Events and News

Can Mobile Ticketing Save Lives?

While mobile ticketing is certainly a cost-saving convenience, you may not realize that it has the potential to save lives as well.  The story of two women who were trampled at a Beyonce concert in Chicago provides a great example of how this works.  The concert the women attended was a general admission concert, which is typically a much riskier type of event from an injury standpoint.  When a very popular act has general admission seating, the concert organizer must provide adequate security and administrative personnel to help guide concert-goers safely and efficiently to the seating area.  If this is not done correctly, fans often try to rush into the venue to get good seats.  People are careless when they hurry, and if someone gets knocked down it many times creates a sort of domino effect where others trip over the downed attendee, then others who are being pushed by the crowd have no choice but to step on bodies or fall themselves.  This is often seen at European soccer matches as well.

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How does mobile ticketing help?  There are some obvious ways it can help, and some more subtle.  Mobile ticketing can be very efficient for ticket takers to process, and the lack of a piece of paper changing hands or being scanned leads to less litter and a shorter transaction time.  Since mobile ticketing can involve NFC or RFID ticket readers as well, separate entrance lanes can be opened up for participants with properly equipped devices that will allow a non-directional, contactless confirmation of tickets, which means they can keep moving through the line without stopping to hand a ticket to an usher.  NFC technology also allows security personnel to get a count of how many people are in a given part of the venue, enabling them to shunt people towards less crowded areas.  A less obvious effect is that people will be more careful when they have their phone in hand.  Most smartphones are a big investment, and no one wants to drop their $500 iPhone, so they slow down and walk more carefully while holding it.  And the overall ease of use and cost savings of mobile ticketing encourages concert promoters to use non-general admission seating, so there is less of a rush for fans to get in the door to see their favorite act.  

These unfortunate women are too late to be saved by convenient, affordable mobile ticket technology, but they are likely to recover some compensation from their personal injury lawsuit if the venue and promoter are found to have been negligent.  If you are holding a concert this summer, general admission or otherwise, consider using mobile ticketing to reduce your liability for these types of accidents.

QR Ticketing on the Rise

You may think that no one uses QR codes, and for many applications you would be correct.  Consumer adoption of QR codes in advertisements and on social media has never taken off, for many of the same reasons the CueCat never gained widespread usage.  While scanning a QR code with one's smartphone is still a lot easier than taking a magazine or other printed material to a computer and scanning it with a weird-looking accessory, it still requires a user to get the phone out, load the QR app, and scan, in many cases just to get to a URL printed on the same page.  Most advertisers would be better off using a short, memorable URL instead of requiring a reader to try to scan QR.

However, QR codes are taking off in the field of mobile ticketing.  They offer many advantages over the traditional bar coded tickets, in that a QR code can contain much more information in the same amount of space, can be read in different directions (reducing alignment confusion), and are more difficult to forge.  QR codes are easier to read off of a mobile device screen as well, which makes them an enabling innovation for mobile ticketing.  

Although the ticketing startup Mogotix seems to have gone the way of the dodo (no new tweets in 2 years, website is completely gone), many traditional ticketing companies have gotten into mobile QR ticketing in a big way.  The next time you attend a ticketed event, you may well be able to leave the paper tickets at home and just scan your phone for entry.  This innovation saves trees, time, and aggravation for everyone!