What if those awkward early audience concert departures could earn venues and event sponsors additional revenue?
That’s the aim of sports and event tech startup, FlipTix.
Conventional ticket companies operate under a resale model: they resell tickets prior to an event taking place.
But FlipTix operates under an entirely different model: they cancel original tickets when attendees depart early and sell brand new tickets in their place.
These new tickets, called Flips, can be offered as an entry for new attendees to experience the remainder of an event or as upgrades for attendees already in an event to access more premium seating or experiences.
“We are the only company in the world that gives fans the opportunity to enjoy just part of an event,” says CEO and co-founder Jaime Siegel.
“New attendees can Flip-in and pay a price reflective of the remaining time, or departing fans can ‘Flip-out’ to get something back if they leave the event early.”
The opportunities for fans that choose to Flip their tickets come in the form of rewards, which vary depending on the ticket.
Depending on the event, a fan that ‘Flips-out’ can receive a substantial part of the Flip price.
Departing fans may also receive other types of rewards, such as loyalty points and sponsor merchandise.
For event promoters, the opportunity lies in increased revenue.
A newly-priced Flip can often be the turning point to convert an interested customer into a finished sale.
Promoters receive a portion of the Flip revenue, as well as all of the ancillary sales of food, beverage and merchandise inside the event.
But perhaps even more valuable than these is the value of the fan data.
When a new attendee purchases a Flip, event promoters identify fans outside of their direct channels and learn about their willingness to pay for an event.
Combining this information with customer personal data gives promoters the ability to personalise their advertising offers for later events and develop a relationship with their customers.
A key feature of each Flip is that the ticket issued is entirely new – an important distinction for events that issue non-transferable tickets.
Music festivals are some of the most common issuers of non-transferable wristbands, which become void when tampered with or removed.
Unlike resellers, FlipTix partners directly with event sponsors and promoters to navigate festival rules, giving it an authority and advantage over those secondary market distributors.
In total, FlipTix has partnered in over 90 events with some of the biggest promoters in North America, including Live Nation, AEG Presents, and Danny Wimmer Presents.
At BUKU, the company saw an average time of sale (from the moment the ticket goes live to the moment of sale) of under two seconds for the entire course of the 2-day festival, and brought in 20% new customers versus the total attendance.
And by the second evening of KAABOO, the company offered VIP tickets for $200, nearly a 50% reduction from the retail price.
Lower prices like these can go a long way for fans who can’t afford the high sticker price of a festival, which has only increased in recent years.
Music festival tickets are expensive from the get-go, and can get even more expensive through resale.
First-weekend 2019 Coachella tickets in the US retailed for $429 (General Admission) and $999 (VIP), but sold on the secondary market for $680 and $1,356, respectively.
But with the opportunity to Flip tickets at a lower price than retail, those soaring costs can suddenly become manageable.
“We find that fans are really excited,” says Siegel.
“As people get to know FlipTix, it’s a wonderful surprise for fans departing early to find out that they could actually, legally, get money back for Flipping their tickets.”