in delivering ticketing for a wide range of entertainment throughout the North West so we are confident that the team will provide an excellent service to help make the year a great success.”

Ticket Quarter has also recently won contracts to provide services for the Palm House and the Bombed Out Church.  Meanwhile, it recently unveiled its new brand to reflect how the company has progressed since it was launched six years ago.

The organisation sells tickets for music, comedy, theatre and arts, family entertainment, exhibitions and sport for a variety of regional venues and more than 200 events across the North West including St George’s Hall, Farmaggedon and Aintree Racecourse.  As the ticketing arm of The ACC Liverpool Group – home to BT Convention Centre, Echo Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool – it also provides tickets for Echo Arena Liverpool and Exhibition Centre Liverpool events such as forthcoming exhibition The Gin to My Tonic Show from September 7 – 9.

It’s Snow Joke(!)

What’s your beast from the East story?


That crazy snow we had in the first week of March really did hit the UK hard, causing disruption both in transport and logistics.


Over the past  few weeks I have met many people with a story to tell of how they missed the wedding, got stuck at home or worse still at their in-laws!


My personal one was the monster 22 hour journey I undertook returning from Poole in Dorset to where I live in South Wales.


It involved several trains, an overnight stay in Bristol, an eye watering £60 uber ride and then finally a 1 mile walk in 2 feet of snow dragging a roller suitcase.


Now many of you probably have similar stories or perhaps can even beat my 22 hour record. Whatever your struggle or delay, if you’re reading this, you will no doubt appreciate the disruption that the weather caused to live entertainment


We saw football games and concerts cancelled either due to artists not being able to make the venue or the approaches to the venue being judged to be too hazardous.


As I sat at home slowly defrosting, I did suddenly think  “I wonder how many people will not be able to make tonight’s performance?”


By coincidence I had a call booked with Simon Mabb of Romero Insurance the parent company of Booking Protect.  We were actually due to be discussing the upcoming Ticketing Professionals Conference, but I couldn’t help asking how bad the snow was going to be for either them, their clients or their clients’ customers.


“Not a problem at all”  he replied , “ it’s what we do! We added some extra staff to the call centre and we were actually already settling claims this time yesterday”


Whilst it was refreshing to hear that statement, I did ask how they could be collecting valid proof of a claim so quickly?


“Simple” he replied  “We have all of our client’s protected bookings on our system.  When a refund request comes in we can see you live in Barnsley and the show you were going to see is in Leeds. We are not going to ask people to send us photos of the motorways closed or trains cancelled when we can see it for ourselves.”


Like most businesses Booking Protect had staff issues so were under pressure,  but it is their clever use of technology coupled with their commitment to fast and efficient settlement of claims that in that first week of March gave massive benefits to their clients. They were never outside of their 48 hour SLA commitment.


Their clients saw the benefit of having refund protection offered to their customers along with a rock solid customer service offering to back it up.


So the snow was a once in a decade occurrence. I cannot remember the depth or drifting of snow anyway like I saw,  but other incidents occur like this, on an International, National and regional level on a regular basis.


Train strikes, flooding,  motorway closures as well as let’s not forget illness effect your customers ability to attend the performance that they have booked.


We should use these once in a decade disruptions not as a sign for us to start thinking about protecting our customers, but to actually start doing it!


The chances of snow for the rest of the year are minimal ( double checks outside window)  but now is a perfect opportunity to start discussions with providers of refund protection as well as your ticketing platform provider.


Make sure you pay close attention to the tools or services a provider can offer. Ensure that  bookings are correctly and compliantly recorded as well as the providers ability to offer outstanding customer service.


Now – where’s my sledge?

International Ticketing Yearbook 2017

How is your ticketing knowledge? What’s big in Brazil or raging in Romania? What are the trends in live entertainment ticketing around the World? Now is your chance to read up and learn more about your industry, thanks to the International Ticketing Yearbook.

The International Ticketing Yearbook (ITY) was first published by IQ Magazine in 2015 and is the only global guide to the live entertainment ticketing market. The yearbook features in-depth profiles of the top 40+ live entertainment markets around the world, as well as breakout reports on sectors including innovation and white label services.. The Fourth edition of the ITY will be published in late summer 2018, and build on the research and success of the first three editions.

Read the ITY2017 Here

Everton Appoint Secutix



Press Release

Lausanne, Paris, London, Madrid, Munich – 19 March 2018  English Premier League team Everton Football Club has announced SecuTix as its new ticketing and engagement partner.  The global SaaS ticketing and audience management provider will handle all ticketing and hospitality sales for league and cup games at Everton’s 39,000-seater stadium, Goodison Park.


The partnership marks a move to simplify the purchasing process and enhance the experience for fans through the introduction of new technologies and integration with best-in-class third party providers.  Improvements are already afoot, with mobile ticketing and the use of Apple Wallet made available for the first time to Everton fans for the home game against Brighton on 10th March. 3D seat mapping technology giving fans the chance to experience the seat view before purchasing tickets online has also been introduced by integrating PACIFA technology with the SecuTix platform.


Commenting on the appointment, Matt Kendall, Head of Ticketing, Everton Football Club, said: “SecuTix have a clearly defined roadmap to help us get to where we want to go, which is to make the purchasing journey as seamless as possible for fans.  They have proven to us a genuine desire to future-proof our systems, thinking long-term about where technologies are heading and how we can use them.


“It’s refreshing to work with a ticketing system that can integrate with our existing platforms such as our website and CRM.  But what really makes a difference is the flexibility of SecuTix to link with new providers who can improve our fan experience.  For example, we have now enhanced our third-party Finance facility to allow Season Ticket holders to digitally sign their credit agreements, as well as offering the ability for fans to pay for their season tickets over two or three months. With more functionality to be released in due course, I’m confident that the switch to SecuTix will allow Everton to really raise the bar for ticketing in the Premier League.”


David Hornby, SecuTix UK Managing Director, said: “We’re proud to be working with a Club that is renowned for its brilliant fan engagement and progressive ticketing policies. We are very aligned in our approach of putting the fan first and we will work closely with the Club to use our agile technology to create a single customer view and introduce some firsts to the English football ticketing sector.”


Everton sell more than 400,000 tickets annually.







Booking Protect Wins Special Coverage Award

Leeds, United Kingdom – 11 March 2018 –  Booking Protect, a global leader in ticket refund protection, was awarded the Special Coverage Award by their industry peers at the 2018 Commercial Insurance Awards in London.


This award was a significant achievement for Booking Protect and their partners in the effort to bring refund protection on non-refundable bookings to organisations of all sizes around the world.


Judges for the Special Coverage Award commented that they “were impressed by Booking Protect’s ability to bring its refund protection product to any size customer from large corporates to small organizers while still being able to deliver the highest levels of customer service in the sector.”


Booking Protect CEO Simon Mabb commented, “Many organizations talk about their dedication to service and adding value to their partners, this award is a powerful indicator that Booking Protect actually backs those words up with action.”


Over the past 12 months, Booking Protect has undertaken a reinvention of their customer service practices, leading to the company being the highest rated refund protection company on Trustpilot and having 97% of their customer reviews achieve 4 stars or above in the first 2 months of 2018.


Booking Protect offers the most comprehensive refund protection plan in the world. Allowing their partners to offer their customers the most secure refund protection program on non-refundable tickets and bookings anywhere.


About Booking Protect:


Booking Protect are the global leaders in Refund Protection partnering with over 350 organizations worldwide from global ticketing platforms to small venues, enabling them all to offer their clients a market leading refund protection product on non-refundable tickets. Booking Protect is part of the Romero Group of companies that has over 20 years experience providing specialist insurance solutions to corporations, associations, and individuals. Romero holds Chartered Broker Status an honor held by only 3% of its peers. As part of the Romero Group, Booking Protect has the strength and security of a large corporation but with an ability to innovate like a start-up. Find out more at www.bookingprotect.com.


The importance of having a CRM Strategy


With the continuing reduction and uncertainty in arts funding, most arts organisations have to achieve more with less. We all have to work harder to prove that what we are doing is effective so having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy in place is becoming ever more urgent.

CRM isn’t about selling, it’s about marketing. It helps you build and maintain long-term relationships, through discovering how your audiences want to interact with you, and actively meeting their stated and unstated wants and needs.

So, if it is such a good idea, why is CRM not practised more widely? Partly because it takes hard work and the day to day tactical necessities of selling tickets and filling seats always takes priority. But today’s multi-channel environment means that there are a whole host of ways to talk to potential customers, and that, coupled with increased competition for people’s time and today’s economic climate, make it imperative for us to work smarter, listen and be more responsive. The days of pushing out a standard direct mail letter or email to all our customers are gone.

In 2016 Shakespeare’s Globe recognised that they needed a deeper understanding of what motivates, frames and influences the buying, engaging and supporting behaviour of their different audience segments.  They had the aim to maximise the opportunities for all areas of their business – including theatre, education, commercial and development.  That’s when I was commissioned to work with them to build an audience-focused CRM strategy that is reinvigorating the way they work and interact with their diverse audiences.

The Globe needed a CRM system to enable them to better manage and analyse audience data across departments and an insightful segmentation system that would give them the understanding required to develop and maximise their audience relationships.

Finding the right technological solution to provide the CRM/ticketing system needed was a key factor for the Globe in achieving a successful CRM Strategy.  The box office system is your organisation’s most powerful CRM tool, it contains every ‘touch-point’. Underdevelopment of that data means that only the most loyal customers are contacted; the task should be to persuade the wary to come and to come more often.

The process began with a series of intensive information gathering sessions with staff across the organisation (including the CEO) which proved to be revelatory; highlighting the historic silo working and its effect on progress, the multiplicity of ‘data’ systems, a need to review practices and processes. Armed with this insight, developing a specification outlining the kind of CRM system functionality needed was made so much easier.

Confident with their choice of CRM system, implementation was the next stage. Discovery sessions involving the Globe, the new system supplier (Tessitura) and HD Consulting brought about in-depth customer journey mapping which showed just how each customer group interacts with the Globe across multiple touch-points, identifying where it was easy to interact and where was it difficult and convoluted.  As a result, the CRM system and website are being configured to eliminate those pain-points.

But technology (no matter how good) and data mining are worthless without a deeper understanding of the audience’s motivations and values.  Through a process of in-depth research with the Globe’s audiences by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre they gained rich and invaluable insight into their audiences enabling them to differentiate their customer segments, and understand and agree behaviours using their Culture Segments segmentation.  They now have a three segment focussed strategy that will allow them to grow audiences and engage them better.

A key factor in the success of The Globe’s project is that they have embraced CRM by ensuring that it is a strategic function.  They have created a core CRM team with representatives from different departments where colleagues’ needs and concerns are addressed.  A training policy and data policy are being created to show staff teams the value of adopting and applying the strategic initiatives, and in setting an organisational ‘rule book’ or benchmark to work to.   CRM was never seen as a tactic or marketing function and The Globe’s leadership team were on board from the start – clear about both the end game and the cultural change that would be needed.

This is still a work in progress. They know it won’t be a quick win but will ultimately be a new (better) way of connecting with their audiences.

This process is not for the faint hearted but for arts organisations that want to look to the future.

It requires a fundamental change to the way strategies are planned, budgeted, communicated and monitored.

So if theatres really do want to develop an effective CRM strategy don’t forget:

  1. 1. CRM isn’t CRM unless it affects the customer experience.
  2. 2. CRM is a strategy not a project.
  3. 3. CRM should improve return on investment.
  4. 4. Technology is a means not an end.
  5. 5. A 360-degree view of your customer

©Helen Dunnett


Eventim ties up CONIFA Deal

LONDON 5 February 2018, Eventim UK are delighted to announce that they are the official ticketing supplier for the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup. The 2018 CONIFA Paddy Power World Football Cup will take place in London 31st May – 9th June.


CONIFA is the international football confederation for teams that are not part of FIFA. The 2018 World Football Cup will bring together CONIFA’s diverse members from around the world, including Tibet, Northern Cyprus, Ellan Vannin (the Isle of Man) and the United Koreans of Japan.


Eventim has vast experience ticketing sports events, as the official ticketing partner for FC United of Manchester, and previously for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the official ticketing partner for some of the biggest names in European football, such as; Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.


Dale Ballentine, Director of Development at Eventim UK says “The CONIFA World Football Cup is the perfect addition to our growing sports business here in the UK. We look forward to working with team on delivering such an exciting event.”


Per-Anders Blind, CONIFA President says “Given Eventim’s extensive experience ticketing major sporting events, and being the official ticketing partner for some of the biggest names in European football, they were the obvious choice to be our ticketing supplier. The 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup will be CONIFA’s biggest ever event, and we are confident that Eventim will help us make it a huge success.”

Tickets go on sale for the first round of CONIFA World Football Cup matches at Sutton United’s home ground, Gander Green Lane on Monday 5 February.


Where is the right time to up-sell?

In our last few blogs we have talked about the difference that upsells or extra products could make to our business, as well as thinking about how to design and deliver them to maximise customer engagement, satisfaction and ultimately revenue. 

Over the last year or so I have been increasingly asked by a number of clients, ‘how many up-sells is too many?’ And ‘Where is the best place to up-sell’? – these have mainly be aimed at the online experience, and it’s where we are going to focus in this blog. 

Before we start, let’s look back at some of the points we raised in our last two blogs, namely thinking about being relevant and showing complimentary offers to the products being browsed or already in basket. 

How strange would it be if a waiter offered to call you a cab as you ate your starter, or offered to take your coat as you polished off desert?  We must think  in the same way  when we look at where in the journey we offer up-sales or extra items. 

To do this, let’s look at how I like to break down an online transaction. There are other ways for other purposes but I like to use these three when talking about up-selling


I haven’t actually picked anything yet, I am merely looking through some shows or events to see what works well for me. I could be ABOUT to pick or pressing that first button. A number of systems, including Booking Protect’s partner AudienceView have a fantastic pre basket upsell.


A pre basket upsell may sound premature, but let’s think about. I was clicking on £50 seats, when I get offered the ‘chance’ to upgrade to a VIP package, which includes front row seats, champagne arrival and programme, all for JUST £75 per head.


This one click impulse ‘hell yeah’ upsale is one of the easiest and through a simple single click allows a 50% revenue bump, not bad eh? This works for packages with multiple elements, that have a brand or name wrapped around it.


The basket can be a crowded place, so much so I believe why we are now, more and more calling them carts! It is still possible to sell the VIP package at this stage, but the customer has browsed shows picked seats and perhaps prices, so to do it now may seem (to them) more work than they can be bothered to.

Let’s not forget that bubbly though!

An upgrade to the ticket type could work here, we could enhance the visit or make it special by selling the champagne upgrade. Of course, we don’t want to negate from the super special VIP package, so it may simply be drinks options or to purchase a programme, again, being able to be super relevant and focused, based on cart contents. 


So we are now actually buying, by this I mean committing our basket and we are perhaps giving or getting logistics, where to deliver to or pick up from.

Now is the perfect time for those extra elements related to coming or not coming. It’s all about Express delivery, print at home and payment. Refund protection sits perfectly here, we have chosen the show, the seat and price, what would happen if we cannot make it?  

The customer has that clear monetary value in front of them, now is the chance to explain how, if they could not make the event we could help them get almost all of that money back. 

Too Many? 

Yes! There CAN be too many- there are numerous commerce sites that give you pages of up-sales for what should be a simple transaction. I filmy believe it’s not the number so much that annoys customer s it’s poor targeting or presentation. As we have said throughout this series, it’s about being relevant. We are in our programming of our venues, we must be also in targeting and delivering extra offers, packages and ultimately revenue to our businesses. 



This work has been made possible by support from Booking Protect

Training Staff to Offer Extra Products

In my last piece I talked about the joys of being offered Fruit and Nut at WH Smiths when buying a newspaper. ( US Readers – this is someone trying to sell you a massive (1lb) of Candy )

We all have experienced up-selling haven’t we? The famous supersize me proposition springs to mind, but up-sells are everywhere. 

I have never taken up the WH Smith one, but I guess some must. Like so many opportunities for revenues, so much depends on how it is presented, coupled with the absolute need to measure its success and those staff or situations in which it works. 

There are a number of great organisations in the culture and entertainment sectors that, in my opinion get unselling completely right.

Training staff to offer extra products

Stats of opt ins for donations and other services online v in person. Why the difference? Staff!

 How can we get staff to sell better. Five key ways improve your upscales. to do it.

# 1 The Offer

The offer HAS to be right. Right here has so many elements. Does the offer compliment the organismal purchase, is it at the right price point, does it offer a real value or cost saving to the customer. I could list a whole range of ficticious and outlandish extra items, but just think – guidebook for museum, drinks with a sandwich or discounted checked luggage. If you can’t see yourself buying it – it’s probably the wrong offer

# 2 Script

I am not a big fan of over-scripting conversations with customers. They can be come tired false and sound er…… scripted. Your staff need several lines or justifications and value propositions as to why the customer might want to take up this offer. How will their day be improved or money be saved by committing now? Think about the examples I just gave – ‘If you buy a Guidebook now, you only have to queue once when you arrive’, ‘Why don’t you wash that down with a refreshing bottle of Coke’ or ‘You’ll save over 50% on airport prices’ The key with these statements is they need to hit at least one of three key areas – Convenience (to the customer), Enhanced experience or Financial saving.  We must give our staff a chance to hit one of these. 

# 3 Train

So, we have the offer, we have the customer benefit script or phrasing. What do we do now? We cannot just let staff loose on it. We must give them some basic training. How to perhaps spot customers in a hurray or may be more likely to accept an offer, not to offer drinks to someone who already has them and many more. A key piece of training is the ability to answer the most basic of questions around the offer. A customer does not want coke they want water – can they have that? Is there more to pay? Less to pay? How do you scan or code it on the till? This may sound simple, but if staff cannot give answers the offer will appear less attractive  / cold be abandoned. 

# 4 Measure

The offer seemed great, we thought customers would love it and we trained staff to deliver it. Did it work? Well the only way to do this is to measure it. It is vital that we don’t just look at stock levels and what we have sold, but the actual uptake of the offer. Of course, the offer may be success, but not for all staff, all days, all channels and all locations – we should look to measure across multiple metrics. We may have the option to change messaging at some locations, or even the offer. One of the largest differences we often see is staff performance. Do some staff need more training, or is the shift they work or position they serve at suffer from factors that hamper upsales. A simple spreadsheet looking at gross sales and uptake % should get you on track.

# 5 Reward

 What’s in it for me? Sometimes people think that staff asking this question don’t care, but all sales positions need, in my opinion some kind of reward for hitting targets or other metrics. These don’t have to be large in value, in fact some venues use awards or even benefits for the entire team when targets are met. The reward shows that as a business, you understand the staff are a vital part in delivering targets. One key consideration with rewards though is to build in what you learnt in the measure phase. Making sure that staff in areas that struggle to meet targets or on difficult shifts are not effectively penalised for working them.


Offers and Extra products can deliver a better experience for customers and improved revenues for business. We need to make sure that in all parts of the design, implementation, delivery and evaluation of offers that we are focused on aching the best possible results. 


This work has been made possible by support from Booking Protect

Eventim UK Launches FanSALE

Eventim UK Launch FanSALE, the Validated, Fair Value Ticket Resale Platform


LONDON, 8 January 2018. Eventim UK are pleased to announce the launch of FanSALE (www.FanSALE.co.uk), the fan-to-fan, fair value ticket resale platform. The platform has been launched in a bid to help ensure tickets get into the hands of genuine fans, as tickets are verified against Eventim UK’s ticketing system and cannot be resold at a highly inflated price.


There are occasions where genuine fans can no longer attend the event they’ve purchased tickets for, and previously there wasn’t a fully integrated platform that would verify the tickets as legitimate. FanSALE facilitates this to ensure tickets sold are genuine, and that there’s a fair deal for the seller and buyer, protecting both parties.


FanSALE has a unique integration with UPS, which enables the tracking of tickets from the sellers preferred pickup point, to the delivery address. Fans will also be able to see the exact location of the seat they are purchasing, including the block, seat row and seat number.


Dale Ballentine, Eventim UK’s Director of Development says “FanSALE is about Fan First Thinking, we want to make sure fans get tickets for a fair price. We know that sometimes fans cannot attend their event as planned. FanSALE will help solve these problems, and ensure tickets are not sold at an extortionate price, making events more accessible for the real fans.”


In a marketplace where more and more artists are taking steps to protect their fanbase, Eventim UK’s validated fair price solution offers a trusted platform to purchase secondary tickets. Eventim UK look forward to working alongside more artists, promoters and venues to ensure tickets get into the hands of real fans.


Adam Webb of FanFair Alliance says “Research commissioned by FanFair last year highlighted that the majority of music fans would like a mechanism to resell their tickets if they can no longer attend an event. They don’t want to profit, just to recoup their costs in a safe and efficient environment. It has been hugely positive to see a growing number of responsible ticketing companies, like Eventim, listen to consumers and move in this direction – and we hope more will follow in 2018.”