ALEXANDRIA, VA — Less Is More Events LLC provides the everyday person with access to premium seats at events in several cities across the nation with its unique payment plan options.
Kenneth Atkinson, founder and operator of Less Is More Events, is a ticket broker.
Ticket brokering is legal in the United States. A ticket broker is any person, firm or establishment involved in the business of buying or selling tickets of admission to entertainment events.
When he started in 2008, his friend had the idea about ticket brokering to make extra money. He started off selling tickets on the train in Washington, D.C. – now he sells all over the world.
Atkinson said his goal is to allow adults of color to purchase affordable tickets to events for themselves or their children. The tickets are for concerts, comedy shows, sporting events and more.
He gets testimonials from people who purchase through LIME. He said he is not able to read all of them, but his customers tell him they were finally able to afford to take their daughter to the ballet or their sons to sporting events.
“When we talk to people, we hear a lot of black and brown people say is, ‘I would love to go to that show, but I can’t afford it,’” he said. “The thing I get out of it the most is just the fact that something as simple as giving someone the opportunity on something they struggled to do. It is a self-fulfilling joy for me.”
Atkinson said it is all about making memories for families.
“I cannot sell you Jay-Z’s concert,” he said. “Jay-Z will entertain you, but I can give you the best seat, best vision, and best view to make your memory of being at the concert your best experience. That is not something you can lose. When you think of that memory, you will think of LIME because you’ll say, ‘I was provided the best seats through LIME’s payment plan.’”
Atkinson said he thought of the everyday person when he came up with the payment plan.
“Let me make my ticket prices as amicable for the more common folk who work 9-5. I can sell more $5 and $20 tickets than I can $500 tickets,” Atkinson said.
What he means is, while a ticket to a show may run for a certain price, his customers can do a payment plan on the tickets. For example, if a ticket to a concert is $500, customers can put a deposit (non-refundable) on the ticket, then do regular bi-weekly or monthly payments at $20 a payment or another denomination.
He said this makes him unique from Ticketmaster or StubHub because they want the tickets paid upfront. Those entities may have a payment plan process, but it is not always offered or is a lengthy process.
Atkinson said with LIME, two weeks before the event, the customer must make the final payment. All payments are final unless the event was cancelled.
An example he provided was a customer that spent $6,000 in Superbowl Tickets. LIME’S payment plan helped her pay for the tickets within a year.
“She did something similar the following year for All-Star Weekend because she told her son she would take him one day,” he said.
“Instead of calling yourself a plug, just be a ticket broker,” he said. “A real professional in this business is a ticket broker, not the plug.”
For those who do not know who or what the plug is, according to Urban Dictionary’s website it is a man or woman that has access to rare or limited items you cannot obtain yourself.
He said he understands a lot of people are considered the plug; however, he said as an actual ticket broker people get more incentives. For example, he has been invited to the National Ticket Broker Association and the conventions.
There is even the US Minority Ticket Group. They highlighted LIME on an Instagram post in August 2019.
Atkinson said that is a big deal because there are not a lot of ticket brokers of color. He thinks it is mainly because they don’t have the knowledge on ticket brokering.
He said he did not know the logistics in beginning, but a person of color educated him on ticket brokering organization.
“We were buying tickets from different resale companies,” Atkinson said.
He was getting thousands of orders on a regular basis.
Because Atkinson was purchasing large amounts of tickets from this one company, a man within the company inquired if Atkinson was a ticket broker. Atkinson said he told the man he was just flipping the tickets and enjoyed the money, he thought nothing of it.
The man informed him that the volume of ticket orders he had; he should be a ticket broker.
The man gave Atkinson information on how to be a ticket broker — sell a pitch, write a proposal, pay for the licenses, obtain an LLC, get branded and become a legal ticket broker registered within his state.
The man told him he could sell tickets all over the world, he would receive better rates and deals and not deal with second and third-party companies.
Now promoters and event planners can come to Atkinson versus Atkinson working so hard to get to them. The man said that’s what Ticketmaster does – promoters come to them and they are not dealing with second and third-party companies.
“The brother didn’t have to tell me that,” Atkinson said. “It took off from there.”
Atkinson detailed how his franchises started after this.
He did an event in D.C. and men from Indianapolis saw great seats Atkinson had. He told them what he was doing with LIME and they asked if he could do this in Indianapolis. They exchanged contact info and Indianapolis was his first city — then Chicago. This was 2008 and they are still going at it. His brokers are in Atlanta, Texas and Florida.
In recent years, the talk of generation wealth or black generational wealth has become frequent.
Atkinson discussed how ticket brokering allows him to create generational wealth for his children and other people’s children.
“It helped me create a legacy I could pass to my children, but for the most part – I give people jobs,” he said. “These are people who never thought to be a ticket broker.”
He wants people to stop hustling tickets, start their own ticket broker company. He said someone showed him the way and gave him an opportunity – and he wants to do the same.
“I like giving back,” Atkinson said. “You cannot take from the community and benefit from it, and not give back to it,” he said. “If the community is resistant to you, then you have no business.”
He gives back to the community by educating others on ticket brokering, community outreach opportunities with churches, book bag drives and he gives away 100s of tickets to the youth across the country to go to Universal Soul Circus or sporting events.
He pays for it out of his pocket because the youth know celebrities and buy from celebrities’ clothing lines but has never seen the celebrities’ games or shows live and in-person. Atkinson said that’s where LIME affords those children and the parents that opportunity to do so.
He is involved with tickets for the Olympics. He met a man at a ticket broker convention two years ago. The man lives in Holland and is affiliated with one of the Olympic committees there. He and his branch were looking for someone to connect with in America for tickets for the Olympics, and they provided Atkinson the opportunity.
COVID did not hurt LIME too much. A lot of the events booked were not cancelled, the events were postponed or rescheduled.
“That saved us a lot of time, money and resources,” Atkinson said. “COVID gave us a lot of time to fine tune a lot of things.”
Atkinson said he must thank everyone who purchased tickets with him over the years. He said LIME thrives because of them.
He also took the time to thank his wife, an integral partner in LIME.
For those interested in learning more about LIME, visit them here.