Hannes Tschürtz has years of experience in the music business. Every year his agency inkMusic organises more than 400 concerts of bands and musicians. Event organisers often mention problems with the sales process. He says, `we often work with small partners in the countryside who do not have enough resources to purchase big ticketing systems.`
The music entrepreneur has now developed a system called ntry (in cooperation with the software developer Klaus Kühnhammer), that should give small and medium-sized event organisers a chance to organise ticket sales in a very simple but professional manner. According to Tschürtz, `all they need is a smart phone`.
QR Codes as TicketsOrganisers can set up their events on the start-up`s website with either the iPhone- or Android-based ntry application and start pre-selling almost immediately. They can also provide ticket sales on their own websites or print the QR code on flyers and posters.
Clients can buy tickets by scanning the code with their smart phones and they then receive the tickets via e-mail. At the entrance they only have to show the printout or the QR code on the mobile phone and so get permission to enter the event. `The system needs a very small amount of administration`, says ntry developer Kühnhammer. `The app is everything you need to pass the check at the entrance.`
`Widespread`For the last few months ntry has been tested in cooperation with 20 event organisers, and last Wednesday the mobile ticketing system was officially presented at Fluc in Vienna.
`We have taken care to provide as many helpful sales and promotional tools as possible to organisers`, Tschürtz says. The ntry developers do not restrict its use to their own platform. Tickets can be sold via various channels. `It should be possible to have a very widespread clientele.`
For that reason social-media channels are also being used. Consumers can recommend events via the app and post them on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. In the future it should be possible for organisers to create a Facebook-event-page via the app when uploading an event.
TestingThe platform allows organisers to administer ticket categories (seats, stance, guest list) easily and they are informed regularly about the amount of tickets sold. The mobile ticketing system has been tested by about 20 organisers, including the Soundframe-Festival, Viennese venues Chaya Fuera, Flex and Pratersauna, and the poolbar-Festival in Vorarlberg. `The feedback was very positive`, says Kühnhammer. In total more than 2,000 tickets have been sold using ntry.
The company earns money from the tickets sold. As a rule, ten percent of the sales price is retained. This also covers fees for payment services. PayPal, paybox, credit cards and instant transfers are supported and premium accounts are being planned for the future. The start-up has been financed by the founders and by the Viennese creative-economics agency departure. `We seem to be well placed for the launch`, says Kühnhammer.
`Tool for artists`Up until now ntry has been mainly used by clients from the music industry. `This is reasonable given our history`, says Tschürtz. Concerts are the driving force for musicians and bands. It is difficult to motivate people to buy products in the music industry and recordings are easiest to sell at a concert, but ntry also considers itself as being a tool for use by artists. The sales of tickets could be improved via widgets on band websites. `Direct contact with fans is of great help when it comes to selling tickets.`
The system could be used for any event for which access control is needed, say the founders. The Wiener Gartenbaukino and the Kurzfilmfestival Vienna Independent Shorts are also using the app. Kühnhammer says that, `in theory any sports club could use ntry as a pre-sales opportunity for football matches. The guest list tool allows to organisers to arrange free-of-charge events and to hand out free admission cards.` Kühnhammer emphasises that the start-up does not charge any fees for this service and it will stay that way.
Countless Ideas for EnhancementsThere are already lots of exciting ideas for enhancement of the app. Besides improving the service and expansion of back-up provision, the founders are also working on extensions dealing with statistics. They have already thought of expanding internationally. Tschürz and Kühhammer say that promising contacts have been made with Germany and Denmark, for example, `but nothing is fixed yet`.
The founders also want to expand the possibility of communicating between the organisers and visitors. `The app allows organisers to get in touch with visitors after the event`, says Tschürtz. Push-messaging is planned for the future, whereby set lists or pictures taken at the concert could be sent to visitors. `Therefore options become possible which have not been available before.`