David Hornby, UK and Ireland managing director for SecuTix, said organisations without loyalty schemes in their armoury during the live events blackout due to COVID-19 will do so in the future.

The global SaaS ticketing and audience management provider provides loyalty programmes through its partnership with Rewards4, and enables sports fans to accrue rewards points from their club. Its partners include Premier League club Everton, Premiership rugby club Saracens, and Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Hornby said running a rewards scheme gives clients another string to their bow in terms of opportunity and flexibility.

He told TheTicketingBusiness: “I expect one of the outcomes of this situation to be that those who don’t have this option in their armoury will do so in the future.

“It’s a great tool to help look after fans and customers, keeps you close to them and allows you to push the value of retaining money from ticket sales rather than issuing refunds.”

As live events have been cancelled and sports events postponed, SecuTix has adapted its software to help clients in the sport, culture and live entertainment industries to respond to the challenges facing them following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Instead of selling tickets as usual, the platform is offering a donate button function, giving ticket holders the option to donate the admission price to the sports club, event or cultural institution.

The SecuTix platform has also adapted a tool designed for single contacts within sponsor organisations to distribute tickets to their staff or prize winners, so it can be used for distribution to key workers. Event organisers and venues can also automatically apply access to free tickets to database registrants with a healthcare provider email address.

In addition, Single Use Codes can be distributed directly to individuals in specific professions if an extra layer of security is required. The platform enables event organisers to personalise ‘thank you’ communications to the key workers and stay in touch with them in the future.

SecuTix will be running a series of webinars to show clients how the platform can be used to address some of their immediate challenges, such as transferring tickets to key workers or donating refunds back to organisers.

Hornby told TheTicketingBusiness: “A key aspect currently is deepening relationships with fans and partners to better understand their needs to build more meaningful relationships. This has never been more important than now. We have developed and are now launching with clients SecuTix Analytix to support this need through Better Business Intelligence.

“Undoubtedly, the changing digital environment around us is both a challenge and an opportunity. Many in the industry will admit they don’t have the skill sets and tools around them to respond to this fast enough. Ticketing is part of this digital ecosystem and we need to support customers in the virtual world whilst also enhancing security in the real world.”

SecuTix, which has been receiving several RFPs over the last few weeks and is still reviewing ticketing contracts, continues to retain its forward-looking business development team and Hornby shared that they are actually growing the division, with an announcement about this to be revealed shortly.

Hornby explained that amid the COVID-19 crisis, the firm has implemented its “business continuity plans” and put in place “resilience structures.” He added that SecuTix has been “lucky” not to have furloughed any staff yet, though admits to having reduced some working hours.

He noted that the pandemic is impacting different clients in different ways, adding: “Many of our clients have furloughed significant numbers within their teams, while others haven’t furloughed any of the people we work with. In football, season tickets for next season are still being sold.

“There’s a lot of scenario planning going on – if there are more lockdowns, if social distancing continues and everybody is getting themselves into a position so that when restrictions are eased, they are ready to press the button to go live again.

“I think our clients’ businesses won’t fundamentally change as a result of this, but I would expect to see some realigning and restructuring, exploring how to do things differently. Our role as a ticketing and audience engagement partner is to support them through this and develop our products and services to meet their changing needs.”