Can ticketing be made fair for limited access pilot events?

Several pilot events in the UK are being made open to very limited numbers. How can online ticket sales for these reduced capacity events be kept fair?

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2020 was a year of cancelled events and closed attractions. Festival and concert organizers were forced to defer their gigs to 2021 or later, disappointing fans and cutting into ticket sales and profits.

Theme parks were also forced to close their gates due to Covid-19, and while governments allowed limited sporting events to continue, these were without the usual crowds of supporters.

The road to recovery: Pilot events

As Covid-19 tests are more readily available and vaccination programs gain pace, several pilot events are taking place in the UK for the summer of 2021.

These events are undertaken with reduced audiences, all of whom must test negative for Covid-19 before entering the venue, then take another test after the event.

The results have been encouraging so far. Nightclub parties and a business conference in Liverpool attended by over 13,000 people in total during April and May did not lead to a detectable spread of Covid-19, according to officials.

Further events are now planned, including a pilot of Download music festival (limited to 10,000 tickets), an England cricket Test match open to 18,000 fans, and the Royal Ascot horseracing event set to host 12,000 spectators in June.

Wembley is also expected to be welcoming 20,000 football fans for England’s first two group games in Euro 2020.

High demand but limited supply of tickets

Many of these occasions are popular in a normal year, so limiting the number of tickets available for these pilot events will only increase the gap between supply and demand.

With all eyes on these gatherings as we hope to see restrictions ease further, there is no room for error in their planning and execution. With pressure already heavy on the organizers, the last thing anyone needs is website problems when tickets are released for sale. Ticket drops must go right first time.

Yet the huge demand and low supply for places at pilot events creates spikes in web traffic that can cause errors if not properly planned for.

Ticket allocations must be fair and transparent, as well as keeping scalpers at bay. Although ticket scalping is now illegal, the limitations on attendance will make these items even more sought after and worth the risk for sophisticated scalpers.

Assuming these pilot events go as planned and Covid-19 rates continue to drop, we can expect venues to open back up to more fans later in the year. Ticket and venue sites will then face the challenge of ramping up their infrastructure to once again cope with a full calendar of events to sell out.

How to ensure a fair, hassle-free ticket sale event

Fans are guaranteed a fair place in line for tickets when vendor websites utilise a modern virtual waiting room system like TrafficDefender.

By integrating with TrafficDefender, ticket sellers can place customers into a fair, first-in, first-out queue as they enter the website. There is no skipping ahead, and once in, customers have time to make their desired bookings with no slowdowns or interruptions.

Make sure your website is as prepared as you welcome customers back this summer. Talk to us about a free demo of TrafficDefender on your site today.

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