September 22, 2011 in ATDC News

Startup Chronicles: Ticket Alternative

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Nobody likes a convenience fee. Especially not Iain Bluett and Jamie Dwyer, avid concert-goers who got tired of forking over the extra charges often associated with event tickets.

Fortunately, the two friends made it their mission to create an outlet that would provide a range of ticketing and box office solutions minus the high industry service charges. And in 2004, Ticket Alternative was born.

“They really started with the intention of having a good relationship with clients and providing the lowest service charges in the industry,” said Leila Regan-Porter, Ticket Alternative’s Promotions Director. “And that philosophy seems to have worked. Between our in-house call center, retail ticket outlets and website, we print nearly 600,000 tickets per month, and sell advance tickets to events at over 400 venues in 48 states nationwide.”

Ticket Alternative’s first major event was a 2003 New Year’s Eve party organized by Abstract Rhythms. Atlanta-based promoters picked up on the new affordable ticketing service, and local venues quickly began lining up as clients. Within a few years, Ticket Alternative expanded into the London market, setting up a secondary location that now prints millions of tickets and event wristbands.

The company’s dedication to customer service has attracted a diverse group of clients ranging from beer festivals to ballet recitals. That client list includes the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, The Buckhead Theatre and The Frederick J. Brown Amphitheatre, as well as the American Craft Beer Festival in Boston, Jannus Live in St. Petersburg and Winona State athletics.

About 20 employees work out of the Midtown headquarters, which was built from the ground up without angel investment. They joined ATDC about a year ago, in an effort to expand their technology expertise and network with similar entrepreneurs. That technology guidance could come in handy, as they ramp up their smartphone offerings.

Earlier this year, Ticket Alternative launched its first iPhone app for the EARL, an Atlanta venue. The app lets customers view upcoming events, buy tickets, check out venue information and share the information via email, Twitter and Facebook. In recent months, they have unveiled similar apps for The Black Cat and The Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“Ticket Alternative customers can create and save account information online including credit card details, so the purchase process is really easy,” said Regan-Porter. “We’re looking to do a lot more of these in the future so we see lots of opportunities for growth in the years to come.”

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