Who sells tickets to events?
The following gives an overview of the different groups that are involved in the sale and distribution of event tickets. Additional groups are involved in the sale of sporting and special event tickets.
Event promoters negotiate with artists' agents for their appearance, hire venues, determine the face value of tickets and their allocation between the venue box office and ticket agents Promoters run the advertising and marketing of the event.
Both concert venues and theatres play a significant part in ticket distribution and the involvement of ticket agencies. While concert promoters and theatre producers will undertake overall advertising and marketing of their events, individual venues undertake on-going advertising of forthcoming events, which will be aimed in particular at the local area/region. To meet the demand for tickets from those buying from box offices, venues will usually expect to receive around half or more of the tickets for an event.
Ticket agents sell tickets for various entertainment and other events on behalf of those staging such events (usually concert promoters and theatre producers). Ticket agents also provide additional facilities for venue box offices to enable them to maximise their ticket sales.
Ticket agents also sell tickets for events where the venue does not have a box office, such as outside concerts and festivals.
A secondary agent is a person or company can provide a useful function for consumers who need tickets for events and are willing and able to pay premium prices.
There are three main types of sellers in the secondary market:
- Professional - whose business is to acquire tickets for resale.
- Corporate - this refers to the practice of incorporating or bundling tickets with hospitality packages, such as hotel nights or air flights, where the cost of the ticket is incorporated in the package price.
- Non-professional - this normally refers to individual consumers who have bought tickets for events but find they are no longer required.
Anecdotal evidence suggests secondary agents obtain tickets by:
- Sending people to buy at the box office.
- Using high-speed dialing equipment and other methods to increase their chance of getting through to venue box offices and primary ticket agents by telephone. This is especially useful for high-demand events that sell out quickly using numerous credit cards from friends, families and in different names in order to bypass primary agents' restrictions on the number of tickets to be sold to an individual customer.
- Buying tickets from individual consumers who have acquired tickets but can no longer go to the event.
- Joining fan clubs and societies in order to receive preferential mail-order tickets.
- Buying tickets wholesale from tour operators who have failed to sell their hospitality packages.
- Trading with other secondary agents.
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