FlipTix: A Year Of Creating New Revenue Streams For Promoters

Courtesy FlipTix
– FlipTix
FlipTix CEO Jaime Siegel and some of his staffers work a booth at one of the 80-odd events the company “flipped” tickets for during its first full year of operation. The bright orange booths operate as an adjunct to event box offices for facilitating the sale of unused portions of tickets.

FlipTix CEO Jaime Siegel and his team have a lot to celebrate just more than a year since launching start-up app FlipTix with Kaaboo Del Mar, its first festival client – including getting its first client renewal when the San Diego- area fest re-upped last month.

FlipTix is an app that allows event-goers the ability to “flip” unused portions of tickets for cash or other rewards. For instance, someone buying a full-price ticket for a three-day festival, despite being unable to attend the final day, would be able to “flip” the value of the unused portion of the ticket to somebody else wanting to attend for a day. 
It helps to remember that a ticket is simply a contract guaranteeing physical space for a specific time. If a patron leaves early, FlipTix enables a prorated portion of unused time to be sold to someone else. Whether it’s for one day of a three-day festival, the second act of a show, or the final three innings of a baseball game, the principle is the same.
“We enable those people who leave to flip their tickets back through our platform where they will get a reward and it could take the form of sponsorship-related things or a revenue share,” Siegel tells Pollstar. “When we sell the remaining time left on that ticket, they’ll get a portion of that sale. We’re creating value where there was none.”
In the last year, the company had a presence at Kaaboo’s Del Mar, Calif., and Texas outposts; BLK Live in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and San Francisco’s Clusterfest comedy festival. Significantly, FlipTix signed on new clients including national festival producers AEG Presents, Danny Wimmer Presents and leading festival ticketer Front Gate Tickets. Among the events that have partnered with FlipTix are BUKU Music + Art Project (New Orleans), Off the Rails Country Music Festival (Frisco, TX), Sonic Temple (Columbus OH), Sea.Hear.Now (Asbury Park NJ) and Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show (Huntington Beach CA).
The Front Gate Tickets signing was especially important – not only is it the festival ticketer for C3 Presents and Live Nation, but it agreed to allow FlipTix to integrate the app into its own ticketing platform, creating seamless transactions, real-time data and inventory sharing. Perhaps most significantly, it also introduced FlipTix to Front Gate’s then-director of business development, Ashley Carpenter, who would “flip”to FlipTix to become VP of new business. 
“I became familiar with FlipTix after it became partners with Front Gate,” Carpenter explains. “As I learned more about the product, I became more intrigued with what they were doing. I’d been working in ticketing for five years and once I saw what their product did, I realized they were filling a void in the ticketing market and had the potential to be really huge.”
Siegel and Carpenter tout the company’s diverse leaders and investors, who come from many sectors of the live events and investment communities. Siegel says the seed money came from the “friends and family” sector but, in 2018, the company began fundraising in earnest including $1 million in the first quarter, and have raised an additional $1.42 million in its current second live round of $2 million, Siegel says.
He is optimistic that by legitimizing and monetizing ticket or wristband exchange, FlipTix creates value for stakeholders who had none in terms of monetizing unused time. 
“It just needs to be reasonable and easy to use,” Siegel says. “And that’s what we do. We make the idea of transferring tickets, mid-event, transparent and easy to use.”
FlipTix’s bright orange flags in front of the company’s booths can be easily spotted – as well as staffers in promo T-shirts – at more festivals. Sellers can turn in wristbands and have them deactivated while potential buyers can simultaneously purchase the remainder of the ticket through the FlipTix smartphone app. Siegel says its possible for the same original ticket to be “flipped” three or four times over the course of an event.
“We took a different approach,” Siegel stresses. “We partner with the ticketing platforms and the promoters. We issue brand new tickets. For the fans, if you leave a festival, that little RFID band that has all your information on it that identifies you with a swipe – we destroy those and we issue brand new wristbands.” 
Promoters may find there’s more in it for them with FlipTix than a revenue share on a resold partial ticket, too. Studies have shown that there’s such a thing as event fatigue; for example, attendances tend to be down on the last day of festivals and per-head spending drops off as eventgoers exhaust their festival budgets early.
“That is worth more to the promoter than the revenue share with us,” Siegel says. “If you get more people into that festival, they’re coming in fresh, they’re restarting buying the beer, food and merch, making for happier merchandisers inside; the revenue generation they get from per-caps easily outstrips the additional revenue share they get from ticket resales.” 
Carpenter emphasizes the value of FlipTix as a new revenue stream for event promoters, and believes education is key to making the service more widely used. 
“It’s just a matter of getting [promoters] to understand it, and it’s my goal,” Carpenter says, noting that the Front Gate partnership is a huge step in rolling it out. “It takes a few festivals trying it out and seeing who’s successful and the others will follow suit.”