December 29, 2006, 12:00 AM

Big Ticket Items

(Page 2 of 2)

Many industry observers see a wholesale move to online ticket selling as virtually inevitable. One contributing factor is the newfound ease, thanks to advances in e-commerce technology and services, with which venues themselves can launch e-commerce sites for the events they host.

Why wait outside?
“There soon will be more direct selling models created by venues and event organizers, whether it’s in music, performance, sports or other arenas,” says Okamura of J.C. Williams Group. “Rather than go through intermediaries or aggregators like Ticketmaster and incur a charge and possibly upset your customers along the way, why not do it yourself? Big names like Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe and Wrigley Field already have started doing just that. It sure beats sitting outside for hours on the first day Cubs tickets go on sale.”

The bottom line, he adds, is today there simply are fewer barriers preventing venues and event organizers-who issue tickets to the primary market in the first place-from having the same reach as the big, general ticket sellers.

In the end the event and movie tickets industry will get to the point where all tickets are sold online simply because it is just so easy, Forrester Research senior retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru chimes in. “The Internet decreases overhead and other costs-individuals can easily find and purchase tickets on their own online and then, in a growing number of cases, even print tickets with bar codes on their home printers. Paper tickets, as the airlines have proven, are an antiquated notion. And in the next 10 to 15 years we will see ticket sellers shunning that notion.”

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