One Man’s Vision of the Future
Martin Haigh, the Sales Director of Total Ticketing had a pretty elaborate vision of what the future holds for the events and ticketing industry as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and so do these hard hit markets.
Martin spoke of how hybrid events have already begun happening and the trend seems to be going upward and to the left. With live streaming technologies developed at a rapid pace through the pandemic and events taking place virtually, there’s an opportunity to expand any event’s scope by providing a hybrid experience for it.
According to Martin, live events are by far a higher revenue generator. So that will remain. However, a live event will also be live streamed to viewers who may not be able to attend physically due to reasons such as distance or capacity. Of course, there’d have to be contingencies such as geofencing, where only people beyond 100 miles of the event, for example, can live stream it. If you’re within 100 miles, you will have to attend live. Alternatively, the contingency could be, live streaming is only available after live tickets are sold out.
However, Martin also makes sure to point out that there’s hysteria in the market with regards to such new tools. Drawing from his banking background, he compares it to what would be called a “bubble” in the investment and banking industries. A dot com bubble, for example, was when any dot com company was overvalued because some dot com company owners made a lot of money with it. He believes it’s the same with new tools such as live streaming and virtual events.
One of the first indicators that an industry is suffering is when employees are laid off or when they leave because other places are able to better support them. Martin expresses concern over the fact that one third of the people in the events and ticketing industry have left and got other jobs. This results in a severe lack of experience. Fresh employees increase error rates in an industry where even the experienced are facing new curveballs constantly.
The loss of intellectual property that the industry has suffered will likely be one of the more longer lasting impacts of the pandemic.
Adding to this, Ilya, the Founder of PouchNATION recalls how when Emirates finally began operations again, it had to rehire new staff, and retrain all of them in order to deliver the same value propositions that Emirates is known for. Ilya acknowledges the difficulties that go into essentially restarting from an employment point of view.
Less Is More?
Martin finally predicted that because so many event companies have gone out of business, there will be fewer shows in the immediate future. Hence, supply will be less. These shows will also be relatively smaller in scale initially.
Due to the lower supply, the live tickets will be more expensive but more shows nonetheless will sell out. This can be compared to the phenomena of revenge shopping. After staying indoors for so long, people are more likely to spend, even more, to attend live shows. Travis Scott’s Astroworld 2021 is a tragic, yet classic example of this.