Established in 1995, Tickets.com is a leading provider of fully integrated event ticketing solutions and services for hundreds of top arts, entertainment, and sports organizations worldwide. Delivering the latest in ticketing technology, Tickets.com offers the advanced ProVenue® ticketing platform, which serves the core of a comprehensive suite of integrated features, products, and services that help clients enhance ticket sales, marketing efforts, and overall customer experience. Tickets.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media, LP, is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, and has regional offices across the U.S. and internationally in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Australia
Advanced technologies like contactless payments have helped to transform the traditional idea of the 'wallet,' and evolved the ways consumers use their mobile devices. With the expansion of the capabilities and offerings of the Apple Wallet, it was only a matter of time before these advances in technology began to infiltrate other services outside of payments.
With a long-standing partnership with Apple, Tickets.com has consistently demonstrated the capability to be a successful early adopter of technologies to improve patron experiences. In iOS 11, Apple introduced Near-field communication (NFC) contactless ticketing in Apple Wallet for the first time, allowing technology companies such as Tickets.com to provide faster and easier access to venues on their iPhones or Apple Watch.
Derek Argobright, Chief Technology Officer at Tickets.com, saw the potential that NFC could provide for the ticketing industry, and set out to build an industry-first technology as part of a patron-facing pilot program before the Major League Baseball season ended in September 2017.
While Tickets.com had expertise creating Apple passes, they needed a partner with expertise in facilitating a hardware solution capable of NFC, that could easily integrate with their own technologies, and provide a quick and seamless experience for its users.
The interesting part of this project is that Tickets.com was challenging themselves to build something that had never been done before in the live event space. Because of this, they needed to find a partner that was creative, collaborative, and innovative enough to bring a new solution to market.
During their search for a partner, it became apparent that Tickets.com needed a company that had expertise in both hardware and software that they could leverage. Although they work with a number of different vendors and partners in the access control space, they had known about Infinite Peripherals (IPC) for some time, and heard positive things about the work they were doing with other customers and partners. Given their knowledge in the NFC space, their professionalism, their sleek modern design, mobile solutions, and their willingness to collaborate on both the hardware and software sides of the equation, they quickly became the top choice.
Working together, the two companies immediately began collaborating on which software and hardware from Infinite Peripherals' offerings would be the best for the ticketing pilot. Given Tickets.com's need for an NFC-supported device, IPC recommended that they utilize a mobile point of sale (mPOS) hardware device, which would provide the opportunity to build in secure ticket sales in addition to the access control and NFC capabilities already there.
Working together, Infinite Peripherals and Tickets.com were able to meet the stringent deadlines of launching the pilot with Apple and Major League Baseball, at the Oakland Athletics stadium in Fall 2017.
After launching the pilot, reaction from employees utilizing the new technology has been extremely positive. One employee shared their experience saying,
"I really enjoyed the speed of the scanner, it was much faster and very easy on my hand." "…like the green and red screens!"
Similarly, attendees have also voiced their positive feedback on the new technology, specifically citing how easy it was to enter a venue using their personal device.
With the success of this first test pilot, Tickets.com plans to work with its long roster of venue partners to deliver this technology at scale, beginning in 2018. The first full venue implementation was recently rolled out to Society of Performing Arts in Houston with great success.
With a long-standing goal of having their own native access control solution that they could provide to clients both large and small, Tickets.com is now able to provide this to additional venue partners of any size. Working together, IPC and Tickets.com have created a solution that has propelled both companies toward the cutting edge of innovation, and has the potential to change the ticketing business forever.
"Tickets.com remains focused on technological innovation for our partners' customers. This solution has evolved digital ticketing and Access Control to new levels, making it frictionless, fun, engaging, and flawless." - Joe Choti, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tickets.com
"With our new access control solution, no barcodes are needed. Patrons approach the venue entryway and authenticate from their personal device. It instantly reads the NFC enabled pass and provides verified access for entry, making the process seamless and easy for both the patron and venue personnel." - Derek Argobright, Chief Technology Officer of Tickets.com