Navigating the Coronavirus’ Impact on Events

At this point, it is clear that the coronavirus, COVID-19, is going to have an impact on the live events industry.  It is really out of our hands. So far, Coachella and Stagecoach have been rescheduled, Ultra Miami postponed and SXSW has been cancelled. In the US and Europe, they are moving ahead with professional sports without any fans being at stadiums, or simply suspending seasons.  The overriding question is how to handle customers that have already purchased tickets? It is not clear that insurance will cover these cancellations for promoters, so that is likely behind the position taken by SXSW and Ultra that they are not offering refunds. Coronavirus has the potential to bankrupt promoters that have to issue refunds.  The simple truth is that not everyone that bought a ticket for 2020 will want to take a risk on the 2021 event, or they may not be able to attend at all for various reasons. But there are solutions that promoters can pursue to provide options to those who bought tickets and are not receiving refunds. 

By taking ownership of a pre-event ticket exchange, promoters can control the inevitable resale market that will arise when there is an event cancelled in 2020 but, only credit to 2021 events are offered.  The FlipTix® Pre-Event Flip® marketplace allows for fans to resell their tickets to other fans that want to purchase those tickets through a marketplace with the promoter’s branding – not FlipTix’s.  Transactions on the pre-event Flip® marketplace take place at, or below box office prices, with only a nominal fee to the seller.  Critically important, new tickets are issued to the new purchasers with the old orders being cancelled.  If fulfillment has occurred, wristbands are deactivated and destroyed to prevent fraud opportunities. This means that promoters know who the new purchasers are, and they know who is no longer planning to come.  This data can be invaluable.

While no one could have anticipated the global fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, there are solutions to mitigate economic damage for promoters that are free to the promoter, provide an easy to use, reasonably priced exchange for customers, and allow promoters to obtain the critical data regarding their attendees, all while preventing fraud.

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