TheTicketingBusiness spoke to Lyubomyr Nykyforuk, Softjourn's head of the Solutions Architect Department, about ticketing trends in 2023 and the role of Web3 and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the sector.
Nykyforuk has over 16 years of experience within the industry and has been working on Softjourn ticketing projects since 2007, when the company signed its first ticketing client, Vendini.
TheTicketingBusiness: What are some of the ticketing trends predicted for 2023?
Lyubomyr Nykyforuk: “The ticketing industry is ever-evolving and adapting to new technologies and consumer behavior. As we enter 2023, several key trends are likely to shape the industry, all of which are greatly founded on providing a higher level of convenience for patrons during all stages of the event experience – from ticket buying and access control to attending and enjoying an event.
One trend we predict is the rise of hybrid events, which combine in-person and virtual components. These events offer attendees the flexibility and convenience they enjoyed during the pandemic, but with options for live connecting as well. Event organizers will implement unique and innovative strategies to drive ticket sales, such as virtual reality experiences, gamification, fan engagement apps, and Web3 technology.
Another trend we’ll see emerge more than in years past is more seamless access control through through NFC tickets implemented in Apple or Google wallets. This contactless ticketing allows patrons to no longer have the need to download separate ticketing apps or navigate to the app to find their ticket. Instead, digital tickets are stored in their electronic wallets, making the access control faster and more convenient for patrons and venue staff.
In addition to NFC tickets, we can expect to see a rise in the use of contactless methods for ordering food and merchandise at events.
Most of the top players in the industry have realized that their legacy applications are costly to maintain, perform poorly, and give users a bad experience – especially during spikes in load during popular ticket releases. Outdated legacy systems can also bring added security risks and may not meet newer regulatory requirements for handling payment and patron data.
So this year I predict that ticketing platforms will see the value in modernizing their systems to handle load spikes and optimize the buying experience to retain users and gain new patrons.
With each passing year, both ticketing platforms and event venues have increasingly placed a greater focus on accessibility and inclusivity. I am confident that a strong emphasis on accessibility will continue in 2023 and beyond. There are multiple tools that can help ticketing companies offer their patrons more accessible options – such as Softjourn’s Venue Mapping Tool – which allows venues to easily add accessible seating.
Ultimately, accessibility is not just a trend for 2023, but something everyone in the ticketing industry should focus on and promote to create solutions that better serve patrons.”
Lyubomyr Nykyforuk, Softjourn’s head of the Solutions Architect Department
TTB: How is AI impacting the ticketing industry and how easy is AI to implement?
LN: “AI tools have been and will continue to be utilized to help ticket platforms understand and optimize the patron journey, predict and mitigate no-show trends, improve venue mapping, and provide patrons with better recommendations and forecasting.
Other popular ways AI is being used in this industry are dynamic pricing and upselling & cross-selling. Dynamic pricing allows venues and ticket sellers to match their prices to demand and other factors, such as presale, ongoing sales results, news about the artist, and search request trends. This can lead to more revenue for venues and potentially save money for fans.
Upselling and cross-selling use AI to analyze past events and consumer data to enhance future events and offers. Organizations can use this data to build nuanced customer profiles and match them with future events and other offers, leading to a more personalized experience for customers.
Implementing AI is a difficult feat and can be a complex undertaking for most companies. It requires not only skilled engineers but a deep knowledge of the tools and services available, as well as an understanding of the objectives of the business.
In my experience of helping clients integrate AI tools, I’ve found that the best solutions are found by gaining a deep understanding of the client’s current systems and determining what is their underlying goal for utilizing AI. If you’re interested in discovering more about how to best implement AI, Softjourn’s expert consultants are happy to provide a free consultation.
While the ticketing industry in general is not necessarily known for being early adopters of technology, I do predict that the ticketing companies who want to be competitive and emerge on top will try to take advantage of all that AI can provide.”
TTB: Do you think these trends will continue into 2024 and beyond?
LN: “The ticketing trends that will most likely continue into 2024 and beyond are digital ticketing – especially for reducing fraud – and the utilization of AI.
Additionally, upgrading applications will always be important since technology changes and can become obsolete at a startling pace. It will be essential for ticketing platforms to modernize consistently to stay compliant, up-to-date, and user-friendly to be secure and provide a great experience to patrons.
More trendy aspects of ticketing, such as Web3, NFTs, and VR-related events are a bit iffier when it comes to longevity.”
TTB: How important are analytics when it comes to making business decisions?
LN: “Analytics are key when it comes to making data-driven business decisions. This way, businesses can use past information to predict what may happen in the future, without relying too heavily on assumptions or being swayed by biases.
Data-driven decision-making can lead to overall greater transparency and accountability, continuous improvement, and innovation when making business decisions. However, analytics are only useful when the data is high quality, relevant, and interpreted correctly.
For example, at Softjourn, we analyze client feedback to understand how to maintain great relationships with our customers and we conduct deep research both externally and of our R&D analytics to discover the technologies, solutions, and services that will most benefit our clientele.”