What to do with your tickets & hospitality in uncertain times

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those around the globe struggling against a dangerous pandemic. Please be safe. Your safety is more important than business.

With so much uncertainty, we have been working with our community of partners, teams and customers to implement best practices for tickets and hospitality learned over the past twelve years and forged from inception in the 2008 financial crisis. The work you have done as a community has prepared your ticket and hospitality program for these volatile times so you can focus on more important needs in your business.

We have planned and built your tech for mass cancellations, postponements and uncertainty and are here to help you use those tools. As we work together over the next few months, we wanted to share 3 things you can expect in the coming weeks and 8 best practice do’s and do not’s during uncertain times.

Three things to expect

1. Cuts

As in 2008, the initial reaction from many executives will be to start cutting programs and resources. Your ticket and hospitality assets are likely high on the list. Even if the shock to the economic system is short-lived, there will be conversations about tickets and hospitality going forward.

2. Uncertainty

No roadmap exists for the coming weeks and months. Games and events will come online once again, likely with short time frames, making it difficult for any businesses to keep up if not fully prepared.

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3. Publicity Crises

Tickets and live events are seen as a boondoggle or corporate greed to many who do not understand their impact (We saw this sentiment show already on March 11th from a prominent sports media member).Companies will need to carefully craft their approach to reintroduction over the coming quarters as they are held to a different standard.

What can you do? First and foremost, please call us if you have any uncertainty. Our team is available and working overtime with hundreds of major companies, teams and leagues.

There are 8 do’s and do nots with your tickets and hospitality in uncertain times:

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1. Do – Stay flexible

Plans change quickly. Your system easily handles cancellations, postponements, bulk denials, automatic schedule updates, mass communications and reporting. These tools can make changes of plans simple across millions of data points. If you need help, please contact us.

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2. Do Not – React short-term

After the financial crisis of 2008, many companies made short-term cost cutting decisions that they later regretted. The most common phrase from the successful businesses we worked with in 2008/09 was “use a scalpel, not an ax.” Pull empirical data and best practice key performance indicators to make decisions.

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3. Do – Have numbers at the ready

Proactively have reports ready highlighting what you’ve been doing so effectively. These are the times people start looking to make cuts, and they usually cut what they can’t see. Use tangible numbers. We are happy to share best practice numbers on use, waste, re-sale and the like from the over 30 million tickets we manage annually.

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4. Do Not – “Wing it”

Giving out tickets without controls when events come back online will create serious risk for your firm. Please do not sell tickets on your own either as those actions lead to big compliance and tax repercussions.

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5. Do – Prepare for volume

Timelines will be short once games come back online. Events will overlap with so many sports going at once, which is difficult for businesses. The average business request for a ticket is made 31 days prior to an event, and it is unlikely we will have that kind of time.

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6. Do Not – Fire sale tickets

Nobody knows how the coming months play out. Keep your flexibility and your compliance in place. The top goal is always to get the right customers to the right events. Keep all sales in one system to limit fraud risk.

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7. Do – Sell smart

With short timelines, tickets will go unused. If we run out of time, tickets can be sold instantly to pare any losses and recoup costs in a compliant way which can be shared with your team partners.

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8. Do – Lean on your community

We have received hundreds of calls with the most common question being “what are other companies doing.” We’re happy to share best practices along with feedback from lawyers, accountants, auditors and teams during uncertain times and to make introductions.

Thank you so very much for being a part of our community and please stay safe.

– Team TicketManager