Ahead of TheTicketingBusiness Forum, we’re highlighting some of the VIP guests that will be joining us in Manchester for #TBF22. Not only is this week’s interviewee an attendee, but he is also speaking at the event. Shah-Zeib Ahmed is the head of ticketing for the Rugby League World Cup 2021, which is set to take place in October and November this year after its original postponement.
Ahmed has been with the Rugby League World Cup team for over two years, and has undertaken a couple of roles including ticketing operations lead and match day observer – ticketing operations for the Betfred Super League Grand Final 2021, which he did alongside his current role as head of ticketing.
He also has previous experience with world football governing body FIFA, working in ticketing across FIFA events such the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 and FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.
TheTicketingBusiness: What’s exciting in ticketing and technology?
Shah-Zeib Ahmed: “The overall landscape has seen numerous changes since I joined the industry, not to forget a global pandemic which put the wider industry out of action. But, now that we’re back, the world of ticketing is a changed place with ticket insurances, refund guarantees, change in purchase behaviour, late buys and proactive spectator communications – all this and more. That is exciting!”
TTB: What’s on the roadmap for the next 6-12 months?
SZA: “The biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup will take place across England from 15 October to 19 November 2022, and we will make history for running the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events simultaneously for the first time ever.
“Last year, the decision was made to postpone the tournament as a result of the pandemic, which was a challenging time for everyone involved, however the countdown is very much back on, and the 7 July will see us celebrate 100 days to go until the Rugby League World Cup 2021 officially starts.
“Over the next 100 days, my teammates will be busy raising awareness of the event and promoting ticket sales through an integrated PR, marketing and communications strategy, while the operations function are preparing to deliver 61 games across 21 venues. We will also use this fantastic platform to run an intensive social impact programme which will provide a real impact to rugby league communities.”
TTB: What are you looking forward to most about the Forum?
SZA: “I am really looking forward to meeting old friends, connecting with new colleagues/organisations, sharing stories and having a great time at the #TBF22.”