Thanks to everybody who joined us at #TBF24. Here's to 2025!


#TBF24 Q&A: Venue content trends for 2024

With TheTicketingBusiness Forum 2024 coming later this month, we caught up with The Ticket Factory’s ticketing director Noel Edwards, who is also a council member for the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR).

Edwards returned to the NEC Group’s ticketing operation in 2019 some 15 years after beginning his working life answering phones at the then NEC Box Office. During the intervening years he held senior roles with Songkick, ticketing platform Crowdsurge and event travel and ticketing specialists Kaboodle.

The Ticket Factory is the ticketing platform that serves NEC Group venues including Resorts World Arena, the Utilita Arena Birmingham and the National Exhibition Centre. It is also the primary agent for Royal Horticultural Society and British Athletics.

Here, Edwards discusses a busy year ahead at the NEC’s venues and how trends such as the growth of eSports are impacting venues’ schedules…

Could you tell us about some of the content highlights at your venues in 2024?

Noel Edwards: “On the music side, the two sold out nights we have with Olivia Roderigo are both going to be special shows, similar to when we had Billie Eilish here a few years ago. There is an exceptional level of excitement from her fans to be able to see her perform. Then on the non-music side, we are hosting eSports with ESL One in April. The production levels that these events bring into the venue are jaw dropping, bringing the action happening on screen to life in an arena.

Does the programme represent any trends?

NE: “Trend-wise we are seeing a lot of new artists coming through to play arenas for the first time in the UK, mix of acts making it over from the US for the first time and new local artists. Which is great to see for the health of our industry.”

Ticketing and eCommerce-wise, what are you currently evaluating for future adoption?

NE: “We are going to be focusing on moving to digital first ticketing, making mobile tickets and a venue app a priority this coming year.”

What’s exciting in ticketing eCommerce right now?

NE: “The most exciting thing for me personally is watching how Live has bounced back since Covid and then kept that momentum through this economic downturn. In eCommerce I think it’s interesting to see how system suppliers are addressing the challenges brought from the reliance on Alphabet, Meta and companies of that ilk’s products and them making changes to their platforms.”

Explore the future of ticketing with Noel Edwards and hundreds of industry leaders at #TBF24 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, from April 16-17. BOOK TODAY