Ticket scalping is currently the biggest threat to Australia’s live music industry. The fight is being fought in the public eye with music fans on the sidelines; and it’s already hit one reseller, hard.

Ticket reseller ViaGoGo – the vilified secondary-ticketing platform where tickets for shows by Adele, Ed Sheeran and others appeared at vastly inflated prices – has been publicly called out for its practices, including employing illegal drip pricing, using tactics to create confusion and failing to respond to consumer complaints. 

While the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority (ACCC) is taking action in the Federal Court against Viagogo, until all dodgy resellers are axed from the market, promoters and bookers need to tread carefully.

Brad McIntyre, Country Manager at Eventbrite New Zealand, has penned an op-ed on prevention measures to fight fraud in the live sector.

You work tirelessly to create a sold-out event. Starting months before tickets even go on sale, you’re crafting the perfect promotional strategy, nailing down venue logistics, and creating an onsite experience that that will blow attendees away. The last thing you want is for excited attendees to show up on event day with fraudulent tickets.

Every year, ticket fraud affects nearly 5 million people who buy tickets to live events. Not surprisingly, the problem is much more prevalent in the online ticketing industry — data from online ticketing merchants show that fraud rates are nearly twice as high in digital tickets than in physical tickets. This means that it’s more important now than ever to take fraud seriously. And this starts with your ticketing partner.

You’ll need a platform that you and your attendees can trust. And you’ll want a partner who balances taking fraud-prevention measures seriously while maintaining a focus on user experience to avoid losing sales.

Here’s what you can do to ensure that legitimate tickets get into the hands of deserving event-goers — without compromising the attendee experience.

Use Ticket Limits

Protecting your event from ticket fraud, including scalpers, begins with taking smart precautions at onsale. Cap the number of tickets available for purchase per “household” so you can ensure more tickets get in the hands of real attendees. This helps prevent scalpers from grabbing up large quantities of tickets. However, scalpers can be quite persistent, which is why Eventbrite also uses its scalping algorithms and machine learning models to monitor sales, and detect scalpers who attempt to circumvent the limits.

Delay Ticket Fulfilment

After a customer purchases a ticket, send them confirmation but don’t provide a “print-at-home” ticket right away. Instead, provide barcodes between a week and ten days before the event. This makes it impossible for scalpers to transfer tickets far in advance — and allows your ticketing partner to confirm that all ticket buyers have adhered to the event ticket limit.

Brad McIntyre, Eventbrite

Include a Reselling Policy

Include language on your event listing or order confirmation explaining that tickets bought on secondary sites such as Gumtree and eBay are not guaranteed. This will help to keep attendees alert to potential scams and assure buyers they are getting legitimate tickets. This provides a sense of security as they complete their purchase.

Better still, work with a ticketing partner that offers an official resale channel. Eventbrite recently launched an integration partnership with face value ticket reseller, Twickets, to enable fans to resell or purchase secondary tickets fairly, and prevent overpriced tickets being sold on unauthorised sites.

The integration, now live across Australia, New Zealand and the UK, enables organisers and promoters using Eventbrite to opt-in to the Twickets service. Ticket holders who have purchased a ticket via Eventbrite but can no longer attend an event will be able to list tickets on Twickets by logging into their Eventbrite account within the Twickets platform. Once a ticket has been resold, the original ticket will be cancelled and a new, unique ticket issued to the buyer.

Work with a ticketing partner who takes security seriously

Ticketing companies have their work cut out for them – they must accurately detect and prevent fraud within seconds of a transaction occurring. Make sure that you choose a ticketing partner who leverages the most cutting edge technology to fight fraud.

Look for a partner who monitors every transaction in real time, so that you can stop fraud before it even occurs. And to really make sure your partner has your back, find out if they have a dedicated team of data scientists, analysts, and engineers committed to protecting you — and your customers — from fraud.

Don’t let ticket fraud or a poor purchase experience get in the way of selling out your event.