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XLIVE Interview Series - Ashton Addison - EventChain.jpg

Ashton Addison, EventChain - XLIVE Interview Series

This week on the XLIVE Interview Series we sat down with Ashton Addison, CEO of EventChain. EventChain is a ticketing platform which uses blockchain technology to verify tickets and give event organizers more control of their ticketing solution. From conferences, festivals, esports events and more, EventChain can work with many different types of events. Read our interview with Ashton below!

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today, Ashton.  For those who aren’t familiar, can you give us a high level overview of EventChain and the problems you solve within ticketing?

EventChain leverages technology to take back control of your events.

What started as a blockchain startup with the goal of solving counterfeit ticketing issues in the primary ticketing market, has grown to a trusted ticketing company using SmartTickets to not only secure tickets but also provide more information to organizers about their attendees to ensure a successful event. There are 12 million fans in America ripped off from counterfeit tickets each year just from concerts alone. By leveraging blockchain technology to create scarce digital tickets with proven authenticity, fans can ensure their tickets are valid and will not be denied from their events, while event organizers retain control of their tickets and data on their ticket holders. 

How is EventChain different from other ticketing providers?

Our team wanted to prove that this technology could solve the longstanding counterfeiting issues with tickets, but we understand the whole idea of blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency industry can be overwhelming for most people. For this reason, EventChain requires no technical knowledge of blockchain at all to create events and sell tickets and manage your event.

While organizers can accept over 50 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum if they wish, they still primarily accept traditional forms of payments like credit cards and PayPal, and these tickets can still be digitally scarce and secure regardless of how the tickets were paid for.

To check the authenticity of a ticket, attendees can simply scan the ticket’s QR code or search the ticket ID and the information is displayed in layman’s terms on EventChain’s site. At the end of the day, we understand organizers and attendees just care that their ticket is legitimate. We are the world’s first event ticketing platform to secure it’s tickets on the blockchain while using credit cards to purchase tickets and ensuring we focus on the user experience.

Talk to use about your use of blockchain technology.  How do you use blockchain at EventChain, and how does this help your clients and improve your services?

We’ve integrated our event tickets into Smart Contracts on a public ledger, so any valid tickets can be scanned or searched for to ensure their authenticity. We originally coded our event tickets into smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, but ran into scalability issues as we grew to ticket larger festivals and concerts.

Ethereum’s blockchain can only handle around 25 transactions per second for the entire network. We’re currently using the GoChain blockchain to verify transactions, which has similarities to Ethereum but is scalable enough to handle thousands of transactions per second for large music festivals and events that sell out and need to check in thousands of people on event day.

For our organizers and attendees, they do not need to understand anything about blockchain or cryptocurrencies at all to use the system, and they can authenticate their ticket with the click of a link.

Have you always worked in the live event industry? How did your career take you into events and ticketing?

I’ve always been into entrepreneurial ventures in tech, but with a thing for music. In 2012 I started a production company Shed Show Productions, which threw multiple sold out EDM shows, where I first experienced the struggles of event organizers in understanding who the ticket holders are after tickets have been resold, and to ensure each ticket was legitimate. I’ve also played shows as a band, and attended many shows over the years. For me, what really triggered the need for a solution was when I was ripped off with a counterfeit ticket and denied entry to the venue for a concert years back, while also losing my money. When I started studying blockchain technology in 2013, I knew it had the potential to solve issues in events, and when we started EventChain in 2017 we set out to ensure attendees can verify the authenticity of their ticket at any time to be sure they won’t be denied entry to their event and don’t get ripped off.

When talking to current or potential clients who are seeking a ticketing solution, what are some of the features which are most important to events?

In the high growth industries that we’ve targeted including large music festivals and esports arenas, ensuring tickets are not double sold and cannot be counterfeit is a huge attraction to event organizers. Our clients also really like the ability to collect and analyse attendee information, including who currently has the ticket, what are their buying habits and preferences, and how can we provide them with the best overall event experience starting from the ticket purchase before the event, during the event, and post-event.

What’s next for EventChain as we finish 2019 and move into 2020?

EventChain will continue to grow, ticketing events of all sizes internationally through our self service platform. We currently ticket general admission and ticketing tiers, but will be finalizing the integration for a reserved seating system to expand our reach into large theatre halls and concerts. We’re also expanding our non-profit program, where we give back to charitable organizations by directly donating back to those charities after their events. One initiative we are working towards is teaming up with non-profits for #GivingTuesday to donate all fees for events occurring on Giving Tuesday back to those charities.

On top of that, we are finalizing on a monetized streaming platform so organizers can sell even more tickets after their venues have reached capacity, specifically targeted towards large live music events and esports arenas. We’ve already secured partnerships with esports arenas and service providers throughout North America and are working towards a large release that will provide an experience for esports players and fans that will keep them coming back even after their event is over.

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today, Ashton. How can people get in touch to learn more?

We just launched a new corporate site - www.go.eventchain.io - where we provide more information for different live event industries that we serve and how they can get the most out of their events with our help. Organizers can always go ahead and create their events on their own at www.eventchain.io and can reach out to us at any time through connect@eventchain.io, or call us at +1-888-611-1188 if they need a hand or have questions. We would love to speak with you!

TAGS: Ticketing
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