We talked to Ashton Addison of EventChain, a secure ticketing platform that fans, artists and event creators can trust and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ashton Addison: Personally, we are doing well, Kossi, thanks. I’m conscious of staying in an optimal mental condition to stay focused on EventChain’s company goals and the ever-changing business environment.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded EventChain.
Ashton Addison: I grew up as a heavy technology user and moved into studying Finance and Business in post-secondary. With the mentorship of my father, a dotcom entrepreneur and long-time techie, we Co-Founded EventChain in 2017.
How does EventChain innovate?
Ashton Addison: We are solving the counterfeit ticketing and scalping issues within the event industry. With EventChain SmartTickets, each ticket is documented on the Ethereum Blockchain and has a unique identifier and verification system, enabling attendees to verify their tickets are authentic and haven’t been checked yet or transferred to others.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Ashton Addison: The pandemic affected EventChain and the entire live events industry probably more than any other industry, as live events still are not back of any size in most parts of the world. With that came the rush of virtual events. We’ve helped events move digital and help with their virtual and online events until each Country is cleared to start having large scale events again.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ashton Addison: We followed suit with most event industry-related companies and scaled back operations, and then readjusted to the new virtual environment. We optimized our situation by immediately focusing on supporting our organizers in their pivot to virtual events and understanding that they are in a tough situation and have varying levels of technical expertise in integrating more virtual technology into their events.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Ashton Addison: We have become VERY familiar with online Zoom events and are constantly finding ways to bring extra excitement and engagement to their virtual events. We have helped host events inside virtual worlds like VirBELA, Senespace & decentral and, with some attendees joining the events in full VR. We are also working closely with BuzzIt, an advanced networking & attendee engagement platform that pairs with Zoom and every other Livestream type event, which greatly increased participation rates and attendee retention.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ashton Addison: We see ourselves as close allies to the other platforms solving problems using Blockchain Ticketing. Counterfeit ticketing is such a problem that it affects over 15 million Americans every year, nevermind the problems overseas, which has even more trouble. There’s already legislation being put towards a more fair and transparent ticketing environment, but for something major to happen in the industry, we need to continue working together to fight for the same cause.
Your final thoughts?
Ashton Addison: These are very interesting times in the world, especially in the event industry. Overall, I think when the pandemic is over, events will become safer and more secure in many ways, including increased adoption of digital-only and Blockchain ticketing. We can finally get rid of printed out paper tickets.