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ASK beat ticket fraudsters with new ticketing technology

The Kenya Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK), which organized the Nairobi international trade fair and a series of other agricultural shows across the country, has said it expects revenue collected this year to rocket up 60% following the adoption of a highly effective crowd management and ticketing technology.

Batram Muthoka, the ASK Chief Executive Officer said an electronic ticketing technology that the body had tested in Kisumu, Nyeri and Mombasa  agricultural shows had “achieved extraordinarily”  at the Nairobi  International Trade Fair, helping it beat fraudsters at their game.

“Fraudsters tested this system immeasurably but failed. It is amazing sitting in a control room and seeing fraudsters fail at their game again and again,” Muthoka said.

Fraudsters previously reprinted the ASK tickets within hours of sale of the first ticket and analysis showed that fake tickets sold more than genuine tickets because of lower pricing  contributing to heavy losses in entry fees and car park ticketing revenue.

The ASK used its website for the first time this year to sell tickets to show goers helping relieve pressure at the gates. Online ticket buyers paid using M-Pesa and Airtel Money with the transaction said to be easy and taking less than 3 minutes.

 “We adopted a system that uses 2-D bar coding which assigns each ticket sold a unique number that when scanned at the gate and parking entry is then circulated instantly to all gates by a central server making ticket counterfeiting impossible,” he says adding that if someone passed his ticket to another over the fence, he had up to a second or so before the ticket was turned away.  

Muthoka said the system had injected effectiveness and was a result of the process re-engineering going on at the ASK. “This technology loads an intelligent accounting back end is and is able to make reports on ticket sales, attendance and issue security alerts,” he said.  The executive now serving his fourth year at helm of the parastatal said the real time sales and crowd management analytics provided assisted in the management and the security apparatus respectively.  “We are happy. We are now able to match the number of people in attendance at the show to the revenue collected. This is an important milestone and is meaningful to our vision to make the Nairobi International Trade fair an event watched and followed closely worldwide,” he said. Last year, over 400,000 people attended the show with gate fees at Ksh 250 per adults. This should have resulted in figures in the range of Ksh 100 million (USD 1.2 million), but the revenues figures reported were way much lower.

The ASK said attendance was higher this year and is expected to announce final numbers at the end of the week after ongoing reconciliation processes are complete. Entry fees

this Ksh 300 for adults and Ksh 250 for children.

The trade fair this year also attracted participation from over 50 countries including Ghana, India and China. France had a national pavilion.

 

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