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2014 Predictions: What We Got Right and What We Got Wrong

What did we get wrong, what did we get right and what did we get sort of right-ish?

It’s that time of year again. Before we get too excited making bold predictions on the major trends and issues to watch out for in 2015, we’ve gone back to the thoughts we had at the beginning of this year and asked a panel of 6 people from the Spektrix team to vote on whether they came true or not - not only to find out which of our Spektrix team members have secret psychic abilities - but also to suss out what happened in the arts this year. Here’s what we got wrong, what we got right and what we sort of got right-ish.

Our Account Manager Ben predicted: “We'll be hearing more about secondary tickets and touting.”

4 out of 6 agreed

It’s the issue that never quite goes away. After some befuddling comments from the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid calling touts “classic entrepreneurs” in April, hopes rested on Sharon Hodgson MP when she took her campaign for regulating secondary ticketing to parliament. However, they concluded that new legislation isn’t necessary so it looks like event organisers will need to work on their own solutions to overcome touting. Our advice to venues who want to fight touting in 2015 is to make it easier for customers to return tickets for a refund and to experiment with demand-led pricing.

Our Director of Business Development Libby predicted: “The arts are finally going to get mean.”

1 out of 6 agreed

Libby suggested 2014 was ripe for being the year when arts marketers and arts orgs in general fight back against funding cuts by diversifying revenue from other sources or adopting innovative fundraising practices. While the Belgrade Theatre saw its hard work pay off with a record year after diversifying its income streams, not everyone agrees that it happened at a sector-wide level.

James, VP Operations of Spektrix USA predicted: “Privacy and security of data will become a top concern.”

3 out of 6 agreed

We’re split down the middle on this one. While there were a few high profile breaches which had us rattled for a few seconds, we haven’t seen any major concerns around this issue in the arts sector. We like to think the concern we’re seeing from a small number of people is down to better awareness when it comes to asking questions about data security, and not because suppliers are giving users a reason to doubt the security of their technology.

Spektrix co-founder and MD Michael predicted: “The arts will take steps towards making booking fees a thing of the past.”

3 of out 6 agreed

While gradual consensus is moving towards the belief that booking fees aren’t such a good idea, the arts are having trouble getting rid of them entirely. Is it a problem with being financially dependent? Are arts organisations having trouble getting organisation-wide consensus on the issue? Or is it more to do with how touring and receiving venues split costs? Whichever one it is, we reckon this one might take a while for the arts to fully shake off. See our reasons why the arts need to make booking fees a thing of the past (and how to do it) here

Michael predicted: “There will be more shared ticketing systems implemented across multiple organisations.”

2 out of 6 agreed.

While there was definite talk of this at the beginning of the year, a shift of opinion and realisation that perhaps it’s not as easy as it sounds has led to a change of heart - probably a good thing considering the complexity involved. We hope that the arts will find ways of collaborating again in 2015 and if you want to know how to implement a shared ticketing system effectively, read our whitepaper.

James predicted: “The arts will get more comfortable with thinking cloud first.”

5 out of 6 agreed

A near unanimous agreement on James’ prediction isn’t too surprising in a year where cloud companies who were up and coming in 2013, have finally up and come in 2014. Then there’s the fact that cloud suppliers are maturing their products and enterprises are spending more of their IT budget on cloud. Here at Spektrix, we’re noticing the tide is turning in the arts. People are coming to us because we’re cloud-based, not despite it. As the naysayers become a minority, it looks like cloud will continue to become the mainstream technology of choice in 2015.