We are thrilled to be hosting our Hot Tickets Programme once more for 2017, inviting leading organisations to the Forum who are looking to evaluate upgrades to their ticketing, CRM, membership or digital marketing platforms in the next 18 months and will be ‘shopping around’ on site
Ahead of the Forum, we wanted to get to know our Hotties a little better. Last week we caught up with Harpa Confernce Hall, next up on our Meet the Hotties Q&A series is B.V. Vitesse, represented by Coordinator of Ticketing Operations – Michael Hulman.
It’s great to have B.V. Vitesse on board – how did you learn about the Forum and what made you decide to attend this year?
Even though we have not attended before, Ticketing Technology Forum was a familiar name for me. Until 2016 Dutch football clubs were forced to use the ticketing system which was required by the Dutch FA. Nowadays we are free to choose our own ticketing systems. That means that we as an organisation now want to gain a total and actual overview of all possibilities regarding ticketing systems and new trends.
Can you tell us about BV Vitesse and your current role there?
Vitesse is a Dutch Eredivisie Club. Our aim is to challenge the traditional top 3 clubs (Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV). As Coordinator of Ticketing Operations I am responsible for all internal and external ticketing processes. In Ticketing Operations we are responsible for the configuration of the regular sales, but also the special campaigns. We facilitate our customer services and our ticket sales department to do their job as successfully as possible. Furthermore, I continuously analyse our sales and data figures.
How many tickets does your organisation sell annually?
The number of tickets we sell strongly depends on our sportive results. Good results in (European) cup matches means that we play more matches and, logically, sell more tickets. For the regular league we sell around 110,000 match tickets every season, not including our season tickets.
How are your ticket sales transacted (% online – mobile/web site vs box office/post) ?
In the last year we have seen an explosive growth in online sales. This season 79% of our regular sales happened online. To give an idea of growth, two years ago this number around 40%. Around 12% of our tickets are still sold at our match day box offices.
What are the biggest challenges you face surrounding season ticket sales?
Over the last several years, we’ve seen a decrease in our season ticket numbers. This is a trend being see seen league-wide, but also, for example, in theatres. Our biggest challenge is to close the gap between a season ticket and just a single match day ticket without affecting our current season ticket sales.
What projects have you initiated (or want to implement) to drive more data and build better profiles of your fanbase?
We have used every possible avenue in the last few years to reach potential new fans, but also to enrich our existing database. Based on that we have created several fan profiles. Our biggest aim now is to capitalise this data into more ticket sales.
What’s been your most successful fan engagement exercise which delivered increases in ticket sales?
We try to find touch points in the daily life of our fans. For example, we started a joint promotion with a supermarket. During the campaign all these supermarkets were Vitesse branded. When their customers spent a certain amount on purchases, they received an offer for a second match ticket for free. With this, we we were able to reach a huge amount of fans in a short time.
Why has dynamic (demand-based) pricing not been more widely adopted in sports?
Fans are far more emotionally connected to a club than a regular customer is to a regular product. Because of that they are aware of what a regular ticket costs. This makes it more difficult for a football club to have a dynamic pricing strategy than for, say, a hotel or airline company.
What are the aspects of ticketing which fans most dislike/want to improve (fees, delivery, customer service?)
Fans always want the best customer service. You have to give them the idea that you have an individual relationship with them.
Could you tell us about the upgrades you are currently evaluating, what are you looking for in a new system?
We are primarily looking for add-ons and new technologies to integrate with our existing ticketing system to expand our sales opportunities and sales channels.
What are your main objectives for on site in Dublin? Who are you most looking forward to meeting/hearing from at the Forum?
The main objective for us is to get a wider and total insight of all the possibilities in ticketing systems. As I said before, it is new for us, but also for the Dutch market, to choose our own systems.
What kind of Ticketing Solution/CRM are you looking to find more information about?
Our focus will be on ticketing solutions. Especially for the online and mobile environment.
Meet Michael and all our other Hotties (alongside 450+ ticketing leaders) on site in Dublin. Only 7 weeks to go! Register here.
What are people saying?
The best networking place I've been to. I was able to get very high level leads and meet relevant partners. You did a great great job to gather such high level and exhaustive people!
Chloé Julien Founder & CEO, BandSquare, France
CIOs, CTO,s Chief Execs... all those people turn up at this event. it’s a fantastic opportunity to engage with them
Rick Jurkiewicz Head of Ticketing, The Rugby Football League, UK
This is the focal point of the ticketing industry in Europe, where the decision-makers meet and exchange ideas
Niels Henrik Sodemann Managing Partner/CEO, Queue-it, Denmark
At the Forum we made concrete progress with regards to selecting a new ticketing provider. I would be happy to recommend the Forum to other venues in the future.
Martin O'Donoghue Business Development Manager, Cork Opera House, Ireland
If you’re curious about the future, if you want to see how things are developing, if you wanna get to know your peers... you need to be at the Forum.
James Charrington CEO, Dewynters, UK
For me the most important thing was to meet with all the different companies in ticketing and I’ve managed that, and I left with many business cards!