Embracing digital technology with TicketCo
By Colin Ive, Founder of Gig on the Green and Chairman of Yateley United Football Club
Popular community festival Gig on the Green started in 2010 as a fundraiser for its local football club Yateley United in Hampshire. The event flourished and immediately became an annual fixture, in June it attracted a record 5,000 revellers and this year it will celebrate its tenth anniversary. It partnered with TicketCo in 2019 and here Colin reflects on the overall progress.
TicketCo are a Godsend
Gig on the Green is a family festival and all profits are used for the community. People come and enjoy live tribute acts including the Ed Sheeran Experience, Miss Kyle and Wild Boys, in a safe environment for children. The event is all about the community and you can really feel the community spirit at the festival. It has developed organically since 2010 and the crowds have grown steadily year on year. Last year we sold out for the first time and 5,000 people enjoyed the wonderful sunshine, music, food and drink. It was a fantastic festival and having TicketCo on board was a Godsend.
Paper tickets were a millstone
Before partnering with TicketCo we sold physical tickets and it was a very labour-intensive process to manage. One of our volunteers packaged and distributed all the tickets as the sales orders came in. It was a mammoth task and as we became more popular and sold more tickets the pressure and stress increased. Processing the tickets became a millstone, there were so many tickets to deal with and follow up inquiries from people who had lost their paper tickets. So, we decided to go digital and have not looked back.
Digital Transformation has removed stress
I can’t praise the TicketCo system, or the team enough. The platform is so easy to use and flows. People are used to purchasing tickets online now and our customers embraced the system. The feedback we have received has been very positive. We’re delighted, as not only have we provided a better service for our customers we have also made life easier for our volunteers. The team are no longer stressed about ticketing which is wonderful and now have a lot of more time available which can be used elsewhere.
Our Customer Success Manager from TicketCo joined us onsite for the festival to make sure there weren’t any issues. There weren’t and the whole process just flowed, but it was reassuring to know we had support especially as we had a record crowd. More than 5,000 people attended and because it was 32C degrees a lot of people arrived early. This was a big increase on previous years where we sold between 2,000 and 4,000 tickets. At first the queues were huge, but with the TicketCo system the queues kept moving all the time and before long everyone had entered. The scanning system was swift. The system has also hugely cut down the amount of cash we have to handle, which has also saved us a lot of time.
TicketCo working in Partnership
What stood out for us when we went to market for a digital ticketing supplier was that TicketCo were responsive, positive and had a ‘can do’ attitude. One of the issues we had with some other suppliers was they wanted to hold onto the ticketing revenue until after the event, which did not work for us as we have suppliers to pay deposits to in advance of the festival. TicketCo paid us regularly, which helps with cash-flow. We went to see the system in practice at Eastleigh Football Club who use TicketCo before signing to help us understand it better. It was useful to see it live and we were impressed with how it helped process crowds on the day and we were sold.
Gig on the Green has grown organically and every year we have experienced an increase in attendance. Thankfully we partnered with TicketCo ahead of our record crowd in June and the system really helped us make sure we could manage the demand. We are now working closely with TicketCo to prepare for our tenth anniversary this year, which will be even bigger and better. We are also looking at developing another festival due to the response we have had to Gig on the Green and the platform we now have with TicketCo. Thanks to the TicketCo platform we can be more ambitious because we know the system can handle volume without impacting on our time. It’s great because TicketCo has opened more opportunity for us.
We started Gig on the Green to help fund our community football club. Back then we had two adult teams and a few junior teams. Now we have 20 youth teams, five adult teams, a walking football group, an inclusive football team and better facilities. The on-going success of the festival has enabled us to really make a difference in our community. This has culminated in securing planning permission to build a first class community sports and wellness centre. It has taken ten years of hard work by our great team of volunteers and some generous grants. But the work is not over and with TicketCo on-board we are looking ahead with even more optimism.