Live events will see a technological revolution in 2020, with breakthrough innovations in the event experience and ticketing platforms bringing transformational change to the industry.
These bold predictions are being made by FanDragon Technologies founding CEO Robert Weiss (pictured, centre), global director of ticketing strategy and innovation Steve Machin (right) and vice president of business development and ticketing partnerships Alan Rakov (left).
As FanDragon, a leading innovator in blockchain-powered SaaS mobile ticket delivery solutions, gears up for a year of expansion, the company’s executive team shares their vision for the future of live events and mobile ticketing as we begin a new decade.
RW: The year 2020 will be a pivotal inflection point. Technology will transform the live event experience, making it better for fans while unlocking more revenue for rightsholders – and those things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. These new revenues are predicted to be enormous, with the live music industry alone projected to be worth $31 billion by 2022.
I feel exceptionally lucky to have superstar executives like Steve Machin and Alan Rakov helping to lead FanDragon. Collectively, Steve and Alan bring nearly half-a-century of ticketing knowledge to our company. Their expertise will not only help us navigate this upcoming revolution – but ensure that FanDragon actively takes the lead in creating ticket delivery solutions for the future.
The year 2020 will be a pivotal inflection point
The mobile ticket will become a personalised hub powered by smart data
SM: The live entertainment market will capitalise on enhancements to the fan experience before, during and after an event. The ticketing industry is fully focused on improving platforms to power the next generation of fan experiences with smart, but secure data analytics.
The shift to mobile will continue to accelerate, providing increased personalisation, communication, security and monetising capabilities for event organisers and attendees.
Mobile tickets aren’t just a convenient way to get into a concert or game, they are becoming a hub for so much more activity – from serving up personalised promotions and offers, to receiving targeted communications ahead of an event. Digital tickets bring with them a whole range of benefits across ‘the three Cs’ – commercial, communication, community – and as we see more providers adopting a mobile-first mindset, we will see continued innovation around what a ticket can represent.
AR: Mobile tickets will power new fan engagement opportunities.
Ticketing giants and tech companies have the opportunity to put the needs of fans first by focusing on an area of the event cycle experience that hasn’t been explored – the time after a ticket is purchased through to the entrance to the show itself.
Organisers have a real chance to engage with fans during this time period and get them excited about what’s coming up. Tickets are their access to the show, and a mobile wallet application is their access to a myriad of opportunities relating to the event.
Mobile tickets aren’t just a convenient way to get into a concert or game, they are becoming a hub for so much more activity
The issue of ticket transferability will be addressed – but not by government regulation
AR: Ticket transferability will continue to be a hot debate in 2020. In 2019, we saw new government regulation on the topic with the reintroduction of the BOSS Act, including a clause that primary ticket sellers may not restrict a purchaser from reselling tickets. I believe this is a fixed mindset that will hinder the ticketing industry from protecting both fans and ticket rightsholders. Instead, the industry must focus on fixing technical issues to protect the integrity of tickets.
I personally think it’s the artist on stage, or the team on the field, that truly owns the ticket. They have the right to control the marketplace for their tickets. It’s not a product that you own. Rather, it’s a license to occupy a seat for a period of time in a venue where an artist is going to do something amazing to entertain you. What you can do with that license depends on who you are, your relationship with the artist and what experience the artist wants you to have.
Today, we’re facing a drastic imbalance of ticket supply and fan demand throughout the event sales cycle. To solve this challenge, the entertainment market must usher in a new era of smart ticket transferability. It’s on the rightsholders to collaborate – not compete – with companies that sell tickets and the technology providers that support these platforms. Simplifying and securing the ticket storing and delivery process will be critical to protecting fans and improving the overall event experience.
The industry must focus on fixing technical issues to protect the integrity of tickets
Say goodbye to barcodes, and hello to blockchain and RFID
SM: The industry will continue to innovate and enhance the technical components of next-generation mobile wallets, starting to get rid of the anonymous barcode for more advanced RFID technologies. I believe these advancements will change how fans access mobile tickets.
The anonymous barcode will start to become much less prevalent in 2020. We will definitely begin to see alternative technologies such as NFC (near field communication) take shape and become widely deployed for improved access to tickets.
AR: Technical innovations will disrupt the ways consumers use their mobile devices at shows – from storing their tickets to making payments at events, and more.
Blockchain and RFID will continue to make their mark on the ticketing space in 2020, with innovative companies using smart contracts to create a safe and secure ticket marketplace. Going back to the importance of transferability, these technologies will empower artists, teams and performers to set their own rules for how their tickets are obtained and shared.
In addition, RFID will expand with cashless payments to provide a seamless fan experience from entering to exiting the building. Finally, mobile hardware developments will force us all to reconsider what we know about what people can – and want to – do with their devices during the entire event process.
The anonymous barcode will start to become much less prevalent in 2020, with alternative technologies such as NFC (near field communication) becoming widely deployed
In the coming decade, the fan will rise again
RW: The live events market will undoubtedly undergo continued transformation throughout the decade to come. The overarching takeaway from these ticketing and live event industry predictions is that the fan will regain a sense of control when making purchases in the marketplace.
Multiple factors are merging – from the growing sophistication of mobile ticketing and the rising importance of data privacy to an inevitable curve bending towards transparency in the ticket lifecycle – that will result in the balance of power tilting back towards consumers, perhaps not entirely by 2020, but certainly within the next decade.
In the meantime, other fan-friendly developments such as the recent announcement of FanDragon’s Fan Experience Index Fan Forum will give consumers a stronger voice in the marketplace. Ultimately, smart people using new technologies will enable the live events industry to fix these issues and create better outcomes for everyone – keeping people in seats at shows while creating new revenue opportunities – a true win-win situation.
Robert Weiss, Steve Machin and Alan Rakov are executives at FanDragon Technologies, a blockchain-powered mobile ticket firm.