UK embracing technology revolution
TicketCo is making great progress since entering the UK market. Our cutting-edge cashless payment technology and the people behind it continue to disrupt the market. It has been two years since TicketCo entered the UK, so we caught up with our UK Country Manager David Kenny to discover how people are taking to TicketCo.
Easy Payments Gaining Traction
TicketCo have partnered with some great sports clubs, activity venues and festivals in the UK and are helping them develop commercially. We asked David what the key to building the client base has been.
“The simplicity of the product has been a major factor,” said David. “People like the fact the platform is easy to use both for organisers and customers. They also like the functionality of the platform and the various options to develop and use it as one central hub for all commercial transactions.”
“Not burdening our clients with any set up costs has also appealed. It has enabled, for example, football clubs in the National League to have the sort of digital set up a Premier League Club would be proud of. Our approach has helped clubs like Solihull Moors FC and Eastleigh FC introduce a full digital ticketing and e-commerce solution and take control of their payments and marketing. Previously they weren’t selling tickets online and had the hassle of having to deal with cash every week.”
As newcomers to the UK market TicketCo has had to embark on a brand awareness programme to spread the message to key audiences. This has been a major part of our journey.
“We’ve introduced a new product to the UK market,” said David who was previously Events Director at Freemans Event Partners. “This has meant educating people and encouraging people to think differently and to be bold. We are offering a futuristic product today. It takes time to develop a market share, but we’ve been successful in booking meetings and growing.”
David said building awareness of the TicketCo product, and its clean functionality has involved various methods.
“Initially I used my network to make a head-start,” he said. “That has been highly effective and my background and experience in the events industry has been beneficial. Additionally, we have formed some valuable partnerships, with influential people that believe in our product and us as a group of people.”
“This has created a group of people who help spread the message and who also make referrals. Communication has also been important, and we have worked closely with the team at Fortitude Communications who have helped build our brand profile and reputation in the UK.”
David said creating a network of high-quality people, who are credible in the industry, has been a key factor to supporting growth. “Our team is really strong and work well together, each time we have recruited we have added a new skillset and area of expertise to the business,” he said. “This means we are well connected and well educated in our core target markets. TicketCo places a massive emphasis on relationships and it makes such a difference.”
As part of the business development and education activity in the UK, the management team took a group of senior people from various UK football clubs to Bergen for a TicketCo Football Industry Conference weekend earlier this year. The trip included watching SK Brann play and enjoying the atmosphere of the Norway National Day.
David explained: “We took around a dozen football clubs to the home TicketCo for the weekend to really engage with them. It enabled us to show them the culture of the company, where it is from and the spirit and personality of the business. We also had the opportunity to showcase our technology in action at SK Brann, who are one of the biggest clubs in Norway and have a 16,000 capacity stadium. Our guests really enjoyed the weekend, and not only did we secure some new clients we also formed some new friendships and engaged with some key people in the UK football industry. We are now planning to make this an annual event.”
Building a team and a business is a big challenge, even with an established brand and back office support. We asked David what the main challenges have been that TicketCo UK have overcome.
“The UK is incredibly competitive, and we are up against some major and well-established pioneers of the industry who have big customer bases,” said David. “Therefore, our focus has been on our own USPs and why we’re different. Some of the big players focus on selling their databases, but we work in a different way. We help people grow their databases and focus on the end-user and the customer journey. If our client’s customers are happy then our clients will be happy.”
He continued: “TicketCo is a new approach and we’re giving event organisers the tools they need to be in control. Our first challenges have been building credibility, a team and a client base. We have done that and are super excited about the future, we have a real platform to grow.”
An on-going challenge for a disruptor is appetite for change. But it is one we relish at TicketCo.
“The UK football industry is embracing change as senior decision makers at clubs understand the power of digital technology, marketing and the importance of the fan experience,” said David. “Clubs are starting to make the transition to cashless, at Spurs new stadium for example, the club super-store is completely cashless. With our client Wycombe Wanderers, we are helping the club work towards a complete cashless stadium solution. Comparatively the festival industry overall has been front runners of cashless, and while the UK have played catch-up it is now using legacy cashless solutions. The UK festival industry needs to be brave enough to embrace the next step of using a phone-first approach which is more sustainable.”
TicketCo has partnered with some great clients in the UK across the activity events, football, rugby, ice hockey, and events sectors. Clients include Junkyard Golf, Kilmarnock Football Club, Wycombe Wanderers, Macclesfield Town, the International Tattoo Convention and Bedford Blues. We have also formed partnerships with venues and events including Tobacco Dock, the Coalition Agency, i-Zettle and Peppermint Events.
We asked David what have been the biggest success stories in the UK.
“Every client has experienced improvements since partnering with TicketCo,” said David. “Many of the results have been mind-blowing and it’s been a truly rewarding experience for the team to help our clients grow. The key to success has been spending time with our clients, understanding them and what they want to achieve. It is no coincidence that every football club we have partnered with, for example, have experienced significant uplifts. At Wycombe Wanderers 70% of all tickets are now sold online, they’ve told us this is a 650% increase. It has transformed how the operate and the fan experience.
“With Junkyard Golf we developed our technology and created new bespoke functionality for them to take time slot bookings from their customers. This flexible approach has helped Junkyard Golf improve its booking and payment system and grow its business.”
Our client success has resulted in clients referring TicketCo to others.
“Perhaps the most powerful message has been from the early adopters of TicketCo in the UK,” said David. “Many of our clients have referred us to people they know in their industries and really helped us grow. I don’t think you can get a more compelling recommendation than from an existing customer and it shows our platform and our relationship approach is working.
“Our main message is we’re here to help.”