Ticket buyers are supporting the event industry through the COVID-19 crisis by declining refunds, fresh data and insight has revealed.

Amid the COVID-19 lockdown event payment platform, TicketCo, which has offices in Norway, the UK, Poland and Sweden, developed new functionality to enable event organisers to offer vouchers and waiver options as alternatives to refunds. And the first full week of data has revealed a third of event and festivalgoers accepted vouchers or waived the money in support of organisers.

In the UK 32 per cent chose a voucher, 2.5 per cent chose to forgo their money and 66 per cent took refunds. In Norway 20 per cent of ticket buyers chose to forgo their money, 15 per cent selected a voucher and 65 per cent requested refunds.

Carl-Erik Michalsen Moberg, co-founder of TicketCo, commented: “We sincerely hoped our waiver and voucher features would be chosen by some in support of event organisers and the response from the market so far has been positive. One week of data is not much to build solid statistics on, but encouragingly it demonstrates the strength of goodwill that exists in the event industry that we had to share. It’s a truly uplifting show of support.”

“The impact will make a real difference to event organisers,” said Moberg. “This proves organisers and ticket buyers are close and the connections are strong. It’s clear ticket buyers where they can want to help their favoured organisers through this crisis. To accept a voucher, or simply forgo the money is a truly generous gesture.”

Mo Jones, director at Ticketsellers, the ticketing specialist, concurred, and said that refund requests are amazingly low and the spirit of working together is stronger than ever.

Jones confirmed that the company has “learned a huge amount in the last few weeks about how to manage the process” and offers the following advice to event organisers:

  • Don’t rush. Your initial communications are vitally important to ensure your customers feel respected
  • Contact ticket holders first. Announcing on social media allows disgruntled customers to air their views publicly
  • Make it easy. Tickets automatically transferring to the new event means customers don’t have to do anything
  • Give options. Where transfers can be later in the year or next year, or donate or refund, make it easy for customer to tell you what they want
  • Offer incentives. If customers are asked to keep their tickets, give them an additional reason e.g a free T-shirt, or early arrival to the new event
  • Don’t limit. Legally, a customer can request a refund up to the date of the new event. Explaining this gives more confidence to roll-over tickets.