Ticketfly Opens First International Office

Deals with Collective and Union shift business strategy into international mode

  • by Dave Brooks
  • Published: January 16, 2013

Ticketfly has made its first international foray, opening up offices in Toronto and Calgary, Alberta, as part of a larger push into the Canadian market.

On Thursday, Ticketfly will announce new contracts with promoters Union Events and Collective Concerts, along with the acquisition of regional ticketing company Prime Box Office based in Calgary. Former director of operations for Ticketmaster Canada Bruce Morrison will lead a sales and operation team from the company’s Toronto office, while Greg Stephenson, president of Prime Box Office, will join Ticketfly as sales director for Alberta with an office in Calgary.

The move north makes Ticketfly a truly international company, joining a more exclusive club of ticketing companies with dedicated presences in both countries.

Ticketfly’s agreement with Collective Concerts gives it access to Toronto clubs like Horseshoe Tavern and Lee's Palace. Ticketfly’s additional clients include the University of Calgary and Inertia Entertainment, Ontario’s largest heavy metal promoter.

““We’ve been interested in pursuing a presence in Canada for some time, based on high demand from many of our contacts there, and this launch allows us to enter a new territory with some of the best partners imaginable,” said Gannon Hall, the company’s chief product and marketing officer. “We believe the Canadian market is primed for disruption, and we think we have the technology to facilitate change in the industry.”

Many Canadian box office professionals say change is already underway, noting an explosive growth in ticketing technology fueled by the shift to online ticketing and attempts by venture capital groups and tech startups to enter the vertical.

“From the venue's point of view, there are a lot more options these days,” said Joanne Benerowski, who heads up Corporate/Advance Sales for the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, and serves as president of the Ontario Professional Ticketing Association.

The CNE is going through a renewal for its online ticketing sales contract with Canadian firm Ticket Ops, and the number of sales calls and responses to the CNE’s Request for Proposals has exploded — “I get phone calls all the time from people with ticketing solutions,” she said.

For it’s part, Ticketfly is hoping its mobile strategy will grow the firm’s marketshare in Canada. In October, the firm released a version of its software that allowed event promoters to publish content-rich listings of their events against all of their digital platforms with a single click. The version also enables mobile purchasing and adds their tickets to the Passbook app in their iPhones for digital entry. Clients who participated in beta testing, including the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon, and Chicago’s Congress Theater, saw a 13% growth in the conversion rate for their customers, a company report said.

Besides its current clients, Hall said there’s real growth potential in the club and festival business, especially as the popularity of EDM shows no signs of waning. According to a study commissioned by Ticketfly, fans who bought tickets to an electronic dance music concert were six times more likely to share the purchase on a social media platform. Ticketfly provides ticketing for six EDM festivals and the Ampersand Electronic nightclub in New Orleans.

Interviewed for this article: Gannon Hall, (877) 435-9849; Joanne Benerowski, (416) 263-3813 

  • by Dave Brooks
  • Published: January 16, 2013