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A system to let people shortly check out an event live before buying a ticket to it

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Povilas S
Povilas S Dec 06, 2021
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The problem: You can't truly decide if you'd enjoy something unless you try it out. Unfortunately, this is currently not possible with live events that are paid, you either buy a ticket and attend or don't go at all. It would be cool if you could check an event for a short time, evaluate the quality of the performance, the general atmosphere, the people and then decide if you want to stay there.
The idea: A dedicated app that would freeze the deposit of a ticket price for a certain time. The staff would initiate the "short visit" process by scanning a barcode displayed on the phone's screen and deactivate it once you left the venue after checking out the event. The time for you to gaze around and leave the place could be 5-10 minutes. If you didn't manage to leave after that time and check yourself out at the door, the app would charge you the ticket price.
An alternative to charging the whole ticket price at once is to charge increasingly bigger sums as more and more time passes. You would be given a free of charge period of, let's say, 10 minutes, then after you breached that limit the app would charge you 1 euro, after 10 more minutes it would charge you 5, then 10, and finally the whole price (the whole price would be the sum of all the charged fees). The small amounts would be proportional to the full price of the ticket.
The latter seems like a better option because it gives a person more time to decide in exchange for a small fee and at the same time provides organizers with easy income, in case the person leaves, but once you paid something, even a small fee, it's way less likely for you to still leave after that and the likeliness decreases further with every additional fee charged. This would also eliminate the fear to be charged the full sum in case you are a bit late to leave.
The benefits:
  • Prevents waste of money for the customers in case they don't like the event.
  • Attracts more potential customers by eliminating the fear of going to something uncertain.
  • Check out a few events during the evening and choose one best to go to.
  • Organizers would likely invest more efforts in making a quality atmosphere of the event, to make those who check it out stay.
Possible disadvantages and solutions to them:
If many people would wish to check the event out this might create some mess inside the venue. It would be best to have a separate dedicated door for entry and exit of the short-time visitors. There would be two lines moving in the opposite directions (those who enter and those who exit) and two or more staff members scanning the barcodes. If possible, there could be a few doors through which you could exit and check yourself out, this would prevent "traffic" and loss of money due to being late for that reason. In bigger venues, the barcode scanning could be automated by using a scanner activating an automatic door/gate.
Having to check the short time visitors in and out would require some additional workforce for the venue, but the income gathered from those who fail to leave on time and those who decide to stay might be enough to justify this. In the worst case, the app could charge a small subscription fee from its users.
Creative contributions

Social media live streams as an alternative

jnikola Dec 08, 2021
I saw in the comments that people mostly did not support your idea. I agree with all the things they said, but I also see the great potential in this idea.
The problem, in my opinion, of people not being able to decide if they will enjoy some event or not, would not be solved by your solution. As Shubhankar Kulkarni said, you can watch an after movie, trailers, or announcement/promotional videos, you can even go to the live event and not like it at that moment, but that still will not mean that you wouldn't enjoy it. Events are experiences, not just some moments of crazy dancing, one great song, or a party warming up around 10 pm. Therefore, I would suggest next:
Platform with live streams where people get special offers or cash back as a reward
Instead of people entering the bar, arena, or club to check the atmosphere, they could just check the social media live streams of people on the event.
Since most of the live streams are limited to the followers only, there could be an option to use the hashtag specific to the event in the live stream, which allows people to find it by scanning the QR code of the live stream. For example, you are in front of the disco and the ticket is 10 euro. You scan the QR code and a web site dedicated to the event livestreams appears, showing you livestreams from people currently at the event.
People would not do it just for fun, so there could be a small discount or a cashback for every users that livestreams for 10 mins.
What do you think?
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Well, I support my own idea, because I know I'd like such a system to be in place. It would be useful for me, personally, and from talks with others I know it would be useful for them. Often people comment that there's a big difference when the event is free and you can simply leave if you don't enjoy it and when it's paid, even if not much, and you waste your money if you don't like it. People often choose to go to a cheaper party for this reason.
The problem will not be solved completely, I agree, you might still happen not to like the majority of the event even if you thought you will during the short visit and vice versa, but it increases the likeliness of choosing correctly compared to not being able to visit the event live at all. And that's all I aim for.
Live streams would help, yes, but from my experience, nothing works as well as being able to check the thing live yourself. Live event is not a movie and a video won't transmit you the atmosphere of being there, especially when made with a random person's smartphone.
Your proposed system would not necessarily be more simple to implement than the live check system when you start thinking about the details. The best would be to have both the live streams and the possibility to check it live yourself, that way people who are lazy to go or think that videos are enough could only use that and it would reduce the number of people going to check live and therefore the "traffic" at the event.
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General comments

Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal2 years ago
This could pose a problem for the organizers because a lot of their tickets may not be sold out "effectively". What I mean to say is that, for example the venue can accomodate 500 people. The organizers sell 500 tickets before the show and more than half the people (lets say "X" no. of people) check out within the first few minutes, paying much less than the actual cost of the ticket. So in that case organizers will have "X" number of tickets remaining with them for which they effectively got paid only a fraction of its worth, and will need to sell again to recuperate the remaining amount. Selling these will be even more difficult as the live event would be on-going and people would not be willing to buy at such short notice because of issues like travelling time and planning their outing.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Aashi Agarwal I didn't quite understand what you were trying to say. Those who check the event out first wouldn't pay less than the normal price of the ticket, they'd pay the same. In that sense, it's worse for those who want to check it out for free first, because they would miss some part of the event (if they decide to stay) because of that, if you want to check out an ongoing show, you have to come when it's already started.
The proposed system will not work for all cases and all events, for example, it will obviously not work when there is a limited number of tickets and they are sold out in advance due to the high demand for going to that event. This would be the most suitable, for, for example, dance parties, where people tend to come at any time of the party anyway, sometimes the price is lower if you come towards the end, but sometimes it doesn't change and sometimes it's even cheaper if you come earlier.
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Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal2 years ago
Povilas S I believe that the discrepancy between our understanding lies in the fact that this idea is not for events like concerts or live comedy shows etc. that have limited number of seats where tickets are sold well in advance. For events that take place regularly this might be a good idea if one could systemize the whole thing.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 years ago
The success of live events depends on their history. If people have been liking the event, the chances that will like it this time increase. People can check out the trailer, reviews, etc. before buying a ticket for the event. Wouldn't that suffice?
Also, will people travel to the location of the event just to see whether they like it? The cost of traveling to the spot may be greater than the ticket itself. Also, they might not like the first 10 minutes but love the remaining 2 hours and vice versa.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Event organizers might not be willing to do it because it makes their job more difficult.
The success of an event often depends on the network effect. The more people there are, the more it becomes "the place to be". If people pay to enter, they are more likely to stick around (sunk cost fallacy) than if they just had a look around and saw that the place is half empty. Even if people stick around for the wrong reasons, the place soon fills up and the network effect kicks in. To those that come later, the place feels much better than to those that got locked in because they already paid.
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