Andrew Lloyd Webber owned ticketing company, See Tickets, had a particular requirement. They needed a fast, mobile technology platform that allowed them to scan and validate tickets for large groups of people checking in to an event.
The company, which manages the ticketing operation for numerous events, festivals and exhibitions, has introduced a home-print facility to their on-line ticketing system at www.seetickets.com. This allows people to book and print their own tickets via the internet rather than have tickets sent in the post.
However, with the company managing huge exhibitions and concerts, a level of security was required to ensure the tickets were genuine and not being duplicated. This is controlled by adding a unique, individual barcode to each ticket. The barcodes are entered into a database and can be cross referenced via a scanner.
See Tickets’ Chief Operating Officer, Rob Wilmshurst, looked around for a company that would be able to provide a highly responsive and flexible technology solution to validate tickets. While there are a number of security platforms available on the market, they tended to be hardwired into a specific location and lacked flexibility.
“We work with numerous events in many different scenarios. The locations can range from a field to a massive exhibition hall. What we needed was a system that could be up and running within 30 minutes and portable enough to operate in many different situations,” he said.
During his investigation, Rob came across SB Electronics Systems, and quickly realised that their Telescan2 handheld scanners offered the perfect solution to his problem.
Handheld scanners are light, totally portable and use wireless technology to communicate with a database held on a server. The database is immediately updated when a ticket is scanned. The next time the same number is scanned, the Telescan2 will emit an audible beep to indicate that the ticket is invalid.
The system was thrown into the deep end when it went live on March 1st to control ticketing at the Ideal Home Show. Around 70% of attendees booked online with around 40,000 tickets printed at home.
All the tickets were checked via hand held scanners and the technology worked really well, according to Rob.
Now the same technology is being used across many of the company’s larger events, including the BBC Proms in the Park, the Frieze Art fair, the Grand Designs exhibition and an Arctic Monkeys concert to be held in Manchester in July.
“More and more people want to buy online and print off their tickets and security is a growing issue,” said Rob. “It is hard to manage security when you have crowds of up to 80,000 people trying to get into a venue.