IMPULSE BUYERS NEEDED

When you go to Las Vegas, there are a ton of live entertainment options laid out in front of you.  There’s probably a lot in your town too.  Should there be a bricks & mortar option for ticket shopping for live events?  One where you can see everything (like Ticketmaster) but have the option to purchase at a discount?

People love to shop.  Although retails sales numbers from the holidays are horrible, the fact is the malls and stores felt just as crowded as ever.  A good guess would be that like my family, Christmas didn’t go away Santa just had to tighten his belt from losing half his weight in the stock market.  Even cashed-in some American Express Membership Rewards points to get the toys for the girls (this Santa doesn’t have boys) this year.  So now Christmas is over and we are looking for things to do.  Go to ticketmaster.com and you can find things, but if you are a normal family, this is not something you can do on the fly due to cost.  With live entertainment promoters of all kinds looking for ways to sell “remnant tickets”, we should have at least one business dedicated to selling tickets to IMPULSE BUYERS.

There are probably millions that still don’t know what they are doing on New Year’s Eve, 2008.  Many will end up staying home.  Some because they want to, but others because they just can’t afford any of the options available to them…and the free ones are just not that appealing (crowds, cold, drunken people, etc).  How many live performances on New Year’s Eve do you think still have tickets available?  From the little research project we just did at our house, it is over 90%.

There is one event my family really wanted to go to this New Year’s.  The cheapest ticket is $75 plus “applicable charges”.  $75 ends-up being $89.50 per ticket to not see or hear the show very well.  In these times (or any times), that is just too much.  In a recent Reuters story on Live Nation and CEO Michael Rapino, writer Yinka Adegoke pointed out that “Rapino argues that his business will be able to weather the worst because consumers only visit one or two big shows a year, and they will always save up to see their favorite artists even in a downturn”.  Yikes, is that what the concert business has come to?  We need to attract new fans to live.  A business setup to sell tickets to any live show at any venue from any agency just might do well.

Yes, with a majority of ticket purchases happening online, there would have to be a user friendly web store with everything in it that the bricks and mortar shops have.  But if there was a well designed, laid-out ticketing store in your local up-scale mall where consumers could shop for tickets to live performances at every price, you can bet we would see more impulse buyers and thus less remnant tickets.  It is certainly worth an experiment for any one with the budget and relationships to try.  The Westfield mall in Century City, CA, a few blocks from the Agency Group Events & Entertainment offices would be a good place to start.  Las Vegas would be another.  New York City has the beginnings of this concept already working with the Theatre Development Fund’s TKTS ticket store in the middle of Times Square.

There are almost always lines at this place, and they only sell theatre tickets.  Imagine what we could do with a little effort!  Love to hear your thoughts on this.

Happy New Year!

Jim

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