ESNS and See Tickets: Pioneering Musical Talent and Technology


Since its inception in 1986, Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) has established an impressive reputation in the dynamic world of live entertainment. A pioneer when it comes to discovering and promoting emerging talent, not only has ESNS been pushing musical boundaries in recent years, it has also invested heavily in the development of innovative solutions in the field of online ticketing. In 2021, ESNS laid out specific goals with the aim of enhancing the festival experience, focused on improving the level of service provided to fans, gaining better insight into data and further optimizing the customer journey, in terms of primary as well as secondary ticket sales. Jet Schuit (Ticketing & Customer Relations Coordinator, ESNS) and Jasper Butter (Director of Client Success, See Tickets Benelux) discuss the progress that has been made so far.

Photographer: Joris Brouwer

Ambitious goals for a dynamic ticket store

In 2021, ESNS revealed the ambitious goals it has to transform the festival experience for its fans. ESNS' vision is centered on direct contact with the fans, service upselling, and creating a better experience in the purchasing process and a secure secondary ticket market. Given the shared interest between both parties, they reached out to See Tickets to tackle this challenge together head-on. 

The first step in improving the festival experience was to set up a new white-label shop. ESNS finally had a ticket store designed entirely in the style of the ESNS, increasing brand recognizability for visitors. The store was later expanded with smart shopping integrations, which also provides an underlying first-party data strategy in the process. The visitor buys a ticket via a one-stop-shop that also displays all related products. In addition to purchasing tickets for the festival, you can also book a hotel arrangement, train tickets for the journey to ESNS and cashless top-ups in the store, so you can order a drink immediately upon arrival. This ensures an easy, carefree experience for the visitor and solidifies the relationship between ESNS and its audience.

The new store not only improves the fan experience, but also has other advantages for ESNS.

"Given the ambitions ESNS has, a flexible and dynamic ticket store is an absolute must. There are potentially many choices a visitor can make. To prevent a visitor from opting out in the process or not maximizing the offer, our store helps guide them through the journey. This enables ESNS to increase sales and improve conversion rates," says Jasper Butter.

Photographer: Bart Heemskerk

Ticketkeeper & GET

One of the things that appeals to us in the partnership with See Tickets is the open API strategy. This gives us the opportunity to integrate our own technology with the See Tickets system. This has added a lot of momentum when it comes to developing our innovative ticketing ambitions, which until now was difficult to get off the ground," says Jet Schuit.

An example of our integrated solutions is the real-time integration with Global Event Technologies (GET). This integrated solution provides a real-time link to the fan's ESNS user account, which allows ESNS to directly synchronize ticket and visitor information. Whereas previously visitors were required to have individual tickets scanned separately, ranging from entrance tickets to tokens, now all of the data from individual tickets is collected in one central location. As a result, the fan has all the necessary information in one place and they only need to scan once. One of the advantages of this is that you can automatically send an invoice to the ticket delegate, so there’s no need to keep all the receipts. The end result: a positive streamlined, fully optimized, user-friendly experience for the fan.

One of the things that appeals to us in the partnership with See Tickets is the open API strategy.

The integration with GET also means orders can be processed faster at the event. By linking visitor information to a wristband that allows you to pay, automatic credit top-ups are now possible, which means the use of physical money is no longer necessary. Not only do these cashless payments provide a smoother experience for the fan, they also offer a lot of relevant insights thanks to a continuous two-way flow of information. In addition, this way of working reinforces the security surrounding the payment process, by continuously safeguarding the integrity of the financial transactions that are taking place.

This year, ESNS is also setting the stage for the innovative Ticketkeeper. Ticketkeeper's mobile wallet completely unburdens fans in every aspect of their event experience. Ticketkeeper is designed to simplify event ticket management. Going to an event should be stress-free and carefree, according to Ticketkeeper. Fans of events can save their tickets in the app during the purchase, so all the necessary access and entry information can be easily found in one place and automatically shown on the screen upon arriving at the event. "We appreciate the shared drive for innovation shown by See Tickets, as well as their continued efforts when it comes to serving the best interests of the visitor. The integration with Ticketkeeper fits perfectly with our ambition to keep optimizing and innovating the festival experience," says Jet Schuit.

Photographer: Joris Brouwer

End-to-end fan experience

The ticket market has long faced challenges when it comes to secondary ticket sales, extortionate prices and fraud. These issues compromise the integrity of ticket sales. Fans of Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) have also encountered this. In order to meet these challenges, in 2023, ESNS launched its own Resale Platform with the help of See Tickets. The ESNS White Label Resale platform is a secondary ticket marketplace integrated into the ticketing platform, allowing ESNS to keep both resale and primary ticket sales all in one place. 

In these times where smart interpretation of data and personal communication are paramount, we as a festival are always looking for new opportunities to optimize the visitor experience. The introduction of its own resale platform ensures that fans always pay a fair price, and guarantees  that their tickets are valid. This focus on service and reliability adds to a positive overall festival experience and strengthens the relationship between ESNS and its audience, both primary and secondary,” says Jet Schuit. 

Jasper Butter adds: "When collaborating with other parties, it’s important to us that customers can make choices that fit their brand, strategy and objectives. Our technology simply provides the tools to achieve those goals. Providing flexible systems and a wide range of integrated solutions are key elements in this process."

Gamechanger for the relationship with fans

An integrated resale platform aligns perfectly with ESNS' first-party data strategy. When tickets are sold or resold, the ticket (seller) buyer is asked to personalize the tickets by means of an account. Because a personalized account is required when buying and selling tickets, the relationship between ESNS and its visitors becomes personal. This offers several advantages, such as reducing the number of fake tickets, because people are less likely to cheat if their personal information is known. Validated barcodes are also guaranteed during the (re)sale process. This way, the organization retains control over every transaction. “The number of people arriving at the door with fake tickets has dropped significantly, which leads to more satisfied visitors,” says Jet Schuit.

The number of people arriving at the door with fake tickets has dropped significantly, which in turn leads to more satisfied visitors.

The personalization of the (re)sale process also helps in terms of collecting the correct visitor data. Because (re)sales are done via their own platform, both the data of the original buyer and the data of the secondary buyer is in the hands of ESNS. This not only provides additional visitor information for ESNS, but also improves the fan experience. Fans are included in the most up-to-date information about the festival and receive personalized offers.

Future plans and inspiration for the industry

When asked about future plans and objectives, Feenstra answers: "We are aiming for new visual experiences on the website and further development of the one-stop-shop strategy, for example by adding a calendar option for our hotels.

Jasper Butter adds: “We see ESNS as a leading example for the industry. Their approach and willingness to try new things also encourages other event organizations to invest in the direct relationship with the fans, through data and an excellent customer journey. By combining the rich  history of the festival and continued innovation, the future looks bright." 

Schuit calls on others in the industry to keep the dialog open with each other surrounding these topics: “Not only do we want to share our successes, we also want to have these conversations with other event organizers. Together we can share knowledge and gather new ideas. It's time for a collective step forward in the live entertainment industry to combat ticket fraud and extortionate prices.”