March 10, 2016

Event Production Show: An Insightful Journey

Event Production Show 2016 was a great success with some really interesting learnings taken away by the ticketscript team. As our sales staff showcased the new ticketshop, ticketbox and our full range of product features to interested event organisers, we also attended multiple panels and discussions that took place at Olympia over March 2-3rd. Here are our highlights:

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Topic: Data isn’t scary. Not using it is.

Speakers: Shane Mansfield – ticketscript, Limvirak Chea – Eventbrite

Our very own data mogul and Director of Marketing, Shane Mansfield, joined Eventbrite’s Chea in a discussion surrounding the importance of utilising the data that event organisers have at their fingertips. It can often be overwhelming for event organisers who are presented with a large amount of data and aren’t quite sure which elements of it are more relevant to helping them grow their event. This is where Account Managers come in handy, who can guide the event organiser through the data and analytics to determine what is ‘useful’ data (actionable right away, e.g. which website your referral traffic is coming from) vs. ‘interesting’ data (more of a big picture approach, e.g. which web browser your visitors use).

The fact that a vast amount of data is being collected every time a ticket  buyer enters your website, ticketshop or social media sites, essentially means it would be criminal not to utilise this to help you make informed decisions. As Shane likes to put it, “Don’t make gut calls, but let the data tell you what your audience looks like rather than assuming that you know.” Chea also pushed the importance of using self-service ticketing platforms over traditional third party agents which we tend to agree with, “Whether it’s a free or paid event it’s worth using a self-service ticketing tool to collect data on your audience.”

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Topic: RFID & Cashless: Should we be embracing?

Speakers: Serge Grimaux – Intellitix, Nicola MacDonald – Access All Areas, Steve Jenner – Playpass

This has been a hotly debated topic for some time now as event organisers strive to make their festival an easier place to operate for the attendee. Obviously having all of your event/festival necessities in one place (ticket, drinks and food etc) is ideal, but can come with its complications, which can cause festival goers and the promoters headaches on the day of an event.

Serge Grimaux was very insightful and used an interesting analogy to describe the potential wider acceptance of RFID in the UK, particularly, where it is currently very low. He compared RFID to a swimming pool, “Once someone jumps in everyone jumps in, but if there’s one person who jumps in and drowns then everyone gets put off.”

It will be an interesting observation for 2016 to see how many festivals have adopted RFID and cashless and how much closer to the tipping point we might be.

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Topic: Sustainability in the Events Industry

Speakers: Chris Johnson – Shambala Festival, Danny Newby – Big Green Coach, Chris Dillon – Siemens ‘The Crystal’, Graham Crisp – GT Trax, Tim Benson – Firefly Solar Generators Ltd

This panel was very interesting and we walked away feeling positive that their are people extremely passionate about creating greener, more sustainable festivals.

Chris from Shambala Festival, which is firmly established as one of the most sustainable festivals in the UK, if not the world, explained that thinking sustainably should not be the alternative anymore but rather the norm. This can even have financial benefits to the organiser, “If running an event on a tight budget focus on energy. You’re pretty much guaranteed to save some cash there.”

Danny Newby explained how travel typically constitutes 80% of a festival’s carbon emissions and in the UK only 6% of attendees are currently using coaches to get to their festival of choice. “The challenge is to get people out of their cars. Coach travel isn’t just a way to make revenue for your festivals, it makes it more accessible and reduces carbon footprint.” He went on to describe how festival organisers need to provide an incentive in order to do their part at getting more attendees using coaches and therefore reducing the festival’s carbon footprint, “There has to be something in it for them. Create a green scheme: if attendees arrive by public transport they will get discounts on food etc. This is what Secret Garden Party did.”

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Let’s hope that more and more festival promoters push sustainable initiatives like Secret Garden Party, and aspire to Shambala as the benchmark for running a sustainably focused event.

Written by Mark Kelliher