NEPA Scene Staff

Ticketmaster plans safe return to live events with new SmartEvent technology

Ticketmaster plans safe return to live events with new SmartEvent technology
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From a press release:

Ticketmaster, the largest ticket distribution company in the United States, recently announced the development of SmartEvent, a new suite of technology tools that gives event organizers the ability to adapt protocols to meet evolving needs of capacity, distancing, and other logistics throughout the reopening journey for concerts, sports, comedy shows, and other events.

Designed with flexibility in mind, SmartEvent will help fans safely return to live events, and many of its capabilities will deliver long-term implementation value.

“We know that fans around the world are eager to return to live events, and SmartEvent gives event organizers an array of solutions to help make that possible,” said Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster.

“SmartEvent brings together our advanced technology platform and industry-leading venue and seating insights, putting Ticketmaster in the unique position to facilitate paths back to live.”

While the road back to live events will look different in markets around the world depending upon local conditions and regulations, Ticketmaster’s SmartEvent offerings provide event hosts with tools they need to operate in this new environment while giving fans peace of mind.

Access and seating design

Building on the company’s next generation venue access controls via Presence (which replaces paper tickets with digital passes) and fraud-fighting digital ticketing innovations through SafeTix (which generates encrypted mobile tickets on ticketholders’ devices), Ticketmaster’s SmartEvent system offers a range of tools that allow organizers to make access and seating safer and more efficient.

This includes spacing at venues for fans and adjusting capacity to changing social distancing regulations. The Social Distance Seating Tool uses custom algorithms that consider venue size, distance between seats, and many more data points to create unique seating strategies for each event. The technology can quickly reconfigure seating arrangements for various logistics and ticket demands, giving organizers the ability to maximize revenue. To date, over 250 clients have started tapping into this tool either to host or plan for events, including the NFL, MLS, and many universities.

Ticketmaster’s Timed Entry Tool allows organizers to give fans specific arrival times and entry ways to manage the flow of people into the venue. Additionally, Entry Rate Monitoring Tools help manage lines and avoid congestion. Custom communications directly to ticketholders before and after the event are also supported to help provide fans with important info.

Contactless and self-service experiences

Ticketmaster pioneered the development of digital tickets in 2017, which has now unlocked new capabilities for contactless experiences.

SmartEvent can transform a traditional box office facility into a Contactless Box Office, with the ability to handle all ticketing transactions, account support, refunds, or will-call while reducing the need for physical interactions between fans and staff. Fans will check themselves into the event through Contactless Scanners, accessing digital tickets on their mobile device, providing faster entry.

Event organizers can also explore new capabilities for Contactless Payment, Mobile Ordering, and In-Venue Experiences coming to the Ticketmaster app. This will provide full autonomy for services like in-seat concessions as well as merchandise pre-order and delivery to dramatically reduce wait times at pick-up windows in venues and allow fans to enjoy more of the event.

As leaders in this contactless space, Ticketmaster has already run numerous events with 100 percent of attendees using digital tickets. Recently, the Kansas City Chiefs opened the NFL 2020 season with 100 percent of fans entering the game with a digital ticket. For the first time at an event of this scale, not a single paper ticket was scanned. The team has continued to see 100 percent digital utilization at games throughout the season.

“Ticketmaster’s innovative SafeTix digital ticketing technology allowed us to get back to live events with fans,” said Tyler Kirby, vice president of ticket sales for the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Their socially distanced seating tool has allowed us to host thousands of fans at games this season, and we look forward to our continued partnership as they help lead the way back to live events.”

Integration with other apps and services

Ticketmaster’s robust API capabilities combined with its foundation of digital ticketing allow for the roll out of new features at record speed. Operating in over 30 countries, Ticketmaster has a front-row seat to new tech, health, and logistical developments around the world that may be ripe to integrate into its platform.

Powered by SafeTix, Secure Ticket Transfer gives organizers the capability to know every fan in the building, even if the ticket changed hands a few times after the initial on sale on Ticketmaster or other ticketing platforms. This capability gives organizers the information they need to facilitate contact tracing if desired, with the potential to integrate via API into software from local jurisdictions or other providers to enable quick analysis and notification. Ticketmaster is also working with event organizers and venues as they consider how and when to integrate COVID-19 test results and diagnostics partners as a criteria for entry to live events.

Ticketmaster will continue to focus on developing and integrating features that help event organizers enhance every step of the fan journey. Increased connectivity will allow fans to personalize their experience before, during, and after the show.

“While initially intended to help fans and organizers get back to live, some of these innovations will long outlast COVID-19, streamlining processes and providing endless opportunity to modernize the event experience,” Yovich continued.

“We have every confidence that the industry will prevail, and that our cutting-edge technology, local expertise, global reach, and fan insights will lead the way.”

Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket marketplace and the global market leader in live event ticketing products and services. Through official partnerships with thousands of venues, artists, sports teams, festivals, performing arts centers, and theaters, Ticketmaster processes more than half a billion tickets per year across 32 different countries.

Ticketmaster is based in Hollywood, California and is a part of Live Nation Entertainment.