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“It’s made us greener and made our customers happier”

AXS Director of Ticketing Paul Newman discusses the positive environmental impact of their award-winning third-party integration system

21 Nov 2022

Paul Newman, AXS

Though the Covid crisis brought several ongoing challenges, the hiatus of events also gave space for many of us to carefully assess our businesses’ models to try and find ways to innovate and improve for when customers returned.

One area we felt we needed to focus on, was the barriers that venues and customers often face around ticket delivery, which is especially prevalent in the UK’s allocational venue model, making it difficult for venues and concertgoers to migrate to a completely digital experience and negating the need for hard stock tickets.

The nature of the UK concert industry means that allocations for even one music venue can be split across various ticket agents, with a vast percentage of tickets being printed, then sent on long courier journeys around the country, resulting in multiple concerns – from delays to delivery to those of an environmental nature.

AXS and its venue partners agreed that there had to be a better option, for fans and artists who care as much about sustainability and consumer experience as we do. In early 2019, we launched our new mobile ticket AXS Mobile ID, overseeing its implementation in two of our highest profile UK venue partners – The O2 and OVO Arena Wembley. AXS Mobile ID introduced a mobile ticket with a genuine rotating barcode, linked to a fan’s identity, that refreshes every 59 seconds.

There had to be a better option, for fans and artists who care as much about sustainability and consumer experience as we do

We recognise the need for fans to be able to transfer or sell tickets, either to friends and family or to other fans when they can no longer attend a show. That’s why AXS Mobile ID has integrated functionality allowing ticket holders to either transfer tickets peer-to-peer or relist them, capped at 10% above the original purchase price, on AXS Official Resale, providing a fair-priced, secure resale ticket option to the venue’s customers.

All positive steps. However, a percentage of people still came to the venues with hard stock or e-tickets sold by competing ticketing companies working in conjunction with a show’s promoter. Such tickets could easily be sold on secondary sites leading to negative fan experiences, such as unfulfilled or even fraudulently issued tickets. We realised that what we had done so far was only solving part of the problem, and we needed to bring all parties together to fully fix it.

The key to finding this fix has been teamwork – with our venue partners and also our competitors in the ticketing space. To make a venue 100% digital, we needed to ensure everyone was working together. As such, we took the step of opening up our API to our competitors and worked on rigorous data-sharing agreements to ensure the safety of customers’ details.

The integration of one company alone is projected to save over 27kg of CO2 per year

Thanks to the newly forged third-party integrations, customers who purchase from allocational agents now receive and access their tickets through the venue’s own mobile app – instantly removing the need for duplicates, postage, or separate queues on show night. This is a global first in wider industry relations and technological integration, and in positive green news, the integration of one company alone is projected to save over 27kg of CO2 per year.

As the country came out of Covid restrictions, we tested this new technology on one of the first returning shows at The O2 – 17,000 people who purchased across different ticketing agents were seamlessly scanned into the venue through the venue’s app. Furthermore, within six months, the venue had distributed 200,000 digital tickets, with an additional 80,000 moved from paper stock to digital for The O2 premium ticket holders in the same period.

As we look to the future, we see venues across the UK moving to a 100% digital model, helping them become contactless and gaining a greater understanding of who is at their venue on a show night.

This award-winning AXS third-party integration system is great for our clients but also the companies we’ve integrated with. It’s made us greener, cut down on hard stock, and made our customers happier with a much easier and safer experience on event day. It just shows what we can do when we work together to put customers first!

 


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