Ticketfly, an independent ticketing and social marketing platform has been killing it, signing up the coolest venues around the country like The Troubadour in LA, the 9:30 Club in DC and The Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg. Since their first ticket sold in June 2009, Ticketfly has become the fastest growing ticketing company in the market, selling north of 1.2 million tickets in its first calendar year. And the sweet part is that Ticketfly’s service fees typically range around 30% lower than those of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
In November 2010, Ticketfly announced its 100th venue and this past April 2011, Ticketfly landed $3 million in funding from High Peaks Venture Partners, Contour Venture Partners, The NYC Seed Fund, and angel investors including Howard Lindzon and Roger Ehrenberg. We sat down with various members of Ticketfly’s team to discuss how the epic ticketing company is gearing up for summer festival season.
Limiting the use of fake tickets and false entry
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Sean Porter, Ticketfly’s SVP Technology: The first line of defense for preventing fake tickets is to make sure they can’t be copied — We’ve developed an advanced scanning technology that allows us to staff hundreds of potential entrances admitting tens of thousands of tickets very quickly that lets fans get into the venue and start enjoying the show.
We’ve also spent a lot of time focused on having a very efficient and quick mobile experience, so you can quickly purchase your ticket just as easily on your phone as your computer and then take it to the event with no hard ticket required.
Promoting shows and encouraging attendance through social media campaigns
Amy Miller, Ticketfly’s Community Manager: At the core of our platform is an integrated content management system that powers our clients’ ticketing, websites, social marketing and iPhone apps, and saves them time and money by reducing the amount of data entry that is required to publicize their events.
Artist DB/ Content Management
Amy Miller: One of the trickier aspects of promoting a festival online is the pure amount of artists performing and the many different marketing avenues. Festival promoters want to provide buyers the same amount of information on the smaller acts as they do the headliners. Ticketfly’s artist database makes this a non-issue. A promoter just needs to select the band from our artist database, and Ticketfly will automatically import the artists’ images, videos, music, website, Facebook and Twitter pages. And once the event is built, all the same artist info will show up on the client’s branded website, their mobile/ iPhone app, their Facebook events, and in their Ticketfly email newsletter. It saves a lot of valuable time. And if you’re promoting a major festival, time is never on your side.
Amy Miller: Our affiliate network is really great at parsing this data as well. If you’re a user on one of our affiliate websites and a fan of an artist with an early time slot, you will be notified that they will be playing that festival immediately. The full line-up posts to Ticketfly, the artists are matched up with their fans in the affiliate’s database, and you’ll get an email that might just convince you to show up to the festival an hour earlier that day.
Amy Miller: Social media is key for summer festival season. No one wants to be setting up a tent alone. Festival fans need easy ways to tell their friends they’re buying tickets and interact with each other in the months between purchase and festival. Ticketfly and our partners make this interaction easy. Social media sharing is present through the entire Ticketfly event discovery and purchase process. Fans can RSVP on Facebook, tell their Twitter friends they’re going, enter ticket contests and more.
One of our fests, Governors Ball in New York City, is fantastic at fan engagement. They’re selling tickets directly through their Facebook fan page, and running interactive contests, including a virtual dance contest where fans can upload a video directly to the Governors Ball Facebook page and win VIP ticket packages. This is the kind of social media engagement that gets people really excited for a festival, and ultimately ends up selling more tickets.
Contributing to summer shows beyond just music festivals
Dan Teree, Ticketfly’s Co-Founder/COO: Music festivals have become experiential events, especially as American youth catches up with their European counterparts on the festival rite of passage. Although fests are steeped in music, attendees go for the total package. One of our events this summer, Life is good, gives families the opportunity to enjoy music, games and children’s activities together. We’re seeing more and more promoters are using our platform to offer the extras; VIP packages, charity donations, and camping are some of the big sellers. But outside of concerts there are a lot of great summer events for people who are all maxed out on bands.
Hollywood Forever (pictured above), a new client in LA, is a cemetery where a lot of the Hollywood greats have been laid to rest. In addition to a Flaming Lips fest, they’re doing a run of old movies like Vertigo and Harold and Maude. Promoters are now marketing food and wine fests, tech events, and a lot of comedy on the Ticketfly platform as well. A lot of people are saying stand-up is the new indie rock in the young hipster culture right now and the shows are definitely selling as fast as some popular bands. This year also marks the first summer that Ticketfly moves into sporting with The Baltimore Grand Prix, a Formula 1 auto race around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor over Labor Day Weekend.
Sounds like Ticketfly is ready for the festival season. Are you?