Every event ticketing platform has responded to the pandemic differently. Some have taken significant bets on the future of virtual events and invested heavily in streaming technology. Some focussed on cost-saving and reduced headcount to weather the storm. What’s for certain, is that the last year or so has not been business as usual for those selling tickets online. In this article we take a look at how Ticket Tailor, a white-labelled, self-service ticketing platform, responded to the pandemic and how they are preparing for the return of live in-person events.
Focus on what you stand for: supporting event organisers
Businesses often have nice-sounding values that rarely translate into a meaningful impact for their customers. But as Jonny White (Ticket Tailor’s founder) explains, supporting event organisers became their number 1 goal in 2020:
“We felt confident that as a business we would survive the pandemic, but a lot of our event organisers were probably not feeling the same. We’d always said that as a business, above all else, we were all about supporting event organisers, and the team and I really felt that this was a time to live up to that promise. We came up with a bunch of initiatives to achieve this. The most impactful of all was offering event organisers running virtual events the use of our platform free of charge. Virtual events were the main way many event organisers earned a living and we wanted to ensure as much money from ticket sales went into their pockets as possible.”
There’s no doubt that this initiative had a real impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. As one reviewer on comparison site G2 puts it “Ticket Tailor has saved our lives. We both work in public jobs and so our total income stopped as lockdown started. Ticket Tailor stopped all their fees, so I managed to keep food on our table by doing small online events.”
In fact, in 2020 Ticket Tailor ended up waiving fees for over 1m ticket sales and over £15m of revenue generated for event organisers around the world.
Focus on what you are famous for: in-person events
Whilst going free for online events meant Ticket Tailor now sees a significant percentage of its ticket sales being for virtual events – it is primarily a platform designed for in-person events and they felt confident that sticking to what they are known for was the best long-term plan. Jonny tells us why:
“Selling tickets for virtual events has some nuances, so we made some crucial updates to ensure virtual event organisers could easily use our platform, and then got back to work solving the more complex in-person ticketing features we’d had on our list for a while. We knew in-person events would be back and we wanted to be ready to serve them as best as possible.”
Building big for the future: seating charts, recurring events and an open API
The pandemic may have stopped in-person events altogether for a while, but as they come back, Ticket Tailor has built some key features to ensure event organisers can reopen safely and effectively.
Seating charts are likely to be more widely used as event spaces offer socially distanced viewing. Consumer confidence is crucial – and knowing that you have a seat with appropriate space is sure to bring comfort to many. Ticket Tailor’s seating chart tool even allows for automated social distancing rules to build in gaps between bookings, whilst simultaneously optimising a venue’s capacity.
Ticket Tailor tells us one of the major trends they’ve seen is the rise of tours and attractions turning to online ticketing as their primary revenue channel.
Jonny explains, “Tours, attractions, petting farms and the like have been one of the most exciting areas for us over the last 12 months and we’ve invested significantly in features like recurring events and time slot ticketing. This means Ticket Tailor now works seamlessly for day passes, timed entry and regular, repeating events”.
Further improvements to the platform have been made by adding an open API to increase integration opportunities and scaled capacity means high volume events can now be confident Ticket Tailor can manage throughput. In March, one large event sold over 15,000 tickets in less than 10 minutes.
A ticketing platform set for the future
Though it’s undoubtedly been a tough year, it’s clear there is a sense of optimism at Ticket Tailor HQ.
“Our product has come on significantly in the last 12 months and we now can support a far wider type of event… from cinemas and theatres that require seating charts, to sell out festivals who want to sell 10s of thousands of tickets in a short space of time, through to zoos that want to have 30 time slots per day for the entire summer. Online ticket sales have been growing nicely since March and we cannot wait to see our event organisers flourishing again.”