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Rethinking the multi-billion-dollar ticket industry

Having grown up in a family heavily involved in the sports and entertainment industry, Flicket co-founder Ben Calvert is addressing the frustrations he has with the ticketing industry by creating his own business.

Founded in 2018, Flicket is a New Zealand owned-and-operated ticketing business, with a purpose to disrupt the ticketing industry and connect the brands with the fans directly.

Originally, Calvert created the ticketing company in response to growing concerns of ticket fraud from companies such as Viagogo. However, over time the Flicket team decided to tap further into the industry which they believed lacked customer focus.

“They really made it about themselves instead of the creators, performers and sporting teams,” Calvert says.

As a fan himself who enjoys watching and attending live events, ticketing companies failing to provide the right service to fans was the driving force behind Calvert starting Flicket.

Calvert says traditional ticketing companies such as Ticketek and Ticketmaster act as a “middleman” between the organisations holding the event and the fans. Because of this, he recognised that there were limited opportunities for fans to connect with the event.

“Traditionally, ticketing companies have retained control of the consumer experience and associated data, commercialising these key assets for their own benefit,” he adds.

Flicket does it differently. With its highly sophisticated marketing technology, Flicket can give their partners “actionable data and insights”, enabling organisations to “introduce a modern and cost-effective marketing solution”.

He adds that what makes them different is that they do not brand themselves, building their reputation solely on word of mouth and ensuring the fan and the partner are connecting without a giant middleman and “help our partners shine”.

Flicket Ticket Industry CEO Ben Calvert.
Ben Calvert.

Calvert says the catalyst behind focusing on the technology when creating a ticketing company is due to the everchanging industry. “The competition for attention and disposable income is higher than ever.”

“Our goal at Flicket is to turn the traditional ticketing model upside down. Taking control away from the big companies who have held it for so long and giving it to organisations that are wanting to enhance the fan experience and commercialise their data in a more effective manner.”

Flicket’s technology ensures a “seamless customer journey”, providing partners with data to understand the different type of fans, such as casual or dedicated fans, and minimising the workload for the organisation.

Read more: Kiwis collective identity mostly positive survey finds.

Partners can control their own data, and with the data, Flicket makes it easier for fans by minimising decision-making and recommending the same seats they previously held.

Flicket also ensures minimal and fast queues – a dream for any ticket buyer. “We have built our technology to be quick and stable,” Calvert says.

Over the past two years, Flicket and other major ticketing companies have seen sales reach an all-time low, as the pandemic disrupted the entertainment and events industry.

Many events over the past two years were forced to go online or at a reduced size as Covid-19 became a global concern.

Despite ticket sales being down across the board, Calvert says the market share for Flicket only increased.

While events were not able to go ahead, Flicket invested in technology and customer service to become the “best in the industry”.

Calvert says the pandemic timeline helped Flicket grow to become smarter and more effective.

With the world now opening back up and people excited to head back into the world of gigs Flicket has tripled in size and ticket sales and now sells millions of dollars of tickets every year across New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Over the next few years, Calvert says Flicket is working towards continuing to grow its global reach, rolling out the already existing model in New Zealand to more parts of the United States and Australia.

Calvert says that Flicket will approach each country differently due to the unique fan attitudes towards live entertainment. He also adds that the size and scale of events is completely different to what New Zealand sees.

“New Zealand has more supply than demand whereas overseas has more demand than supply,” he says.

Company partners are already seeing high conversion rates with 138 percent improvement.

Flicket partners include individual teams within Super Rugby New Zealand, New Zealand Hockey and Bay Dreams.

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email bernadette.basagre@scg.net.nz

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