Sydney concert venue tries SMS barcode system

Sydney concert tries SMS barcode system

A new SMS barcode system has cut ticket production costs for a Sydney concert venue by 50 percent.

Adam Dunne, sales and marketing director for Aura Digital said, in a recent trial with Sydney's Metro Theatre, people booking for any of the three sell-out concerts by the Australian band Jet were offered the choice of receiving the Mobi-ticket -- an SMS barcode sent to customers' mobile phones.

The Mobi-ticket was also used as an after-sales promotion, increasing revenue at the bar by offering patrons a two-for-one purchase deal on drinks simply by scanning the bar code on customers' phones.

Leo Crawford, entertainment manager for Metro Theatre, said, "We wanted to drive bar sales by encouraging patrons to return to the bar after the concert. By using the mobile barcode tickets as coupons we were able to track redemptions and increase the patron participation rate."

According to Dunne, an average of 20 percent of patrons across the three events chose to receive their ticket using the barcode system, with uptake reaching 29 percent by the third concert.

Dunne said if the phone cannot accept binary codes, which are sent as picture messages, a unique number is sent as a simple text message that can then be encoded at the concert entrance.

The barcode is scanned using a wireless Bluetooth hand-held scanner and redemption information is captured to a laptop.

"We listened closely to the feedback from patrons at the concerts and it confirmed that Australians are ready to embrace mobile barcode ticketing," said Dunne.

The Mobi-ticket also allows up to 10 people to purchase a barcode ticket allowing a group of friends to go in with just one SMS barcode.

Dunne added that by the end of the year, cinemas in Australia will be using the same technology as well.

"We are planning to do a number of events and explore other ticketing industries. Ultimately we want to have it in cinemas, trade shows and even airline tickets," Dunne said.

Aura Digital is also looking at adding more value for consumers using the barcode system. "Customers can not only get in and get discounts for drinks or food offers, but will potentially be able to take the same 'ticket' to a music store for discount on CDs," Dunne said.