Insider: An Independent View on Running Events

We've been speaking to Andy Dodd from Flipside Cocktail Club on Whiteladies Road about his experience running events. 

Why do you run events?
We run tasting events and experiences to fill empty spaces and fill quiet times at our bar. It's fresh revenue and it brings new people through the door when we're quiet. Events are the perfect platform to show we're passionate and knowledgeable about what we do. They can reach a different audience compared to our bar customers. Also, customers from outside of the city are looking for something different to do when they visit Bristol.

A great event experience can deliver positive reviews on Google and Facebook and it's important to increase these to build our online reputation, especially Google reviews. We ask our event customers to leave reviews and give them incentives to do so. Sometimes we get sponsorship from brands and when they see positive feedback it makes it easier for them to support our future requests for support. 

What is the most effective way to promote events?
For us it's Facebook. We have a genuine amount of Likes on our page and we run targeted Facebook ads to 10,000 local people in our target demographic. If we work in partnership with sites like 365Bristol, we'll get twice as many people interacting with our posts. Changing our ad messaging is important instead of pushing the same message, so develop a campaign using different images and text for event ads. Use multiple images, budget as low as £2 a day per ad and see which ones are most effective. 

What advice can you give to other independent business owners?
Have a good idea and do something different that you're passionate about and can really get behind. Don't just do something because someone else is doing it. Get support out of brands, join the Barbie group for networking with other Bristol based independent businesses and see if you can collaborate with other independents in the city. 

We're inviting event organisers, promoters, venues and independents to sell tickets on Tikk - a new app offering simple, secure ticketing. If you currently run events, or plan to in the future, sign-up for exclusive early access.

Friend or Fraud?

While the event industry and government focus on touting, an issue often overlooked is the increasing problem of ticket fraud. This can be in many forms - ticket duplication, false tickets or just taking money from people without fulfilling a ticket. Reports suggest ticket fraud is increasing. It's a double edged problem - tickets are particularly vulnerable to fraud and fans can be desperate to buy tickets to sold out events. Physical tickets, print at home tickets and e-tickets are all easily abused.

Social media has been cited as a reason for an increasing amount of ticket fraud taking place online. From our research, we see secondary activity on Facebook event pages and many people trying to buy and sell when an event or gig has sold out. This event page discussion for The xx in Cardiff is a prime example. While many are recommending exchanging tickets for cash in person, there are a handful of posts asking for payment online.

The story of 375 fake Bestival tickets being sold is one serious example. The unlucky ticket buyers turned up to the event and were denied entry. Figures released in 2016 from London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online showed a 55% rise in ticket fraud during 2015, costing consumers £5.2m and increasing from £3.35m in 2014.

So what can be done? The current method of ticketing is open to abuse. It's purpose, as a license to gain entry to an event, is open to attack. We're researching innovations that enhance security for both events and their customers. Can anything ever be totally secure?

 

We're inviting event organisers, promoters, venues and independents to sell tickets on Tikk - a new ticketing platform aiming to put a stop to fraud. If you currently run events, or plan to in the future, sign-up for exclusive early access.

 

Down with the Bots

The ongoing noise surrounding touting got ramped up a level this month with widespread coverage about the Ed Sheeran charity tickets going on secondary websites. TV shows like Sunday Brunch and The One Show reported it, Theresa May got questioned about it and the Chancellor mentioned something about it. 

Out of the big sites, Viagogo still chose to list tickets for sale from touts even though they would be invalid on the door. Is knowingly selling a ticket that won't get you in illegal? Maybe one of Viagogo's fraud studies can tell us.

Then there was an announcement regarding the use of bots having 'unlimited fines' for touts who use the software to buy tickets. While this is a positive step towards tout free ticketing, it is still wide open to touting and fraud.

Here are some news stores we've been looking at.

A Guardian story about "Trusted Sellers" that were actually convicted fraudsters, shining a light on Ticketmaster's zero tolerance policy towards ticket fraud.

From Music Tank, more about those so-called trusted sellers and the tale of two U2 tickets being listed on secondary websites.

Ticketmaster's cunning plan to stop touting of Hamilton tickets appears to fail as tickets appear on Viagogo immediately after they are released.

Iron Maiden goes paperless and introduces new security checks to reduce touting - except Viagogo who choose to ignore requests.

 

We're inviting event organisers, promoters, venues and independents to sell tickets on Tikk - a new ticketing platform aiming to put a stop to touting. If you currently run events, or plan to in the future, sign-up for exclusive early access.