G-Dragon Concert (Priority) Tickets - Why so complicated?

There has never been a habit to actually buy concert tickets, especially if they are the most expensive ones. However, the power of peer pressure can be very “persuading” especially if there is more than one person trying to “convince” you. So yes, I have been very effectively persuaded to go for a GD concert, other than the MBLAQ concert in Taipei. Well, actually DramaQueen’s friend convinced her to get the most expensive tickets (because she’s a fan) and in turn she me (kinda). If the concert ticket was complimentary, I would just probably rave (?) about the concert and experience. But since I have to pay for this one I just have to rant about the whole process, well the booking and paying part that is, but mostly just this thing called "priority" sales. So pardon this (mostly) ranting post.

Yes, you live only once so trying out new things are fine (concerts included). But why do I have to purchase 2 days worth of tickets just so to qualify for the early "priority" sales (which would most probably have people snapping up the good seats whether or not they need them, and increasing the probability that it will go on to the black market)? Sales will definitely increase and monies safely in the bank, but at the expense of the organizer’s reputation and brand (which is their lifeline isn’t it?). Is it really worth it?

I had a uni thesis on management that asked us to expound on the role of managers and whether their responsibility was solely to just maximize profits. You can read it here. My conclusion than (and now) was, no it is not their sole responsibility but it is the main one, as money is what makes the “world” go round and what investors are mainly interested in (that's why they invest after all). Finding that balance between profits and losing your “humanity” or character as a result of profits (or the representation thereof) is the main challenge. But as you can see the organizer of this event is clearly into the profits for this concert.

Now there is nothing wrong with wanting/earning profits, however when it comes to businesses selling products/services it should at least be done in a more tasteful manner (e.g. promotions that give you a free gift if you spend above a certain amount - you have a choice). It's just me (probably), but I find this whole "priority" sales issue (just to get the good seats, because really if there is "priority" sales the good seats tend to get snapped up relatively fast) a little ridiculous, customers should be able to purchase how much they want, when they want. It might be a little better if the word "fan" was not used. But even than, "forcing" all who want the good seats to purchase tickets for both nights regardless is (a tad?) authoritarian.

The “privilege” for being eligible for the priority sales for this concert is not a credit card or any rationally based (but still relatively "unfair") rationale/promotion, but one that wants to “give” back to the fans by getting them to purchase the same amount of tickets (minimum 1) for both days, which makes it a little too obviously that they are cashing in on GD’s popularity at the moment (because really with that kind of a condition it’s really not so much for the fans…. Or is it?). '

Granted that it was not stated on the actual Sistic booking page, but the statement on the organizer's official Facebook page stating that the "priority" booking was just for fans, but only if they purchase tickets to both nights. It would have been better if there was a discount for those who purchased for both nights, or at least let the priority booking be done through the fan clubs (at least that's some proof those purchasing are fans?).

Well, this special priority “privilege” did make headlines in the news online (here) with some people relying to that article. So…

I guess you can look at it both ways. The "positive" side is that it:
  • allows the fans to band together and buy the tickets together (if they want to or their budget is tight, creating a sense of camaraderie), only to have the majority who just want to attend the concert for one night or are not able to find people to pair with to
    • buy extra tickets and resell them for whatever reasons
      • sell the tickets to the highest bidder as the concert date near
      • sell the (extra spare) tickets at the original prices (hey at least they'll get the points if they had used their credit card, right?)

While the "negative" side to this is:
  • it's a poorly marketed strategy / not packaged properly (to me at least)
    • if they say its meant to be for the fans 
      • I do not see the correlation that buying for both nights = fans OR that all fans actually want to/are available to attend both nights
      • for the majority of fans who seem to be students, their budgets might be limited, so getting two nights worth of tickets might end up being a burden (if they are going for both nights) but let's not go there. 
    •  this seems like it is forced upon you of sorts. If it were a company or credit card promotion, at least the rationale behind the "privilege" for "priority" is somewhat understandable, you have something (proof) that grants you a "special status". However for this, what proof is it that validates "fans" for this particular "privilege"? It seems that as long as you purchase for both days you are fan, or you are fan if you purchase for both days?

Anyways, with that interesting condition set in stone, despite people being unhappy, they would still have to comply just so to be eligible for the early sales (and get the better seats). So comply they/we did (what other choice was there?). Even though I am not the fan, I am amazed at my efficiency (haha) - I managed to find another person looking for 3 tickets to pair up just to qualify for this “priority” sale (can’t imagine how much more "efficient" I would be if I actually am a fan).

Speaking of which brings us to the topic of actually booking the tickets online via the Sistic website (which is a first for me) and its process (which was not as bad as I expected given the high traffic during the early sales period). Yes, as expected traffic was high and the system was laggy with many timeouts before actually getting to book the tickets. It took about 5-10 minutes for the page to load at its peak. As you can see from the screenshot below, it was not that easy choosing a section that we wanted and I ended up letting the system assign seats. 

With high traffic, there’s no telling what may happen to your booking session should you be unhappy with your allotted seats and want the system to reassign or choose another area on your own: you might get what you want, end up with a not so good seat or not getting what you want at all (which would be sad I guess?). 

The sale started at 10am and traffic seemed to be high, but it started to be a little more manageable from 11am onwards (no more timeout pages). Kudos to the Sistic team on this one.

Call it buyers regret, but after securing fairly good (I hope) and not to mention the most expensive seats, I am already feeling the pinch. I really hope the price of the concert is worth it and the organizer better tie up its shoelaces real good.

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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