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Jun 30, 2023
4 minutes read

Ticketing: the first touchpoint of the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix fan experience

Ticketing is the first touch point of any event, which is why it's essential it runs smoothly to give your customers a great first impression. At the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, demand far outstrips supply, so the organisers were looking for an innovative ticketing system to help them manage ticket allocation smoothly. That's where we came in.

Esmee Spaan
Esmee Spaan,
Product Marketer Ticketing

Typically, an event has various ticket types with a relatively simple ticketing process. The Dutch Grand Prix is a lot more complex. The massive demand is one challenge, but with postponed tickets, different seating areas, promotional activities, sponsored tickets, and more, it becomes challenging to manage. Our innovative ticketing system, developed over many years of listening to the needs of our customers and the industry, can handle all of these challenges.

Lottery for tickets

Usually, when you visit an event, you simply go to the ticket shop and buy your ticket; maybe there's a queuing system if the event is popular. However, with the huge demand for Dutch Grand Prix access, we needed to introduce a fair process to ensure everyone had a chance to get a ticket. To achieve this, the organisers created a request shop in our Seated Ticketing product, giving everyone an equal opportunity to register for tickets. In this fully-branded shop, race fans could indicate their preferences – which zone they wanted to sit in or which days they wanted to visit, for example – and a circuit map gave fans a clear overview of the various seating areas. Based on their preferences, we created a prize draw, and race fans received an email telling them whether their application for a ticket had been successful.

MyDGP for updates

The email included a link to a personal environment on our platform called 'MyDGP' (short for 'My Dutch Grand Prix'), which allowed visitors to access information about their tickets and pay for them via a link within MyDGP. Once payment was completed, the booking contact could share a link with other attendees to allow them to personalise their tickets. This meant that the Dutch Grand Prix team could gather valuable data so visitors could receive a more personalised experience. Tickets were released two weeks in advance to avoid black market sales.

Sometimes people's situations change unexpectedly, so if visitors can no longer attend, we allow them to sell their tickets via our official reseller platform. 

Serving sponsors & partners

In addition to the "regular" tickets, there are specialist sponsor and partner tickets for those who make the event possible. Depending on the contract, these companies receive an allotted number of tickets for the grandstand or their business lounge. Sponsors want to distribute these tickets flexibly among their contacts during the year and not depend on the Dutch Grand Prix organisers. To facilitate this, we use our Guest Manager system, where each sponsor can easily assign, reassign, cancel tickets and determine their guests' seating arrangements.

Promotional opportunities

The Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo is one of the Dutch Grand Prix's sponsors. In the last few months before the event, they launched a promotion where customers can get a fifty per cent discount on tickets if their shop exceeded a specific value. This initiative required a separate ticketing solution which facilitated. We built a fully-branded Jumbo ticket shop via General Admission and generated 10,000 unique discount codes to ensure users can't share codes with friends.

Scan and enjoy the race

When the weekend finally arrives, hordes of race fans will descend upon the circuit. Our events team has an innovative entrance plan to ensure they don't have to stand in long queues. With over 150 scanners active for four main entrances, multiple hospitality zones, and parking lots, it's vital that ensure our scanning software approves the right tickets at the correct entrances. On-site, our team will focus on real-time statistics to see how many fans have entered and if there are crowded areas where we need to scale up. That means we can facilitate hassle-free entry for every fan, 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. The Dutch Grand Prix has built an extensive database of race fans and stores that information in our Customer Data Platform. From here, the first campaign will start in the summer with an email to sign up for the Dutch Grand Prix 2023. We're already looking ahead and are excited to continue to build the ultimate ticketing journey over the coming years.

Curious about ticketing for your sporting event?

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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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