Going.com's CEO explains new ticketing initiative

Evan Schumacher, chief executive of hipster-oriented events site Going.com, talks to CNET News.com about the challenges of branching into ticket sales.

Urban events site Going.com, which targets party-friendly 20-somethings with a hipster slant, announced earlier this week that it has expanded into local event ticketing. This means that promoters and event hosts on Going can now sell tickets for their concerts, benefits, parties, and other social get-togethers through the site.

The structure is much like a standard ticket site's "will-call" option; no paper tickets are mailed. "You go to the venue or the place of the event," Going CEO Evan Schumacher explained in an interview with CNET News.com, "and we tell (you) to bring your credit card or ID."

Just like the rest of Going.com, the new ticketing service is limited to New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. And Schumacher assured me that it won't be a free-for-all due to security concerns.

"The first thing (promoters) do is they have to go through a registration process, which includes a credit card transaction validating that they are who they are, and that they represent the organization they say they represent," he said. He estimated that this approval process should take a day or two. "We actually reach out to the venue or the organization that they say they're selling tickets either for or at, and make sure that this is an accurate representation as well."

In other words, it'd be difficult for you to use Going to monetize your next house party.

And, he added, ticket resellers will not be able to use Going to scalp tickets purchased from, say, Ticketmaster at inflated prices. "We don't get involved with tickets that are at major venues," he explained. "It's not a marketplace like an eBay."

Going has cited Pollstar Magazine figures that put the U.S. ticket sales market at $3.6 billion and rising. That revenue potential is why a relatively niche-based events site is willing to take this kind of risk.

"Every ticketing site has to deal with fraud prevention," he said. "People will try all kinds of things, I'm sure, and that's why we're focusing on a high-touch validation at this phase."

 

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