Sporting events, conventions and music concerts often use hard stock tickets to show that a customer has authorization to attend the event. These hard stock tickets often include other information, such as the date of the event and a description of the event. Hard stock paper is thicker and stronger than composition or notebook paper, so the tickets feel more like a greeting card or a postcard.
A hard stock ticket may include identifying information. The ticket may list a general category, such as that the ticket is a discounted price ticket for a child or a college student, or it may include the ticket buyer's full name. Some hard stock tickets don't include identifying information because they are meant to be given away as gifts, such as tickets for donors who support the construction of a new football stadium or a concert hall.
When a venue issues a hard paper ticket, the customer frequently purchases the ticket before he arrives at the event, possibly weeks in advance. This is convenient for the customer, because he does not need to carry a large amount of cash to the event, and it helps the venue because the venue does not have to worry about collecting cash and making change on the day of the event. Hard paper tickets are a useful way to speed up the line entering the event.
The venue itself, or another authorized ticket agent, normally prints the hard stock tickets and gives them to the customers. Home printers typically use thinner paper stock. The venue may allow customers to pick up the hard stock tickets at its ticket office before the event or mail the tickets to customers. A ticket made from printer paper is not as sturdy as a ticket printed on the thicker paper that hard stock tickets use, so hard stock tickets also provide the advantage of durability.
Hard stock tickets often include two sections -- the main portion of the ticket and the ticket stub. The customer keeps the ticket stub, and he may show it to a security guard during the performance to prove he has the right to attend the event or obtain access to a seat he has reserved. The customer can keep the hard stock ticket stub as a souvenir after the event.
Using hard stock tickets can increase the cost of an event. A venue or a ticket agency usually charges the event promoter a printing fee for each hard stock ticket. The event promoter can save money by asking a customer to print out a soft ticket on her home computer instead or by using another type of identification system, such as comparing student ID cards with a list of prepaid customers.