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Mike Bayon, CEO and founder of Sound Travel, tells us how his business has created a new revenue stream for the events industry through the hotel rooms it fills
By IQ on 14 Apr 2022
When a major act’s tour dates are revealed, it is not just their fans who get excited as they jump online to snap up tickets. Tour announcements are music to the ears of hoteliers, who can hear the beautiful melody of their cash tills ringing months in advance of a band or performer coming to town.
“Putting on an event requires a huge amount of planning, forward investment and risk, but hotel operators are free to increase prices and enjoy a surge in bookings on the back of the hard work of others,” says Bayon.
The balance of risk and reward between the different parties does not seem fair. “It’s crazy that artists and promoters have been missing out on the demand their events create. We understand why and it’s mainly down to it not being core to the model of selling tickets and adding roll dates.”
Sound Travel recognised that many music fans were booking hotels near music venues once they’d bought their tickets and after the hotels had taken advantage of the announcement and increased their prices. So Sound Travel saw the opportunity to make things easier for customers and create incremental revenue for the ticketing ecosystem with its innovative packaging model.
Leveraging its deep experience in the hospitality sector, Sound Travel has developed a comprehensive portfolio of partnerships with the UK’s major hotel groups, including Hilton, Marriott, and Accor. In addition, through strategic ticket agent partnerships, Sound Travel can offer concertgoers a seamless ticket and hotel package via its proprietary technology platform.
Sound Travel has developed a comprehensive portfolio of partnerships with the UK’s major hotel groups
These partnerships ensure that Sound Travel’s clients, including rights holders, promoters, venues, sports associations and ticket agents – all benefit from the extra revenue generated. In addition, the hotels also prosper from their association with the events.
“Everyone wins,” Bayon said. “It’s a data play using the ticket as the trigger point. We secure rooms in bulk from hotels close to the venue before they even know events will occur and then focus demand on these hotels. Then, when gigs are announced, and hotel prices surge, we have already locked in low prices, allowing us to generate extra revenues for the organisers whilst offering convenient, price competitive packages of hotel and tickets to customers.
“We have had a very positive response from all parties. For rights holders and organisers, our service is entirely de-risked. They don’t have to do anything other than provide an allocation of tickets for which we share a healthy profit share.
“Hotels like it because they get bookings maybe six to nine months in advance, they receive upfront payment from us, and notwithstanding the challenges of the last two years, hotel bookings are pretty much guaranteed as fans normally do not cancel.
“Most importantly, the customer enjoys a much simpler booking experience as they can buy their event ticket and a convenient and well-priced hotel room in a single transaction. In addition, they know if the event is cancelled or deferred, Sound Travel as a bonded package provider, will either return their money or rearrange everything. Covid-19 disruption has opened customers’ eyes to the benefit of this packaged approach.”
Sound Travel will be attending this year’s ILMC34 event. If you’d like to meet and discuss how you could earn more from your tickets through a brand new revenue stream then please contact [email protected]
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