Paperless Ticketing - How it works and what it means for your venue

What is paperless ticketing?

Thwarting scalpers and maintaining a fixed cost: these are the aims of new paperless ticketing systems. How does it work? Imagine using the same system used to purchase airline tickets: A customer purchases a ticket online or over the phone using a credit card. The customer then brings that same credit card and photo ID to the venue and gains admittance with a swipe of the card at the gate. Upon entry a slip confirming the location of the customer’s seat is printed and the customer is on their way. Slips can be rescanned at access control points inside the venue such as a suite, club seating, and usher locations.

Because both artists and ticketing companies view the high resale prices by scalpers as a loss to their own business, some of the large high ticket fee companies such as Ticketmaster are already using the system and artists like Miley Cyrus, Bruce Springsteen, and Metallica are adopting paperless tickets in an effort to stop scammers and large ticket resellers. Without the credit card used to purchase the tickets, attendees will not be able to enter the venue.

Disadvantages of paperless ticketing for small venues

Since the vast majority of the music and theater venues do not have high demand, sellout shows, costs and issues overshadow the benefits. Although paperless ticketing does offer some advantages for ticket sellers, it does pose a few issues for consumers. A major issue is the gifting or transfer of tickets. Because the credit card that is used for the purchase of the ticket must be presented at the gate, giving tickets as gifts is impossible unless the giver of the gift is also present. Also lost, expired, and virtual credit cards create issues as well. There are also infrastructure costs for redeeming tickets via swipe kiosks and printers that will most likely be borne by the consumer which will negatively impact sales due to higher fees.

Keep costs down to raise sales

Until the costs of implementing paperless ticketing come down and the kinks are smoothed out, paperless ticketing won't see higher adoption rates by most venues. ThunderTix allows you to sell tickets online with no fees, letting you decide whether to attract customers through no fees or earn additional revenue through setting your own fees.


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