Royal Mail show us how it should be done – London Olympic tickets

Despite the fiasco about booking tickets for the London 2012 Olympics and the lack of thought that seems to have gone into the whole way the tickets are sold to UK residents (and how user friendly the systems aren’t and how the system couldn’t handle the demand for tickets, I could go on but that’s not what this blog post is about), the tickets we did get have arrived.

A very nice package, with tickets and a bit of information about the event.  It’s for rowing, which is over in Windsor, so not London, but they’ve very kindly included 4 travelcards for us to use on the day to get to the event in London.  Hmmmmm.

And they’re standing area only but the cheapest “seats” or tickets so not too unexpected.

Don’t get me wrong, I may sound not too positive about all this but I am.  It’s going to be an awesome summer in London and as I’ve said in previous posts, this is London’s year.  Plus with the Jubilee celebrations this weekend, it really doesn’t get much better.

I was at a conference in London this week about the online Olympics and the technology behind the scenes is incredible.  Never have there been games before where the demand for online media has been so great.  Back in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics, social media services like YouTube, Twitter and even Facebook were still growing up.  In 2012 it’s a completely different story, social media is pretty much everywhere and being used in all sorts of different ways, by consumers (of all ages), brands and everyone else.  The demand on the back-end infrastructure for storage, distribution and more is going to be unprecedented.  The task of forecasting what to expect will have been no small feat, and no doubt is still changing and being fine tuned.  The plans around redundancy and how to fix problems – with the technology – will be something else.  What the BBC have planned is fantastic – their Sports page on their web-site is the centre piece and the experience you’ll get on all devices – personal computers, tablets, mobiles, smart TVs and anything else, is going to be so good that it will almost (maybe not quite) be a better more immersive experience than actually being there!  That annual license fee we pay in the UK for the BBC doesn’t look too bad.  The planned 24 live better than HD (as we know it) simultaneous video streams is impressive to say the least.  This really is the first global online digital Olympics.  Right up my street – in both ways!

The BBC have got it right, lots they’ve learnt from that amazing service that is the BBC iPlayer and other global British broadcasts they’ve done – the Royal Wedding last year for example.

But the ticket system and booking events, we’ve not got it quite right.  One shining light here though – and the subject of this post – is Royal Mail.  That amazing British institution that just works so well.  Where else in the world can you post a letter or anything for that matter and know it will arrive anywhere else in the country pretty much the next day.  Yes the prices have just gone up, but it’s still worth it.  Interestingly as well, a postman I was speaking to only this week, said it’s one of the few services you still pay for before they deliver and actual give you the service.

Having had a few e-mails from the Olympic organisers about when roughly to expect the tickets to arrive, you kind of sit back just waiting and hoping.  This morning, I got an SMS message and e-mail from Royal Mail telling me the tickets would arrive today.  They then arrived care of our very friendly local postman Mick, with a big smile on his face.  Signed for with the mobile pad he had and then literally less than one minute later another SMS message and e-mail confirming they’d been received.  Now that’s proper service and a very very good use of the latest technology.  Keep it up Royal Mail, another reason Britain is brilliant.

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