Will Passbook Change Event Ticketing?

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For most of us, storing tickets online means the same thing: forwarding a PDF to our inbox. While it’s always a good idea to bring a paper copy, it feels especially wasteful to print out a ticket, have the PDF in your inbox on your phone, and then be checked off a list at the registration table.

The above process, while slow and hard to adjust on the fly, has been the way most events have done ticketing for decades. While we are looking to change that by incorporating your ticket, the check-in process and badge printing into an easily accessible QR code, this still a matter of where to store tickets for multiple events while not clogging your inbox with PDFs you only need once.

This problem, while not rampant, seems to be why Apple released released Passbook in iOS 6. Designed to hold frequently used award cards (Starbucks), coupons (Valpak) or event tickets (Eventbrite), Passbook does everything you’d think it should be able to do save one: it doesn’t store PDF tickets, requiring that apps integrate on a deeper level.

While Passbook doesn’t currently solve our original problem, there’s no question it will be useful to iOS 6 users, provided the work required for integration doesn’t overwhelm mobile app developers. Handy, right?

In theory, yes. We’ve used Passbook for a few events — though it took some Googling and then asking on Twitter to figure out how to send a ticket from the Eventbrite app to Passbook — and it sure does look pretty. Using it also makes sense if you’re a heavy iOS 6 user, but for the many non-iPhone owners, sticking with their current PDF ticket in their email inbox is a problem most of us don’t find bothersome enough to solve.

And as long as we can scan your QR code, we’re okay with that. For now.