An Interview With Nutickets

UK: Touted as a ‘complete event platform’, Nutickets’ app addresses as many needs of the festival organiser as possible without being hyper-sentient and having Scarlett Johansson’s voice. Already working with Ultra South Africa, Holi Festival of Colours, Rage Festival, Rocking the Daisies, Holi One, and Festibelly – the relatively young company is already amassing an impressive number of international clients.

Festival Insights caught up with Lisa Murgatroyd – the mastermind of Nutickets’ Business Development and Marketing – to discuss the ridiculously extensive capabilities that Nutickets’ software offers.

Festival Insights: It’s difficult to summarise everything Nutickets offers in a single sentence, as it encompasses ticketing, promotion, management, cashless, and analytics services, amongst others. Do all of these come as a package, or is it possible to pick and choose depending on your needs?

Lisa Murgatroyd: The Nutickets platform is designed to provide a festival organiser with everything they need, just at their fingertips. Our features work best together, but they are also available as standalone products, and the organiser can tailor their own package based on their needs. As a software house, we specialise in creating bespoke solutions for our clients.

FI: Could you go into some of the unique features of these services that sets Nutickets apart from its competitors?

LM: I would say that our unique features actually relate to our company as opposed to our software; unlike our competitors, we simply facilitate a festival organiser in gathering money and data, providing a bespoke solution tailored to each organiser.

We don’t put blocks or limits on the cashflow, something that is key to a lot of festivals, and we put the festival brand first, allowing the organiser to control the communications with their customers and build brand loyalty. As a software house, we are constantly innovating and improving our solution, and have seen direct results in increased sales and building the customer database for future events.

FI: Obviously the mobile platform will have some pretty interesting implications, especially for promotion. How does it switch up the business model of traditional promotion methods?

LM: Organisers must be more responsive to digital promotion channels, capitalising on the viral nature of social media, and using the ‘alpha buyer’ to convert new customers. For instance, using our tools, once a ticket purchase has been completed a message is automatically posted on the customer’s Facebook wall letting all their friends know, inviting them to join and not miss out.

Customers can easily share tickets with their friends at the point of purchase, invite through email or social media, and share a tailored message from the organiser on all their social media channels. This can be incentivised, so the more people you refer, or for simply sharing a like or tweet, you can gain real rewards such as money off or credits to spend at the event. Every customer becomes your ‘brand ambassador’ and is a much more effective promotion channel than traditional methods.

Not only customers, but also the artists can be utilised to help drive ticket sales, providing a Rep Centre platform for acts to help sell tickets and promote the event. This works best with smaller artists, who are eager to play these events and build their own fanbase.

FI: The prevailing sentiment within the festival community seems to be that cashless festivals will be a reality within the next three or so years. But obviously connectivity – or lack thereof – is the greatest challenge to overcome for RFID-based systems. Are Nutickets able to circumvent this obstacle through some other means?

LM: The UK market is, strangely, lagging behind other markets in Europe and the US in cashless technology. Connectivity is one of the stumbling blocks, and there are a number of ways to get around this. Nutickets uses a solution based on QR codes, linking ticket purchase to onsite activity within each customer account. Using our app, organisers can manage both front of house commercial activity and back of house management either online or offline, removing the chain of Internet connectivity. This works by utilising an onsite server and wireless networks.

FI: Is there a reason that you have chosen the South African market as a sort of testing ground for your products? And how has it facilitated their development?

LM: Nutickets has expanded rapidly in South Africa, which has a strong and vibrant festival market. We supply festivals from the internationally famous Ultra (50,000 cap) to local community festivals such as Smoking Dragon (2,000 cap). It has proven the perfect testing ground for us, as unlike a wary UK market, South Africa is more willing to adopt and adapt to new technology.

We have been able to provide a robust solution capable of handling 30,000 simultaneous hits during peak sales periods, and easily handling the access control and scanning of tens of thousands of people at the gate. It came as some surprise to find that the majority of ticket sales in South Africa are through mobile devices, propelling the mobile optimisation of our ticket shop early in 2014. We also developed stronger anti-fraud and anti-tout measures to combat the secondary ticketing market that is viewed unfavourably in South Africa, tying in nicely with movements in the UK to tackle the problem here.

FI: Does Nutickets’ data capture capabilities allow for any cool features that can be used at festivals?

LM: Utilising the cashless technology, organisers can learn from a wealth of data on audience behaviour and purchasing trends. With recent progress in crowd mapping, it will be interesting to see how this can be combined to better understand how people interact during the festival.

FI: Despite how intuitive your design may be, there are always going to be organisers who are behind the curve in terms of utilising technology. Do you stay in contact with your clients to ensure they’re making the most of the software?

LM: The solution is very user friendly, but there are so many instances in which organisers are saying ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could do that as well!’

We have regular contact with our clients, and guide them through setup and implementation, as well as coming down to events to oversee the operations (and enjoy the atmosphere of course).

For more information on Nutickets, visit their official website.