Tickets for Good on why they developed the ‘Virtual Ticket Bank’
Over the last year, we at the Digital Culture Network have witnessed a vast amount of arts and culture organisations shift their events online during a time when venues and performance spaces have been closed. Despite this increase in online activity, some people have struggled to access cultural content for a variety of reasons. We caught up with the founder and CEO of Tickets for Good, Stephen Rimmer, to explore how they used digital innovation to increase access to the arts for the most affected members of our society during the pandemic.
“Tickets for Good is a ‘tech for good’ startup company that we started working on back in 2017. The idea was to broaden access to events for people in need, vulnerable and disadvantaged people. It followed my involvement with various community-based projects in Sheffield including creating CADS (Creative Arts Development Space) Trusts which now runs over half a dozen mostly ex-industrial buildings in Sheffield, providing affordable and accessible studio space in properties, usually earmarked for development in the future which I still oversee as Founder and Trustee.”
“In 2019, we launched our ‘Ticket Bank’ platform, a totally new concept that allowed events to donate free event tickets to any of our hundreds of signed-up charities, not for profits and social prescribers who in turn distribute tickets to their members. Here’s a short video on how it all works:
“During the pandemic, with venues and social gatherings off the table, we switched our focus and created the ‘Virtual Ticket Bank’, collating and accepting donations for free arts activities taking place online. This allowed us to keep helping our beneficiaries despite the lockdown.
At the start of 2021, we released the NHS equivalent of this platform, especially for staff, volunteers and other frontline workers. Through these platforms, NHS leaders, charity partners and social prescribers can easily distribute tickets to their service users and staff members. Many people and organisations want a way to repay those who have done so much in the last 12 months and also may need a platform that enables them to fulfil social responsibilities, Tickets For Good and our various projects allows this.
In the last month we have integrated with the Spektrix Agent API, allowing them to automate the ticket donation process from venues for an easier, and hopefully faster, ‘return to live’ for the events industry. This integration allows for automated and seamless delivery of thousands of event tickets across the UK, providing the platforms with access to over 400 arts venues in the UK at the click of a button. You can find out more about how the Spektrix integration works here.
Now that the UK has Monday 17 May 2021 pencilled in for the return of events, venues are starting to see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel and I’m excited and honoured to play a role in this. Within the industry, there is a feeling that we have an opportunity to build back better. This means placing social inclusion and subsidised event participation at the heart of the evolving city centre. As retail continues to fall, the leisure industries become even more vital and we all have a responsibility to make sure no-one is left behind.”
For more information about Tickets for Good you can visit their website here or reach out to Stephen Rimmer directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Digital Culture Network is always interested in hearing about new platforms that support arts and cultural organisations reach wider audiences, and to offer wider communities opportunities to experience and participate in cultural activity, so do share new initiatives like Tickets for Good with us.