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Kudos to Staples Center, AEG, and Jackson Family For A Well Run Ticket Process

It is becoming more and more apparent that email contests and online drawings must be thought-out completely before being executed. This is especially true nowadays with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, whose word-of-mouth capabilities expand the reach of such campaigns drastically and quickly, while also serving as a potentially treacherous criticism forum. Earlier this year KFC demonstrated how NOT to run an online giveaway. The chicken establishment’s free meal offer not only brought down the website hosting the coupon but contributed to restaurant sit-ins, chicken riots, and overall negative feelings and press towards KFC.

Recently the Staples Center, AEG, and Michael Jackson’s family tackled the huge task of how to distribute Michael Jackson Memorial tickets fairly, quickly, and error free. Unlike KFC - the Staples Center, AEG and the Jackson family created an easy to follow, seemingly error free, and clear process in the Michael Jackson Memorial ticket giveaway. They did everything right! Hopefully this model process will start a new standard in large online giveaways.

The memorial, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 7th, is gigantic. If there was an error in the process the results would be 100,000,000 times worse than any chicken sit-in. In the first 90 minutes of the lottery registration Web servers counted a half-billion hits. This is 12,000 ticket hopefuls a second! Seven hours into the lottery's announcement, more than half a million people had registered via email vying for free tickets. When the dust settled and the lottery site closed, over 1.6 million email addresses registered for 8,750 tickets. The odds of winning tickets were long - just one of every 182 entries were chosen. This equates into a very few extremely ecstatic winners and a whole world of disappointed losers. These losers were locked out of getting tickets to arguably one of the biggest events in the history of music. It would be catastrophic if there was a KFC type glitch in this system. Luckily, there was not.

Here is the process that the Staples Center, AEG, and Jackson Family created to run their efficient and effective online ticket giveaway. Way to go!

Step 1: A Clear Website and Registration Process Was Created.

The Staples Center web site made it clear where interested visitors needed to go to register for tickets. The one-step form was also simple and clear. All that was required was an Email Address, First Name, Last Name, Zip Code and Date of Birth.

The event information, including when the registration ended, who was eligible, the rules, and how to get more information, were all available and clear.

Step 2: Winners and Losers Were Notified

Both the winners and losers were notified via email if they did or did not win tickets.

Here is the losers email. I, unfortunately, did not receive a winning email :(

The winners email told these lucky few to contact Ticketmaster for information on how to claim their tickets.

Winners were provided a secret code and instructions to appear at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday (the day before the memorial event) to claim their tickets. These winners needed a picture ID and will have a wristband placed on their arms to prevent them from reselling the tickets. It was seemingly impossible to resell or scalp ones tickets unless the information provided by Ticketmaster was sold to someone with the same name as a winner prior to the tickets and wristbands being distributed at Dodger Stadium.

Each winner received two tickets, bringing the number awarded in the lottery to 17,500. Just 11,000 of those are for seats inside the Staples Center, while the other 6,500 are for viewing the memorial telecast across the street at the Nokia Theater.

Step 3: The Day of the Event

Police presence was extremely heavy in and around the Staples Center. Police have said they will close off the area near the Staples Center to all those without a ticket and asked fans to watch the event on television. "Fans attending the memorial service must have both a valid ticket AND a wristband," a Jackson family statement said. "Wristbands that have been ripped, taped or otherwise mutilated will be void." The Jackson family will provide a free live video feed to networks so the memorial service would be televised everywhere.

A few of the takeaways from this promotion are:

- Make a clear start and end date for any promotion.
- Allow only one entry per email address when applicable.
- Be sure to notify winners and losers.
- Map out the promotion process from start to finish looking for any errors, mistakes, or missteps.
- Always anticipate that the promotion will reach the entire world. A Tweet can go a long way. Be prepared to deal with increased web traffic, email traffic, questions, and responses.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Blog. Glad the Memorial worked out. RIP MJ.