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Ticket Cake Cuts Costs of Attending Live Shows | News

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Ticket Cake Cuts Costs of Attending Live Shows
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LAS VEGAS -- An 18-month-old tech company that moved from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas in May is giving customers an online way to purchase tickets to live performances without charging the high fees one normally associates with TicketMaster.

Ticket Cake says its fee, 16 percent on a $10 ticket, is only about one-third of what Ticketmaster charges.

A major reason for the discount comes from the fact that there are no costs associated with printed tickets. At Ticket Cake, printed tickets simply don't exist.

"Our website is easy to use, the service fees are the best in the industry and you will have a good experience with our refund policy if that ever comes up," company CEO Joe Henriod said.

Henriod, Ticket Cake chief operating officer Jacqueline Jensen and chief technical officer Dylan Jorgensen are all web developers who now live and work in the Ogden residential complex downtown. They started the company in a garage after running another tech operation that involved web design for concert promoters.

What they found is that many venue operators went out of business within three years because of cash flow problems caused by the failure to promote shows or price tickets properly.

Venue operators, promoters or bands can use Ticket Cake free of charge to sell tickets. All Ticket Cake asks is that the seller provide artwork such as a poster, handbill or photo of the performers to help advertise the event on Ticket Cake's website.

Customers are asked to supply their age and gender during their free registration. They can then use a credit card to pay for the ticket. The demographic information and pace of sales is made available to the ticket seller so that they can alter prices, if necessary, or do a better job promoting the show to a certain demographic.

Buyers simply show up at the venue with photo identification to verify their purchase. To eliminate the possibility of long waiting lines at the will call window, Ticket Cake is roughly four months away from distributing to venue operators a device that will allow buyers to have their "tickets" scanned from their smartphones to gain entrance.

Ticket Cake

Because of the requirement to show identification at the venue, the Ticket Cake crew believes their service may also help put ticket scalpers out of business.

Ticket Cake also offers a full refund if an event is cancelled, and will notify buyers by email if the performance has been rescheduled.

So far, the company is focusing on smaller venues with 1,000 or fewer seats. In addition to music concerts and festivals, Ticket Cake sells tickets to comedy shows and nonprofit fundraising events. The website also allows promoters to post upcoming community events even if Ticket Cake derives no revenue from them.

Ticket Cake
The Ticket Cake team live and work at their unit at The Ogden in Downtown Vegas.

"We want to help the community, so we're not just doing this for financial reasons," Jorgensen said.

Since launching in January 2011, Jensen said Ticket Cake is fast approaching $1 million in sales and has attracted 16,000 unique customers. The company has sold tickets for the likes of Lauryn Hill, Third Blind Eye, Nelly and Snoop Dogg.

To help grow its business, the company earlier this month received an undisclosed amount of financing from VegasTechFund, whose partners include Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh.

"We see plenty of ways to grow horizontally, so we'll still stay focused on smaller venues," Jorgensen said.

Before you know it, Ticketmaster could be facing serious competition from the likes of Ticket Cake.

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