A virtual ticket is an electronic ticket that allows entry to an event without needing a physical paper ticket. Virtual tickets provide a convenient and secure way to manage event tickets digitally. Here is an overview of how virtual ticketing works:
Purchasing a Virtual Ticket
Virtual tickets are purchased online, either through an event website, a ticket retailer, or a mobile app. When you purchase a virtual ticket, you will receive a confirmation email with a QR code, PDF, or mobile pass. This serves as your virtual “ticket” for entry.
Some key advantages of purchasing virtual tickets include:
- Convenience – tickets can be purchased anytime, anywhere through a digital device.
- Security – virtual tickets reduce the risk of lost, stolen, or counterfeit paper tickets.
- Flexibility – tickets can be transferred or resold easily.
- Integration – virtual tickets can integrate with digital wallets on mobile devices.
When you purchase a virtual ticket, your name, email, and payment details are associated with that ticket. The ticket has a unique identifier or QR/bar code that serves as your pass for entry.
Receiving the Virtual Ticket
After purchasing a virtual ticket online, you will receive a confirmation email with your virtual ticket. This can be:
- A QR code – This square digital barcode can be scanned at the event entrance to validate your ticket.
- A PDF ticket – The ticket with seat number, bar code, and event details can be downloaded and printed or displayed on your mobile device.
- A mobile pass – The virtual ticket can be downloaded to a digital wallet on your smartphone as a passbook (iOS) or GPay (Android) pass.
The virtual ticket contains vital information including a unique identifier, your name, ticket type, date, seat number, and other event details. You will need to display your virtual ticket at the venue for entry.
Validating the Virtual Ticket
To enter the event, your virtual ticket will need to be validated or scanned:
- For QR code tickets – The QR code will be scanned using a smartphone app or infrared scanner at the entry gates.
- For PDF tickets – Staff can view and scan the bar code displayed on your smartphone or printed ticket.
- For mobile passes – Passes can be scanned using NFC technology or associated bar codes.
Once scanned, your virtual ticket is validated in real-time. The system checks the ticket’s authenticity and confirms your entry into the event.
Benefits of Virtual Tickets
There are many benefits to using virtual ticketing for both event organizers and attendees:
Benefits for Organizers
- Lower distribution costs – no physical printing and postage costs
- Better ticketing data – real-time tracking of ticket sales and attendance
- Reduced fraud – virtual tickets are difficult to counterfeit or duplicate
- Environmentally friendly – paperless system has lower environmental impact
- Easier inventory control – digital distribution enables better management of ticket availability
Benefits for Attendees
- Convenient – tickets accessible through digital devices anytime, anywhere
- Secure – virtual tickets reduce risk of losing a paper ticket or ticket fraud
- Easy transfer – tickets can be transferred to others digitally
- Interactive – virtual tickets can integrate with maps, schedules, and more
- Mobile integration – seamless access from mobile wallet apps
Virtual Ticketing Use Cases
Some examples where virtual ticketing is commonly used include:
- Concerts & festivals – Gain entry by scanning a QR code on your smartphone.
- Sports events – Show your digital passbook ticket at stadium entry gates.
- Airlines – Check-in and board flights using mobile boarding passes.
- Theater & movies – Display a PDF ticket or bar code on your phone for entry.
- Museums & attractions – Redeem etickets from a kiosk by scanning a code.
Challenges with Virtual Tickets
There are some potential challenges to consider with virtual ticketing:
- Internet connectivity issues – Tickets must be accessible online which requires wifi or mobile data.
- App/wallet requirements – Certain phones may not be compatible with some mobile passes.
- Battery life – Digital tickets depend on sufficient smartphone battery charge.
- Screen visibility – Small screens may make it difficult to display ticket details.
- Ticket transfers – Systems must allow seamless ticket forwarding or resale to others.
The Future of Virtual Ticketing
Virtual ticketing has already become commonplace across many events and is likely to expand further in the future. Some possibilities as the technology evolves include:
- Facial recognition – Cameras with facial scanning could validate identity along with virtual tickets.
- Biometric entry – Fingerprint, iris, or hand scans could provide ticketless entry options.
- Blockchain – Cryptocurrency technology may play a role in ticketing transactions and validation.
- Chatbots – AI chatbots could help with virtual ticket purchases, transfers, and customer service.
- Enhanced experiences – Virtual reality or 3D mapping could be integrated with virtual ticketing.
Virtual ticketing provides a flexible and convenient digital alternative to traditional paper ticketing for events. With virtual ticketing systems, event organizers can reduce costs, better manage inventory, and gather data while providing mobile friendly options for attendees.
While there are some potential technology and device limitations, virtual tickets help streamline the ticket purchasing process. Scannable virtual tickets, whether QR codes, barcodes, or mobile passes, offer a secure and environmentally friendly way to validate entry. As technology capabilities grow, virtual ticketing will likely become even more integrated into events across concerts, travel, sports, and entertainment.