Why Ticket Scanning Counts

Today’s blog post is written by Aaron Schwartzbord, Marketing Manager, Patron Technology.

I came across this recent article in The New York Times about the counterfeit ticket issue plaguing Broadway’s smash hit Hamilton. In mentioning this article to friends I’ve received every reaction possible, from “that isn’t news” to “what a great problem to have!”

The more I have been thinking about it, the more I realize that something that is not being mentioned in this conversation is the underlying technology that’s uncovering the fraud. The theatres are scanning tickets! When a ticket has a unique QR code – theatres can instantly recognize a counterfeit ticket.

Without this, when would they find out? When the people with the real tickets discovered that their seats were taken? Imagine how much time, effort, and embarrassment this could cause right as a performance was starting!

While it’s horrible for the people who are unknowingly paying money to buy fake tickets (and thus not getting to see the show), the fact that these theaters are scanning their tickets protects them and the people who have legitimate tickets for any given performance.

When I was the marketing director at an off-Broadway theatre (where we tore tickets by hand), from time to time I witnessed people enter the theatre with their tickets, only to find later that another party entered the theatre with the same seats. Upon further investigation, one of the groups had come on the wrong day. If we had been scanning the tickets we would have known about this before anyone entered the theatre, thus not having to deal with it in the house or (even worse) as the performance is beginning.

Okay, okay. Most productions and performances don’t become the sold-out hits that Hamilton is. But my point is that ticket scanning is a great way to protect your patrons. It also makes the process of getting your audience into the house faster and it gives you better data, telling you who actually showed up (and thus letting you communicate to them in a targets and specific manner). Clearly it’s the future and if you haven’t started yet, why not?

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