Katrine Mosfjeld, Director of Media & Campaigns at VisitOSLO shares some insights into being the first destination using Ticketmaster's API and what this now means for the city and its strategic focus...
An idea that VisitOSLO has spent a lot of time on became reality in March. No travel company – or any company for that matter – before VisitOSLO has done the same. We are the first company in the world to gain access to Ticketmaster’s brand new API. As such, we are the first to launch a service based on a mash-up of Ticketmaster’s data and our own.
The result: An event calendar for Oslo where you can also see real-time ticket availability and buy tickets from Ticketmaster (Billettservice) directly! Provided the event, concert or exhibition is not sold out, tickets will be available through visitoslo.com. Gone are the days of allotments and out-dated solutions. At visitoslo.com, information about ticket availability is updated in real time, which means instant online access to tickets if there are tickets left. Check out this new feature here:
Whether there are tickets left, or it’s sold out; this is good information to get at an early research stage.
People today are rather impatient when it comes to online activity, and it is this impatience that prompted us to develop this idea. It has always been possible, of course, to click from visitoslo.com to billettservice.no, make a new search by date and venue and find the event you saw listed again. But in today’s digital world, even this is a bit cumbersome. We, the consumers, either don’t have time or simply can’t be bothered. Most people have a very low threshold when it comes to digital patience, and that is the barrier we are trying to overcome with our new innovative service.
There is hope for the impatient and the lazy; a calendar like this makes it all a lot easier for you.
Most hits at visitoslo.com
The service is not entirely new; it’s an innovation of a service that was already there. The event calendar at visitoslo.com has had more than 3 million page views in the past 12 months. This is an enormous number of digital enquiries about what is happening in our city. There are more than 5,000 live stage performances in Oslo every year; this is double what Stockholm or Copenhagen has to offer, if Monocle’s City Survey 2014 is anything to go by. The challenge (and opportunity) was to find a way to convert this interest into actual ticket sales. Ticket sales strengthen the performing arts industry, which undertakes the immense task of organising these events. And when people buy tickets, they most likely get an even better and more unique experience in our city.
When service development becomes marketing
A good experience in Oslo leads to more and better experiences in Oslo. This is the basis of our strategy and it underpins everything VisitOSLO does. It involves the visitors’ desire to share everything they find interesting, especially in social media. It also means that we as consumers have the utmost trust in the people we know. Via social media, we frequently share when we experience something we think is good – and even more when we experience something that is unique (yes, we do brag a bit, let's admit it!). We share when we see our idols and heroes – be they football players or rock stars. By monitoring both social and traditional media, VisitOSLO has revealed that visitors share the most when there is something happening in the city. In this regard, VisitOSLO’s latest innovation is also very much a marketing tool that will help expand Oslo's digital footprint.
VisitOSLO monitors when relevant content about Oslo in digital media is created, and to what extent this content creates engagement in social media. This curve shows how a Snoop Dogg concert and two major music festivals created positive buzz on Oslo in August 2014.
No dilution of business models
VisitOSLO will not take a cut of any new business generated by this functionality. On the contrary, the purpose is to increase everyone else’s earnings. When Oslo’s event organisers increase their sales, this will contribute to VisitOSLO achieving our goal of increased value creation in Oslo’s visitor industry. Some events get people off the sofa and into town, and some events are so attractive, they make people travel to a different town. In those cases, value creation increases in the transport and hospitality sectors. Meals and drinks are part of a good evening out, whether the trip is long or short. All this contributes to increased value creation in our core industries.
If we can place more people in front of our stages, more people will share their unique experiences in their social networks and at the same time boost turnover in the industry.
The calendar is currently only linked to Ticketmaster, as Ticketmaster's market position was a key factor in realising the project. But we are now working to identify and rank other ticketing systems, and the aim is to connect to as many systems as we need in order to get a complete overview of what is happening in Oslo – AND if there are tickets left – in one interface.
As a destination company VisitOSLO is probably fairly unique in working with service development at this level as a marketing effort. We generally choose to interpret our role differently than most other destination companies, and you can read more about this in our blog – non-Norwegian speakers can use Google translate. ☺
Oh, if we sell tickets? Indeed. Lots!
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