In 2014, rapper ATI and some friends escaped a lengthy jail sentence after they allegedly kidnapped and tortured a 29-year-old man following a misunderstanding over gate-takings from a music festival.
Allegations of cheating over gate takings have over the years caused serious rifts amongst promoters and artists. While trying to ensure that revellers get value for their money; and artists enjoy all the lavish backstage treatment they need, promoters also have to worry about whether they are getting ripped off by those who are collecting gate takings.
Then came Webtickets with a solution in 2004. The company’s Managing Director (MD), Cowell Habana said Webtickets was exactly what the doctor ordered for local event planners.
“Our main job is to free organisers from the hustle and bustle that comes with putting together public events,” he said.
He added that their services enable music promoters to relax with the knowledge that their gate takings are safe.
“The objective is to save promoters all the trouble that comes with ticket sales. It took about two years of hard work for us to convince event organisers that web ticketing was the solution,” said Habana.
The company provides a fully integrated ticketing and marketing solution that puts events and venues in direct control of their customer relations, brand and revenue streams. Habana said they identified a gap in the market after realising that most tickets in local events are sold the traditional way.
“We provide the Botswana market with an online ticketing solution. Traditional booklet tickets sales are costly as they need to be manned by many individuals. Also, potential customers cannot reach the ticket sale points provided by the promoter or event organiser,” explained Habana.
Furthermore, Habana said traditional tickets do not have advanced security features as compared to online tickets. As such online ticketing is the solution to the shortcomings of the traditional tickets sells. Habana said Webtickets has already made inroads in the local market as its client base covers a wide range of sectors. The company affiliates to Webtickets South Africa, which provides back end support for running the ticketing hardware and database. Webtickets has serviced a number of high profile local events, including Gaborone International Music and Culture week (GIMC), Bak2Skul and Hamptons Jazz Festival.
Debbie Smith of The Hamptons Jazz Festival confirmed that they engaged Webtickets for their last event. She added that since using the online ticketing system their sales have grown significantly.
“Selling tickets online has enabled us to reach our fans wherever they are including in areas outside our borders,” Smith said.
She also revealed that they were able to learn a few new things after using Webtickets.
“Because we hadn’t printed terms and conditions on the tickets for the first event, we had to refund a few customers when Freshly Ground pulled out. With the new tickets we have made it clear that tickets are not refundable,” said Smith.
In this year’s edition of The Hamptons, promoters will also be able to scan the tickets for validity. Smith said through Webtickets they are able to monitor the day to day sales of tickets.
“The Webtickets system comes at a price but it is all worth it. I have heard promoters who still use the old system complaining about a packed show that didn’t reflect the sales and that is not something we want to experience,” said Smith.