When is the best time to buy event tickets

When is the best time to buy event tickets?

February 15, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

Perhaps you might wonder, why most of us always prefer to do something at the very last minute. Perhaps the answer may be that humans are wired to evade pain and to pursue pleasure. Which may explain why we put off the “painful” task of buying tickets much earlier before the actual date. Be it when buying a flight ticket for a vacation or a ticket to watch our favorite artist who is coming to our city. Anyway, the vacation season is still half a year away and there’re still 3 months before the day of the concert, we might say. But when we begin feeling the pleasure of daydreaming about the vacation or when we get excited about the upcoming concert, which by now should be weeks or days away, we jump the gun!

So, if we, humans, are so hooked to be a “last-minute” species, we should get smart about knowing when is the right time to buy event tickets. The best time to buy tickets usually depends on these factors.

  • Type of tickets – general admission (GA) or reserved seating.
  • Who’s performing.
  • Frequency of event.
  • Day of the week or public holiday.
  • Number of tickets available.

The easiest way to gauge the best timing is written below.

If it’s an event with general admission tickets, it’s safe not to rush to buy.

If it’s an event with reserved seating, the sooner you should buy to get the best seats.

The more popular the event is, the sooner you should buy, in case of selling-out.

The least the frequency of the event, the sooner you should buy, in case of selling-out.

If the event happens on a weekend or eve of public holiday, the sooner you should buy because more people will attend.

The least number of tickets available, the sooner you should buy.

Type of tickets – general admission (GA) or reserved seating

Events with general admission (GA) tickets have no reserved seating. It could be an event with only a standing floor in front of the stage (a.k.a mosh pit) or with seats that are not uniquely numbered. This means seats are grabbed on a “first come first served” basis. So, you don’t have to rush to buy your tickets because chances are many will still be available when it’s nearer to the event. But so ensure you arrive early so that you could grab the best standing spot or seat.

On the contrary, events with reserved seating (seats with unique numbers) tend to sell-out early because everyone is chasing for the best seats. So you want to be earliest at the ticketing website to pick the best ones still available.

Who’s performing

This is subjective to predict but by knowing the popularity of the performer, it’s obvious that the hotter the celebrity is, the hotter the tickets will be selling. Since you’re a fan, you should be able to estimate the hype over the event. Knowing how many of your friends and their friends are going should do the trick.

Frequency of the event

If it’s a one-night-only event then you should start purchasing early but if there’re multiple shows, you could always wait for the most convenient day to attend. The first and the last events of the series should always get the most attendance.

Day of the week or public holiday

This is quite self-explanatory but makes a good reminder. Most sell-outs happen on weekends or on the eve of public holidays. We even see a similar trend in cinemas where people often go to catch a movie when tomorrow is an off day from work or school.

Number of tickets available

If the event is happening in a large stadium, it might be safe to wait before you buy. However, other factors above are still at play which could decide if you’re going to get your tickets.

All factors are at play at once

All the factors above should help you determine when is the best moment to buy your tickets. But all these factors coexisting and interplay with one another. Getting tickets for a GA event doesn’t mean you should wait until the very last minute if the celebrity is only performing once in a small venue. Best is to get your tickets as early as you could.

 

Recommended sites for free event photos and images

Hand-picked Sites With Free Photos and Images For Events

February 14, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

You might have been to a variety of websites offering free stock photos and images but going through each and every one of them can be a pain. Finding that perfect picture is already a hassle let alone navigating the licensing clause for each website.

Thus, we took the effort to cut down your work by recommending ONLY these websites that we truly vouch for and worth your busy schedule. We neatly divide them into different licensing categories – “do whatever you want” license and Creative Commons. We exclude other websites and public domain image sites due to a lack of choices for events and poor in quality. So, here we go.

Sites with “do whatever you want” licensed photos and images

Not to be confused with public domain license, this type of license is proprietary to the photo websites themselves. You generally have the right to do whatever you want with the images – use them commercially, edit or share, without giving credit (attribution) back to the author. And here are the buts. You cannot claim ownership over them. You also should not give the impression that the subject in the photo is endorsing your product or business or use the photos offensively. Reselling is clearly not allowed and you’re not allowed to create a competing site to distribute the photos or redistribute the images on another competing site. So, since you’re only using them for your events, you’re off the hook. Our top choices for good quality “do whatever you want” (almost) photos sites are listed below.

Unsplash

Come here for the quality of shots. This site is the undisputed choice for free contemporary photos for sore eyes. As of this writing, this free platform claims to have over a million dazzling photos. If you’re looking for trendy photos for events like concerts, festivals, art, this is your free photos Mekkah. There’s a collection option where users curate photos focusing on specific topics or themes.

Unsplash event collection photos

Pixabay

The heavyweight champion for the most free photos and images on the planet, that’s over 1.6 million of them. And now they are adding free videos too! You may not get all the top-class photos like those on Unsplash, but their varieties make this site the de facto site to hunt for free images for events. Beyond free stock photos, you also get free clipart-like images as well.

Festival photos from pixabay

Pexels

If you still can’t find the right images for your event, you should consider Pexels. Although the choices vary according to the topic, you might hit on a perfect photo somewhere inside their database. But sometimes you might find identical photos that you found on Unsplash or Pixabay. Also note that the site is rather seamlessly integrated with ads, so at times you might accidentally hit on their sponsor’s paid stock photos while searching.

Concert photos from Pexels

Sites with Creative Commons licensed photos and images

Here’s a recap of what Creative Commons (CC) means. It’s an open digital license initiative that allows us to use, share or modify the artistic content of creative authors and creators for free but with some small caveats. There are different types of CC licenses but most of them require you to provide attribution to the creator of the content with the exception of CC0 license. Not a big deal you might say, but a few license types do not let you use the content for commercial use. Yes, running events for profit is commercial exploitation but running a free event or for non-profit purposes might release you from the “commercial use” clause. Nonetheless, this type of license is very controversial so it’s best you consult your legal advisor. You can check out the list of Creative Commons licenses here.

The exceptional Creative Commons license that you should highly consider is the CC0 license – “no rights reserved” license. It’s the license do lets you virtually do whatever sh*t you want with the photo or image. Yes, it’s 99.9% completely free license – with the final 0.01% is left with the jurisdiction to define what is completely free in its copyright law.

So, below are some preferred sites with CC-licensed photos that are worth your sight.

Flickr

Flickr gives you a convenient option to only search for photos with Creative Commons licenses or those that enable commercial use. To search, you need to firstly click on the magnifying glass on the top right-hand side search bar and you will see the search page. Then, select the “Any license” menu on the top left corner. See the image below for instruction.

Search for creative commons photos on Flickr

Free-Images.com

A site that curates all public domain and CC0 licensed photos and images from other sites like Pixabay and Flickr. If you’re only interested in completely free photos, this site saves you the time of searching around multiple sites. Not a really well-known site but certainly worth your time for good quality free event photos. Please note the dash (“-“) in the domain name. There’s another competing site called FreeImages.com (without the dash) that is not on our shortlist.

Free-images.com public domain photo

 

How to Earn a Cut From Ticket Resellers For Your Event

How to Earn a Cut From Ticket Resellers For Your Event

February 10, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

If you’re planning a highly anticipated event, one big worry that might keep you awake at night. How are you going to control ticket scalpers from taking advantage of your hard work by scalping away all your tickets and reselling them for prices you could only dream of selling.

Here comes the cliché – “Enter 1Krowd event ticketing software  – where we strive to make ticket reselling fair and square.”

Ok, we actually tried to sound like your typical TV commercial voiceover ala Bruce Buffer (or was it Michael Buffer). Anyway, what we’re trying to introduce here is our newly invented patent-pending ticketing system that uses facial ID as the key component in tracking who purchased your tickets.

Here’s how it works. Trust us, it’s pretty simple

Every ticket for your event that is bought directly from our online ticketing software will contain the facial image of the ticket buyer – whether it’s the face of your actual fan or the ticket scalper himself (say “Cheeeseee,” handsome). Our technology could securely embed facial images inside the QR codes on the tickets. So, when a ticket owner reaches your event gate, their ticket will be scanned using our free ticket scanner app and voilà – a face will appear on the scanner and your crew could easily compare the face on the display with the person presenting the ticket. If there’s a match, enter thee! Otherwise, that person must have bought the ticket for an unauthorized scalper, because the ticket got his face on it.

How do we transfer the ownership of the ticket

As you could imagine by now, every ticket has a facial ID on it and when the ticket is resold, the new ticket buyer’s facial image will be embedded inside the resale ticket. This ensures there will be a facial match at the door. Our secondary ticketing marketplace requires every user to upload or capture their facial image when they sign-up. Their digital photo will then be encrypted and stored inside the resale ticket that they purchased, just like how it works at our primary ticketing website.

Where’s that cut we were talking about

Here’s the juicy part. For a ticket scalper to be “authorized”, well, they need to resell your event’s tickets at our ticket resale website and from there we share a piece of the pie with the reseller. That means you, us and the ticket scalper takes a cut from the pie. How big your cut, you say? Well, as big as you want! Really, we’re not kidding. Because of our ability to control the resell, scalpers can only resell via our secondary ticketing marketplace – not StubHub, SeatGeek, Viagogo or as such. But obviously, in order to make this trade a harmonious and sustainable one, it’s only fair that we scratch others back as much as they scratch ours. So, we recommend an adequate percentage be left for the scalpers and, of course, us! But do believe us when we say we would be the one taking the least cut. Because we’re here for the long-run.

So, how do you start

If you’re sold, here’s how you can get started. Sign-up on our website and start creating your event for free. See our pricing listed here. We currently support GA (general admission) events and events with tickets based on sections, rows or days but without reserved seating. If you really need individual seat numbers for each ticket, contact us and we can customize one for you, at no cost! We could even throw in a seat selection map (if you could provide us the plan).

If you need more info, help is here. If you require support, our contact is here.

 

 

Station F in Paris

We Are Featured in Station F News

February 6, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

Read about the interview by Station F of 1Krowd’s Founder, Melvin Wong and how we strive to make the ticketing world a better place for you and for me! Also, learn the seven important entrepreneurship skills that he discovered when he sold two of his startups during his 15-year journey of being a startup entrepreneur.

 

Melvin Wong - Two Exits Entrepreneur

 

Station F is the world’s largest startup hub, hosting over 1,000 startups from all over the globe under 30 startup programs. The newly-converted former railway depot also hosts the offices of 40 VC funds and four mentorship offices. It promotes a healthy and super-engaging startup community via two main channels – hal.stationf.com and its ultra-active Slack channel, stationf.slack.com. Workshops and events happen every week while meetings with investors are frequently held at the Share Zone.

Their core startup programs are Founders Program (which has a 6% acceptance rate) and Fighters Program. Due to Paris highly competitive and expensive housing cost, Station F decided to launch their very own apartment for startups called Flatmates. This accommodation has three building blocks and is 10 minutes away from Station F campus by bus or by bike. Walking would take you approximately 30 minutes. Their monthly rental fees are much more affordable compared to the average housing fees inside Paris thus helping startups to survive while striving for their first revenue or investment.

In spite of popular belief, the letter “F” in Station F does not stand for France. In fact, it is meant to pay tribute to the former name of the building which was called Halle Freyssinet. The entire building was acquired by a consortium led by French billionaire Xavier Niel and Deposits and Consignments Fund with the cost of €70 million with further renovation cost of €60 million.

 

Paper tickets with stay for a long time

Why Paper Tickets Will Be With Us For Many Years To Come

February 6, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

“To support or not to support paper, that is the question.”

Imitating the famous quotes from Hamlet is rather cliché to start an article. But that indeed was the question we asked ourselves when we launched our blockchain-based ticketing business. Having heard the horror stories of people being denied entry to events or even a flight just because their phones died, we took the effort to analyze the pros of paper tickets and why it’s something that most industries are still holding on dearly to.

It’s easy to use

Compared to other medium of exchange, paper is still by far the easiest to use material that we could carry around while packed with information. Cash, for example, is still widely used today, although plastic credit/debit cards or NFC payment phones are quickly becoming the norm. Some of us might use credit or debit cards every day but we always have a backup of cash somewhere in our wallet or purse.

Smartphone tickets are a sensation for online ticketing companies but do you dare to tell them to give up on paper tickets altogether? What if a young teenage girl wants to watch Ariana Grande but mommy doesn’t think she’s ready for a smartphone. How about losing your phone a day before your favorite team’s game? How about flat battery? Or cracked screen? And I’m not gonna start talking about grandpa or grandma.

It’s fast

If there were a gunfight between a paper ticket and a smartphone ticket, who would have won? Paper ticket! Why? Because there’s no turning on the phone, unlocking, opening the app and finding the ticket. Just take that piece of paper from your pocket and bang! Just like a paper gunslinger.

It’s cheap

Nothing beats the low-key and low-price of paper. Paper tickets may be getting more expensive to print these days but it’s certainly no way near the price of a plastic card let alone a smartphone. Unless ticketing companies (or worse, customers) are willing to bear the cost of replacing old-fashioned paper tickets with another medium, we will continue to use them till kingdom come.

It’s very portable

In fact, a paper ticket is more portable than a ticket residing inside a smartphone app. A paper ticket in its digital format (like PDF) or hardcopy can easily be transferred from one hand to another. Which also makes it a double-edged sword.

It works with legacy ticketing systems

Someone might try to sell you a revolutionary ticketing system that is overloaded with the latest tech gadgets and jargons. But they come with a price and a steep learning curve. Either you get your customers to bear the costs and get your new vendor to work for you on-site, or you swallow the fees and put your team through months of training. Either way, it’s gonna take some effort. Worst is, your customers may not even know how to use it. Do make sure there’s a backup that you could fall back on and make sure it’s made of paper.

It could prevent ticket reselling

Seriously, it can. You don’t need animated QR code or some sort of ID document at the gate to block reselling. In fact, this new ticket technology we’re using also works with smartphone ticket or animated QR code, if you wish to. But bare minimum requirement is paper.

Paper still offers the best low-cost interface

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against cutting-edge technology like facial recognition, RFID or even smartphone apps. In fact, I’m always biased towards technology. But when it comes to business implementation, we have to weigh the cost and the benefits. Paper tickets still offer the best and cheapest interface for a ticket.

 

Photo credit: Mattia Luigi Nappi

 

Proof that we are wired to see faces - Pareidolia

Here’s prove that humans are wired to recognize faces

February 4, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

Humans are social animals and being social we need to be genetically wired to recognize each individual in our species. Dogs use their acute sense of smell to identify their fellow breed. We, humans, use our strength in recognizing faces. That could explain why there are 43 muscles in our face alone, one of the most compared to other parts of our body.

But we sometimes overdo it! When we see faces in everyday things and at unusual places. This phenomenon is called pareidolia.

So, here’s a simple test to see if you are so-called pareidolic. Look at the images below and tell me which one you don’t see a face in them.

Pareidolia_(15468122) by Pixeltoo
Credit: Pixeltoo

 

Pansy_flower_pareidolia_face by Zunter
Credit: Zunter

 

Pareidolia_(16088691647) by Sujay25
Credit: Sujay25

 

Pareidolia house-1956618_1280
Credit: Heliofil

 

Pareidolia nature-1902404_1280
Credit: Pixabay

 

pareidolia-656554_1280 by Vikiwi
Credit: Vikiwi

 

Pareidolia_metal_face by Mbejger
Credit: Mbejger

 

tim-mossholder-l4VCf72WlyY-unsplash
Credit: timmossholder

 

Pareidolia_cracks by Nikola Smolenski
Credit: Nikola Smolenski

 

1200px-Pareidolia by Quinet
Credit: Quinet

 

Pareidolia-Face looking sideway
Credit: Choramcity1

 

Pareidolia_in_dendritic_agate by Aeddd1900
Credit: Aeddd1900. Human face looking to the right side with large hair in dendritic agate

 

A stylized Frankenstein monster from a random dot of dried paint on a yardstick.
Credit: Imbrettjackson. A stylized Frankenstein monster from a random dot of dried paint on a yardstick.

As we scroll down, the “faces” in the photos seem harder to visualize but still we manage to see one regardless. That’s the power of facial sight that is built in all of us. Acute facial perception is key to our survival. Imagine if we can’t differentiate between our boss with a co-worker. It would have drastic consequences that might cause our livelihood.

This is the very reason why we built a ticketing system that embraces our genetic gift – that is the ability to perceive and recognize faces. Most identification systems have a facial ID feature in place, such as our national ID card or passport. Until we evolve to something beyond our sense of sight, in face we shall trust.

Truly private event

How to create a truly private event

February 3, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

The word “private” could mean different things to different people or situations. In the context of events, a private event usually is a function that runs purely on a “by-invitation” basis. This means that only the selected few who are on the guestlist are allowed to participate. These special guests are important people who the majority of the organizing staff may only know by name.

Which begs the question, how do we ensure that guests are who they say they are? What is the risk of someone impersonating an invited guest? That someone could be a paparazzi, from the media or maybe a competitor. With social media being so proliferated, anyone can post a YouTube video or Instagram photo online at any time.

Here are some tips that you could do to ensure your private event stays truly private.

Only invite verifiable guests

Verified guest list
Credit: Vincent Lam. Image was not edited.

It’s safe to assume that invitees to a private event must somehow have a prior relationship with the event organizer, especially for an intimate and closed-door function. You would have previously obtained their personal information as well as their contact details to send them the invites. However, you might want to request for other information such as their facial image to reinforce the verification process. Facial identity is one of the most accurate and convenient ways to confirm a person’s identity. You could ask for them to upload their facial images while confirming their attendance for your event. This data could then be visually compared with the person presenting the invitation card or ticket.

A picture is worth a thousand words but a face is worth seven persons

There are seven people who look like us in this world

There’s a popular notion that there are seven people in this world who look like us. In this world of about 7 billion people, that’s about a 0.0000001 percent chance that a doppelganger would walk into your event pretending to be someone else who looks just like them. If you supplement your event ticket with a facial identification element, there’s almost a zero percent chance that an uninvited person could attend your event, except for your doppelganger.

Avoid checking IDs because it can be forged

ID can be easily forged

In this digital age, identity cards can be easily faked thanks to the Internet and software like Photoshop. Identity fraud has been growing at an unprecedented scale and it’s hard to put a stop to it unless there’s a more robust way to verify each individual. One promising solution is digital facial identification where each invitation card or ticket is embedded with the facial identity of the guest inside a QR code. When scanned, the QR code reveals the facial image of the invitee. The event personnel could easily compare the image with the person holding the card or ticket.

ID checking could slow down the queue killing a good event experience

ID checking can delay the queue

Nobody likes to queue, especially those queuing to enter your event. Avoid offering a bad event experience by delaying the queue just because you need to check each and everyone’s ID at the door. With facial identification, each attendee can be verified almost instantly because we, humans, are naturally trained to recognize faces.

Prevent ticket reselling

The worse thing that someone could do is to resell their exclusive ticket to someone else. If your event is so highly-sought for, people are willing to pay anything to get in. The notion of “willing buyer, willing seller” is what makes ticket reselling works. Checking ID cards is the standard procedure nowadays but if someone is desperate enough, they will go to all ends to pass the event door such as creating a fake ID card. The most robust way is to put personally identifiable information on the ticket that is impossible to forge. Obviously DNA and fingerprinting come to mind, but today’s technology is far from making these options cost-effective and convenient to be deployed. You might want to consider facial recognition technology instead.

Facial identification technology for events is available without the cost or hassle

Tickets with facial identity

At 1Krowd, we pride ourselves on developing the event technology that allows you to organize a truly private event without the exorbitant costs of hardware or software. Our patent-pending event ticketing platform could prevent event attendance fraud and best of all, it works with old-fashioned paper invitation cards or paper tickets.

 

People queuing to enter concert

Why some GA tickets have different prices?

January 30, 2020 no comments Melvin Wong

You might notice that at some events their general admission tickets (a.k.a GA) are priced differently although they all seem to be for the same section or floor. Well, welcome to the commercial world of ticketing!

Different Prices For Primary GA Tickets

If you’ve seen GA tickets that are priced differently by primary ticket sellers, they probably want to differentiate their tickets by subdividing their GA tickets into different packages. Primary ticket sellers are the original sellers where you can buy first-hand tickets directly for the event, not from another reseller. These varieties of packages offer different values such as some are packaged for early bird entry, meaning if you pay more you get to enter the gate first. Thus, there will be a special line at the gate reserved for those who paid more so that they can be at the front rows of the event floor.

Other GA packages can be tickets that come together with special perks such as gift packs, souvenirs and others. There can also be VIP packages that offer special privileges to ticket buyers like accessing the backstage to after-event parties!

Different Prices For Secondary GA Tickets

If you’re at secondary ticketing websites like StubHub or SeatGeek or even Ticketmaster, you’d surely notice that prices vary tremendously, even for seats next to one other. This is because these GA tickets are being resold by others. They can be resold by those who couldn’t make it to the event or ticket brokers who are also known as ticket scalpers. Scalpers make a living reselling tickets, thus, they can price their tickets as they wish usually according to demand.

Ticketmaster, however, is in the business to make money from first-hand and second-hand tickets. So, they place original and resale tickets together on their site. You just need to read the ticket label correctly to know if the ticket is first-hand or being resold by others. Usually, resale tickets are most pricey than their counterparts but the prices may drop or increase drastically when the event date is nearer.

What You Should Know About GA Tickets With Different Prices

Most GA ticket holders are treated the same way at the events regardless of how much you bought the tickets for. Thus, everyone will be treated the same way inside the venue as long as the section is the same, in this case, GA section.

People queuing to enter event

General Admission (GA) events always come with seating without individual seat numbers (unreserved seating). Worse, you have to stand if it’s a standing floor. Therefore, it is advisable that you show up early to these kinds of events so that you could grab the best seats or spots (assuming it’s standing). You want to be early to get into the front row if you’re at a concert or find the best seats around with the best view.

 

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