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Jun 30, 2023
4 minutes read

Ticketing as First Touchpoint of the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix Fan Experience

Ticketing is the first touch point of the total experience for every event, so also for the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix. That's why you want it to run smoothly so that everyone who can get a ticket looks forward to their visit. However, due to the immense popularity of Formula 1, there is a lot of interest in tickets for this event - more than there are actual tickets. Therefore, the Dutch Grand Prix was looking for an innovative ticketing system to help them manage ticket allocation smoothly, and CM.com offered the solution.

Esmee Spaan
Esmee Spaan,
Product Marketer Ticketing

Typically, an event has a few different ticket types, and the ticketing process is quite simple. The Dutch Grand Prix, however, is more complex. This is not only because of the high demand but also because of different seating areas, promotional activities, sponsored tickets, and more. Our innovative ticketing system handled all these challenges as we continuously improve our product by listening to the needs of our customers and the industry.

Lottery for Tickets

Usually, when you want to visit an event, you simply go to the ticket shop and buy your ticket. Perhaps a queue is activated if the event is popular. However, the demand for the Dutch Grand Prix was so high that the organization wanted a fairer process. Therefore, the organization worked with a request shop in our Seated Ticketing product, where they gave everyone a fair chance to register for tickets. In this branded shop, race fans could indicate their ticket preferences, for example, which zone they wanted to sit in or which days they wanted to visit. A map of the circuit gave the fans a clear overview of the different seating areas. Based on these preferences, a draw occurred in the system, and race fans received an email with either good or bad news.

MyDGP for Updates

The email included a link to a personal environment on our platform. This environment is called 'MyDGP,' short for 'My Dutch Grand Prix.' Within MyDGP, visitors can see all information regarding their tickets. Right after the draw, visitors could pay for their tickets through a payment link. After that, the main booker could share a link with his friends to personalize their tickets. This way, the Dutch Grand Prix receives valuable data, and the visitors receive a more tailored experience. If visitors can't come anymore, they can easily sell their tickets via our official reseller platform. Otherwise, they'll receive their tickets two weeks in advance to avoid black market sales.

Serving Sponsors & Partners

In addition to the "regular" tickets, there are other ticket sales for the Dutch Grand Prix. Such as tickets for sponsors and partners who make the event possible. Depending on the contract, all these companies receive a certain number of tickets for the grandstand or their business lounge. Sponsors want to distribute these tickets flexibly among their relations during the year and not be dependent on the organization of the Dutch Grand Prix. To facilitate this efficiently, we use the Guest Manager. In this system, each sponsor has an environment where they can easily assign, reassign, and cancel tickets and determine their guests’ seating.

A Ticket With Groceries

One of those sponsors is the Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo. In the last months before the event, they have a nice promotion where their customers can get a fifty percent discount on tickets if they have shopped for a certain amount of euros. This initiative required a separate ticketing solution which CM.com facilitated. This was done by building a fully branded Jumbo ticket shop via General Admission and generating 10.000 unique discount codes to ensure that users didn't share a code with friends.

Scan and Enjoy the Race

When the weekend finally arrives, hordes of race fans will be heading to the circuit. To ensure they don't have to stand in a long queue, our events team is putting together a solid entrance plan. There are over 150 scanners active for four main entrances, multiple hospitality zones, and parking lots, so it's important that we make sure our scanning software is approving the right tickets at the right entrances. Also, on-site, our team stays focused and monitors the real-time statistics to see how many fans have already entered and if there are crowded areas where we need to scale up. This way, we can facilitate a smooth entrance for everyone, and the racing experience can begin without a hitch.

Ready for Next Year

Even before this year's Dutch Grand Prix starts, next year's ticket sales will go live for its loyal fans. Over the years, the Dutch Grand Prix has built an extensive database of race fans and stored it all in the Customer Data Platform. From here, the first campaign will start in the summer with an email to sign up for the next Dutch Grand Prix. Also, CM.com is looking ahead, and we are excited to contribute to the ultimate ticketing journey in the coming years.

Read our whitepaper to discover our full Dutch Grand Prix story

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Esmee Spaan
Esmee Spaan,
Product Marketer Ticketing

Focuses on understanding the needs and behavior of target groups and trends within the market to ensure that our story and solutions are optimally aligned.

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