The Ticket Factory unveils Secutix partnership
The NEC Group’s ticketing business The Ticket Factory has announced a 100% mobile ticketing solution as part of a new strategic partnership with technology-led provider Secutix.
The move will see Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena – two of NEC Group’s leading venues – become the first arenas in the UK to introduce blockchain mobile ticketing technology.
The new service, branded the Ticket Factory Wallet, is powered by Secutix’s mobile blockchain ticketing solution TIXNGO – will see The Ticket Factory significantly reduce its use of paper tickets to create more eco-friendly and sustainable events. The new solution also offers enhanced security measures for customers to safely store, transfer, sell or buy digital tickets.
“Our new, fully-integrated mobile ticketing system is a massive step towards revolutionising the user experience for our fans across the UK,” says Richard Howle, director of ticketing at The Ticket Factory. “By partnering with Secutix and adopting a digital-first approach, we’ll be able to get to know our audiences better, improve the customer journey and deliver more sustainable events.”
Howle will chair ILMC’s annual ticketing panel – Ticketing: All change please! – on Thursday, 28 April.
“This partnership marks the first time a UK arena group has adopted mobile blockchain ticketing across all its venues”
“As one of the leading national ticketing agents, being agile and flexible to our clients’ needs is incredibly important, so we’re proud to have moved quickly and efficiently to introduce such transformational change that will deliver real value to organisers and promoters alike,” he adds.
By digitising its audience, the new Wallet will allow The Ticket Factory to become increasingly data-led, providing it with deeper insights into the behaviour of ticket buyers across the UK. It made its official debut for sold-out shows by Royal Blood and Sam Fender at Utilita Arena Birmingham over the weekend.
“We’re looking forward to working with Richard and his team,” adds Andy Duckworth, Secutix senior sales manager. “This partnership marks the first time a UK arena group has adopted mobile blockchain ticketing across all its venues. Their fans will now experience a simpler and more secure way to receive, share and use their tickets.
“A solution that works for both fans and live event organisers, we’re delighted to be working with our partners at The Ticket Factory to bring this to life.”
Ticket sales soar past pre-pandemic levels
Top promoters and ticketing firms including DEAG, Dice, Event Genius and The Ticket Factory say that current ticket sales are even higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Event Genius, which serves more than 50 countries worldwide, says its ticket sales are outstripping 2019 levels by more than 25%.
“It’s been an incredibly strong and heartening start to 2022,” says the company’s CEO, Benjamin Leaver. “Demand for events is arguably at an all-time high, and we see lots of potential for growth this year which is immensely encouraging.
“We’re expecting 2022 and the next few years to become a landmark period for the events industries.”
According to an Event Genius customer survey conducted at the beginning of this year, fans are also digging a little deeper into their pockets for events.
“We’re expecting 2022 and the next few years to become a landmark period for the events industries”
“Such is the demand for events and experiences – both domestically and abroad – event-goers are now spending up to three times more on their domestic and international event trips than even pre-Covid levels,” Leaver says.
Dice, a UK-based mobile ticketing and discovery platform for live events and live streams, has also seen a replenished demand for live events since the pandemic.
“With the venues and festivals we can draw comparisons from, we’ve seen fan demand for live events higher than it was before the pandemic,” Andrew Foggin, global head of music at Dice, tells IQ. “The industry was in great shape before the pandemic, and it’s encouraging to see that it’s picking up where it left off.”
Foggin has witnessed a particularly strong demand for breakthrough artists such as PinkPantheress and Fred Again, each of which sold out multiple shows in minutes. “We’re generally seeing tickets selling out faster, with fans joining our Waiting List for sold-out shows in higher numbers than we’ve ever seen,” he says.
“We’re generally seeing tickets selling out faster”
Elsewhere, Berlin-based DEAG, whose core markets include Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark, has reported a 50-80% increase in ticket sales compared to pre-pandemic.
DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow says that family entertainment, concerts, and spoken word events are selling best at the moment, although he also explains that the dramatic increase is partly attributable to the company’s acquisition of six promoters during the pandemic.
“We are very much convinced we will see a record year, just by delivering the 5,000-plus shows we have on sale,” he recently told IQ.
Elsewhere, The Ticket Factory, one of the UK’s leading national ticketing agents, says its return to pre-pandemic levels of ticket sales is primarily driven by A-list artists.
“We are very much convinced we will see a record year”
“A busy schedule of major shows including the likes of Stormzy, Sam Fender and Little Mix, has certainly been one of the key drivers,” Richard Howle, director of ticketing at The Ticket Factory, tells IQ.
“But we’ve also been well aware that for many of our clients, 2022 is the first year since Covid where they’ll be able to run their usual annual events. So, not only are we feeling optimistic about the volume of current ticket sales – driven primarily by the A-list artists – but also our future pipeline with the return of several major events.”
The ticketing company, is owned by UK venue operator NEC Group and is the official box office for the NEC Birmingham as well as a ticket seller for many of the UK’s major music festivals.
“As the live events industry starts to feel more reminiscent of pre-pandemic times, we’re expecting more peaks than troughs this year – even bigger than what we’re experiencing right now,” adds Howle.
The Ticket Factory’s Richard Howle chairs the Ticketing: All change please! session at this year’s International Live Music Conference with guest speakers including Dice’s Amy Oldham, Ticketmaster’s Sarah Slater and others.
The Ticket Factory introduces new commercial team
One of the UK’s leading national ticketing agents, the Ticket Factory, has today announced the creation of a new commercial team tasked with creating more sales and driving profits.
The ticketing company, is owned by UK venue operator NEC Group and is the official box office for the NEC Birmingham as well as a ticket seller for top music festivals like Latitude and Download. It hopes the move will nurture already established links with clients and partners as well as secure new ones.
The team will be comprised of four handpicked individuals. Previously consumer sales and marketing director, Chris Pile has been appointed as commercial director. He will be joined by Nick Fenton, who will take on the role of commercial manager. Fenton will also be tasked with selling TTF’s industry-leading trade system ExpoWare.
On the subject of his new appointment, Pile says: “I’m looking forward to the opportunities myself and my team can build and nurture with both clients and partners for the Ticket Factory.
“This is the next exciting stage in the Ticket Factory’s development”
“Driving market awareness of TTF’s products and services is essential to achieving our business goals.”
The pair will be joined by partnership manager Aliya Hussain, who will take on the company’s marketing and distribution reach. The team is finished by group sales manager Kelly Sharman.
Speaking about the Ticket Factory’s aims, director of ticketing Richard Howle says: “This is the next exciting stage in the Ticket Factory’s development.
“Introducing a dedicated commercial team serves to propel these ambitions.”
The news of the new commercial team comes after the Ticket Factory recently secured an exclusive three year ticketing contract with Crufts. It hopes the new team will be able to deliver an expanded product range to high-profile clients like this.
TTF appoints new director of ticketing
The Ticket Factory (TTF) has hired ticketing industry veteran Richard Howle, most recently of Really Useful Theatres Group, as director of ticketing.
Howle is tasked with expanding the technological capabilities of TTF, owned by UK venue operator NEC Group, and improving the user experience for both clients and ticket buyers.
In addition to a four and a half-year spell as Really Useful Theatres’ commercial director, Howle’s 18 years’ industry experience includes spells as head of box office/ticketing and international sales director at marketing agency AKA Promotions. He is also a director of the governing council of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (Star).
Phil Mead, NEC Group’s managing director, says: “Richard’s appointment will serve to further strengthen the offering of the Ticket Factory in an increasingly competitive marketplace. It has a unique partnership with the NEC Group Arenas, and with Richard’s direction, the businesses will be able to work even closer together to provide a seamless experience for clients and customers alike.”
“I am looking forward to building the Ticket Factory brand at this pivotal point in the company’s history”
Stuart Cain, formerly TTF’s managing director, departed the company for Ricoh Arena in September.
Commenting on his appointment, Howle adds: “I am thrilled to join the Ticket Factory and to bring my experience of running in-house ticketing operations to the role. It is a company I have long admired with a well-deserved reputation for delivering excellence.
“I am looking forward to building the Ticket Factory brand at this pivotal point in the company’s history, having just celebrated its tenth anniversary. Over the past decade, the Ticket Factory has established itself as an industry challenger in a highly competitive, fast-moving industry and has an exciting future ahead.”
NEC Group, which manages Arena Birmingham (15,800-cap.), Genting Arena (15,700-cap.), the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the International Convention Centre (ICC) and Vox Conference Centre, all in Birmingham, posted 17.9% growth in revenue in its 2016–17 financial results.