Iain Bluett – The Sorted Group

Iain Bluett Headshot

About Me

As the former President and co-founder of Ticket Alternative and Freshtix, I’ve been a leader in the ticketing space for more than 17 years.

After playing in and managing various bands, I leveraged my venue relationships to create a ticketing company which partnered with the smaller indie venues, the likes of which, the larger ticketing companies wouldn’t touch back then. With the mission of serving those who loved and those who created live events, I sold millions of tickets under the premise that if convenience fees were kept low and clients and ticket buyers were provided with the best support in the business, venues would sell more tickets in advance than with other providers. And they did.

Over the years we added additional revenue streams; custom printed tickets, event wristbands, call center services and on-site operations staffing solutions for events across the country.

As our customer service became legendary, we began to offer solutions to all venues and clients, not just our own ticketing clients. Instead of limiting ourselves to just one ticketing platform, our ticketing-system agnostic call center served clients like The Fox Theater, Atlanta Botanical Garden and Infinite Energy Arena and our agents used AXS, Paciolan, Audienceview, Gateway Galaxy, Elevent and Freshtix ticketing systems.

After I realised that 99% of our venues used event wristbands, I entered the event wristband business and became one of the largest event wristband suppliers in the USA. We offered custom ticket printing and at our height printed nearly half a million tickets a month. I oversaw the development of a custom web-to-print e-commerce platform and implemented several other e-commerce websites using CoreCommerce, BigCommerce and Shopify.

We had originally partnered with Paciolan as our software provider, white-labelling their software and reselling it as our own under the name Ticket Alternative. But after quickly realising their complete lack of product development, we set about developing our own ticketing software platform which became known as Freshtix. The first Freshtix client was the Atlanta Botanical Garden and we sold more than 450,000 tickets for their holiday event. I hired the CTO, hired the outsourced and eventually in-house development team and oversaw the entire creation of the platform. We successfully migrated 99% of our clients over to Freshtix, and sold the remaining handful of others to Paciolan’s ticketing arm, TicketsWest.

Towards the end of 2019, I felt I had done everything I could at the company and decided to leave. The company brought on new investors and bought me out. I announced my departure in Billboard magazine in January 2020.

Get In Touch

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Summary

I oversaw a company of 40+ employees and whose assets include:

  • Two powerful ticketing solutions (Ticket Alternative and Freshtix)
  • An exemplary in-house, ticketing-system agnostic call center for clients like The Fox Theater, Infinite Energy Center and the Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • Custom ticketing software development (Freshtix)
  • One of the largest event wristband suppliers & custom ticket printers in the USA.

Since the company’s inception in 2003 targeting the smaller, independent, live music clubs that larger ticketing companies previously avoided, I have sought to serve those who love and create live events.

Personally, I enjoy being on-site at events overseeing the deployment of all technology including our RFID solution, powered by Connect N Go, and ensuring positive guest experiences from the initial sale of the ticket to the barcode scan at the entrance.

  • I find software development and documenting the process extremely interesting. I love working with clients to determine their needs, overseeing the software development and creating solutions for them.
  • I am continually focused on improving my leadership skills to become a better mentor and respected leader of my organization.

I have spoken at conferences such as GaPTA, XLive (IMFCON), Winter Music Conference, INTIX, SEVT, PACnet and SFEA on topics ranging from ticketing and mobile technology to marketing and customer service.

My personal interests are all music-related:

  • Performing & writing. I play piano/keyboards. (visit my Soundcloud page)
  • Attending gigs and music festivals
  • Listening to as much as I can (especially British bands)
  • Football/soccer fan (Man Utd, Atlanta Utd & Minnesota Utd)
  • Travelling the world (I speak French, German and a little Spanish)

And striving to be a great husband and the best parent I can to my twins.