New ticketing technology helps sports venues manage Covid challenges

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SecuTix, the ticketing engagement platform, has developed a suite of features to help sports venues reboot their ticketing operations and is said to help generate new revenue, improve the visitor experience, and build audiences.

The Swiss-based company has been working on optimizing the SecuTix 360° SaaS Ticketing Platform in response to the coronavirus crisis. This resulted in seven features designed to help customers restart operations quickly and have enhanced flexibility to respond to the fast-changing nature of the challenges they face. Several SecuTix clients are using one or more of the tools, including Lancashire Cricket and Southampton FC.

Jonathon Nuttall, Head of Ticketing and Hospitality Sales at Emirates Old Trafford, said: “The experience of watching live sport has changed and we need to be equipped to handle these new challenges. Now, more than ever before, it’s vital that we have a flexible ticketing technology partner that gives us the ability to respond quickly and communicate clearly with our fans. SecuTix’s new tools provide that agility, giving us access to solutions for situations we’ve never faced before. We’ve already used the automatic refund system that helped us to process bulk refunds for canceled matches, reassure fans and reduce the number of enquiries to our customer service team. Working with SecuTix puts Lancashire Cricket in a strong position to welcome fans back safely into the venue.”

Anthony Cole-Johnson, Director of Sales & Stadium Experience, Southampton FC added: “Our fans sit at the heart of everything we do at Southampton FC, in good times and bad. Our number one priority is the safe return of fans to our stadium, so whilst we continue to wait for that moment it was important to the club that we honored our supporters’ commitment via a seamless refund operation. SecuTix delivered this complicated process extremely effectively, allowing for smooth and transparent communication with our fans throughout.”

Frédéric Longatte, CEO of SecuTix, said: “Everyone in the ticketing industry is having to rethink their way of working. Now, more than ever before, our clients need an agile tech solution that can respond and react efficiently. Some of these tools were already on the platform, but clients rarely required them. COVID has changed all this so we’ve upgraded existing tools and introduced new ones that we’re confident will sport venues future proof their operations.”

Secutix reboot tools include:

Optimal seat selection with organic social distancing

This tool uses the SecuTix optimized seat selection algorithm to sell tickets for live events whilst respecting social distancing rules. SecuTix customers can adjust the parameters for seats in line with local regulations, ensuring the best available seat for every attendee.

Optimal seat allocation by post-seating

The post-seating module gives the ability to separate sales from seat allocation, allowing tickets to go on sale but assigning seats later, once social distancing regulations are finalized.  This is useful when seating rules and the optimal configuration of a venue for future events are still unknown, but organizations want to start selling tickets. When seats are ready to be allocated, seating can be fine-tuned, prioritizing customers who have purchased the best seats, and optimizing the way the venue is filled in.

Monetize streaming or virtual content

Selling virtual seats for streamed events or online content is fast becoming a way for audiences to watch sport. This tool provides paid access to streaming and can be used in addition to other monetization models available on streaming platforms, such as ads.

Mass-refund for season ticket holders

Refund operations can be simplified significantly with this re-sale and upgrade processes whilst aligning operations. Venues can now refund season ticket holders for ad hoc canceled events. Through the mass-cancellation batch, season ticket holders will be refunded a fraction of the season ticket price, corresponding to the canceled event.

Mass-cancellation of passes and services

With the implementation of this feature, the operational efficiency will be significantly improved as it can handle batches of large-scale cancellations whilst relieving staff from tedious manual work. Bulk cancellations of timeslot passes and services are processed quickly and efficiently.

Automatic email notification of refund payments

One of the main objectives when having to process refunds is a reduction in the number of customer enquiries. This can be achieved thanks to the automation of refund payment notifications.

When processing mass-refunds, it is key to communicate clearly with customers on the state of their refunds, to avoid overloading call centers with basic questions. Up to now, automatic emails could only be triggered in the SecuTix platform for some steps inside the refund process. However, nothing automatic existed for bank transfer refunds or refunds of the money on the customer credit account. The team in Lausanne has now developed the technology to enable their customers to set up automatic notifications, so that all refund payments, whether they are coming from an order or the attendee’s credit account, generate an automated email notification with relevant details. This will free up the customer service team to focus on other projects to support the customer.

Manage the entrance flow with timeslots

The implementation of timeslots will ensure safety, efficiency and revenue whilst being available on all sales channels. To manage the flow of people entering a venue, the timeslot feature is available at the point of ticket purchase. The venue can set the period of time and quotas for that slot to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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