Sell tickets online in Uganda – What we learnt

Selling tickets online for Joss Stone Concert, our first gig - What we learnt
Selling tickets online for Joss Stone Concert – What we learnt

Sell tickets online in Uganda – What we learnt

We were blessed to be able to sell tickets online of the recently concluded concert of Joss Stone in Kampala, Uganda. The event hosted at Design Hub Kampala was an instant success with a large turn up.

As Easypay, This was our first piloting opportunity of the “Events” feature in the wallet. We wanted to test the end- to-end process of selling tickets online as well as verifying them at  the actual concerts.  Below are the challenges, solutions and tips we put together;

  1. The distribution process was simplified and adapted for use on social media and Mobile money. We wanted buyers to just get straight to it. Events can now be shared on social media by use of short links. We made it possible to purchase a ticket without registering with any specific platform. Voila! Selling tickets online sky rocketed to over 1000%.
  2. Move with a portable power source: Our mobile phone which we were using for scanning tickets ran out of battery several times. Scanning tickets requires the camera and often the flashlight – this was running the battery down. Another issue related to this was in-app sounds that could contribute to more power drainage.
  3. Provide platform for placing phones for stability;  QR code reading was slow this was mostly due to both parties having shaky hands. duh!
  4. Provide batch & individual ticket scanning;  The assumption was most people at the event that purchased multiple (batch) tickets would come together. This was not the case. This feature has been added in version 3.4.3.
  5. Shorter tracker codes The tracker codes were very long and typing on a phone keyboard was tiresome. Thanks, to mathematics we were able to shorten them to 2-6 alphanumeric characters.
  6. Get More People to Scan; With a large turn out, we only had one main person to verify tickets and this at some point almost defeated the purpose. The physical ticket scanners were about 4.

The whole point of how to sell tickets online is to provide a smoother and faster buying experience. That, we were successful at. The problem comes in at the point of ticket verification, it took on average 15 seconds to validate a ticket. We had to come up with above solutions like batch processing and shorter tracker codes  to cut down this time.

On a positive note, Easypay provides real-time stats such as tickets sold, attendance, and automatically provides real-time reconciliation of accounts. This was not the case for physical tickets. The other valuable benefits, zero fraud, counterfeit or forgery were observed.

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