Crisis, Assumptions and the Effect on the Future of Ticketing: Part 2

Part 2: Did Anyone Actually Ask? What the Ticketing Industry has Missed on Millenials

If we have heard it once, we have heard it a million times. Subscription-based tickets and shared social spaces are what millennials covet. Marketing plans, construction, pricing, and other efforts are reinforcing our shift as ticket sellers.

Only one slight problem. Has anyone actually asked the customers if this is preferred? What research and data actually points us to make these decisions? I have written at length about my disdain for conversion of suites to smaller boxes. While smaller all-inclusive boxes are easier to sell by being cheaper and including more, they are the result of years of turning B2B into a B2C transaction through poor business modeling. This now cuts into valuable non-revenue shared income.

I fear we are heading down the same path with our Millennial ticket strategy because, as it turns out there is plenty of research on the subject of Millennials and events. While it is clear this generation values experiences over material items, it’s not as cut and dry as to what to type. Even more so the additional data collected shows an entirely different mindset.

The good news, as points out, is Millennials are a part of the experience economy. For ticket sellers there is a natural fit as everything we do is obviously an experience. Furthermore, Millennials value experiences to a pretty substantial financial gain as noted in the article: “the US has witnessed a tectonic shift in spending with 4x more spending devoted to experiences rather than physical goods”. The good news continues as the article points to a focus on sharing these experiences digitally giving rights holders a behemoth of free brand exposure.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of negatives with this approach as well. Mostly, that beyond events being an experience, there is no other correlation. The Inc article points to FOMO as a major contributing factor in purchasing decisions. Simply going to a game or an event does not qualify, according to Millennials focus decision making based on other FOMO-type factors: “Decisions, whether conscious or subconscious, are often motivated by social pressure, exclusivity, and limited-time opportunities. Brands that are building experiences that are “FOMO-worthy” are cashing in as their customers share experiences with all their followers”.

Having too many tickets available, a social area, no exclusivity or reason for social pressure voids the main reasons for Millennials attending certain events. And it does not end there as one data point stands out more than others. Eventbrite did an in-depth study on Millennial spending habits on events and came away with some very surprising notes:

  • Fifty-three percent of Millennials are parents.
  • Two-thirds of Millennial parents are attending more daytime and family suitable events than 5 years ago.

We are creating areas designed for college-aged or young professional shared experiences. Next, we are focusing on ancillary sales such as alcohol and charging a higher rate for individual tickets. Finally, we wrap it up by selling flexible, last minute ticket products when over half of our target market does not fit the mold.

In targeting this 53% we should be creating fan-friendly pricing, allowing for time to plan, and creating unique experiences for the families to enjoy. The data interestingly also points out that while the event choices have changed the event passion still exists in a similar fashion. According to Eventbrite: “85% of Millennial parents that confess they enjoy seeing other people’s unique and unusual live experiences on social media”.

The problem with data is it can easily be manipulated to fit a narrative. A bigger problem can be not utilizing the data to begin with. With Millennials, we are seeing a generation that is open to providing answers. We just have to listen.

Read Part 1 Here: Crisis in Ticket Sales

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