23 February 2010
Ok I can't do this anymore. I was going to write an entire post in this overly-condescending snobby writing, as a joke on how I got to sit in a luxury box for an evening so I let it completely go to my head. But that paragraph took me nearly an hour to write, and It might take me a week to finish this post if I try to keep it up. Besides If I take it too long the joke becomes stale. Hopefully you get the point.
So Ticket Horse is trying out their new ticket-less ticket system, called Flash Seats, and as a promotion crossed with a science experiment they decided to test it out on a bunch of local Avalanche bloggers. It was extremely nice of them, and even nicer to get good seats to an important game for free, so the least I could do is do a review of the system and talk about it on this site.
Read more after the jump
Full disclosure here: I'm naturally inclined to be partial to anything that allows me to avoid TicketMaster. I'm a person who does stuff out of principal. Like avoid Chik-fil-A because they still use Styrofoam cups (yup I'm a hippie), or cuts up six-pack wraps even if I'm at a guests house and they don't care. I am not (or try not to be) judgemental about it, but I just try to make sure I do my part for things I believe in. But I would personally help Mr. Burns construct his massive net of six-pack wraps for Little Lisa's Slurry if it meant I didn't ever have to use TicketMaster ever again. Naturally that means I'm a Ticket Horse fan, by the sheer fact that they aren't TicketMaster.
A ticketing system is an extremely odd thing to review because the measure of a good ticketing system is how little did it annoy the user. It's not a product, but a necessary evil, and the advertising to choose any kind of service like this is "Our product isn't nearly as shitty as all the other ones!". This isn't some veiled swipe at Ticket Horse or Flash Seats, but more of an acknowledgement that launching something like this comes with it's own little difficulties.It's a tough thing to sell, and an even tougher thing to review.
Massive bias against Ticket horse's main evil competitor aside, and with my above divergence about ticket systems, I'll give Flash seats the greatest compliment I can give it: It didn't annoy me at all. Not even in the slightest. For something that's a necessary evil, that's a HUGE compliment. That comes with a caveat: I don't think one person, on one night, can really try out Flash seat's full capability, and I think the true benefits of such a system will be more apparent once it gains mass usage and mass appeal. For a test run on a small scale it worked as advertised and very smoothly. All I did was register online, tell Meghan (the Ticket Horse representative) and she put the tickets on my account. I showed up at the arena with the Debit Card I registered with, the ticket keeper swiped it, and I got a stub with my and my wife's seat number. It was pretty easy. Kudos for the ticket takers for being prepared with this new system.
Where I think Flash Seats will really make a difference is when it comes to transferring tickets. I didn't get to try it out, because I kept my tickets, but it seems like it should make transferring tickets to a friend or family member really easy. My sister lives in Ft. Collins, and I live well south of the Pepsi center. If I have tickets, but can't make a game (or vice versa) and want to give them to her it's a gigantic hassle and waste of time as one of us drives across town for delivery/pickup.
It seems like Flash Seats should be able to make a transfer of tickets a snap. If we are both registered online it looked like it would be easy to go to my tickets online, hit "transfer" find my sister's account somehow, and then hit a button and she'd have 2 tickets. No transportation involved, just a few clicks of the button. Of course the ease of use of this depends largely on the online interface, something I didn't have a chance to try out, but in theory this should make transferring tickets to others really easy.
It should make selling seats to others easy too, even though I have even less insight as to how that would work. One thing I wouldn't want is someone to get personal information from me just because I sold or bought tickets from them. In theory Flash Seats should actually protect people a little more, since they wouldn't be putting names and addresses on an envelope and sending it to a stranger. Flash Seats should, again in theory, be able to allow the transfer of tickets safely and anonymously, which should also help cut down on forgeries/counterfeit ticket, and add a level of protection from identity theft.
Again the success, or failure, depends on the online interface much of which I didn't use at all because there was no need this time. What I did use ran very smoothly, and I do see the potential in this system to really make ticket buying, and more importantly ticket transferring, a LOT less aggravating.
The night itself was a ton of fun. I got to meet Dustin from Mile High Hockey, Justin from The Avs/Goalie Guild, Jori/Angeliqué from Avs Prospects, Sean (I think) from Real Denver Sports, the guys at Kubiak to Hold, and one of the guys from Denver Sports Blog
And a special thanks to Meghan (last name withheld unless she wants it published) from Ticket Horse who answered all my questions promptly and courteously. She also provided free boos for all us bloggers (Obviously an effort to butter us up for positive reviews. It worked!) and made everything run very smoothly all evening.
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