Back in the day, it was fine to sell raffle style tickets for school or community theatre musicals, concerts, or other events. Back in the day, though, you could ask parents or other volunteers to spend endless hours on ticket sales. People are busier now, and prefer to work on the event itself, not on tickets. Also, ticket buyers expect ease and professionalism.
Whether you are a seasoned production manager or just got thrown into the mix last minute, when you automate event ticketing, you save yourself and your volunteers time, energy, and tons of stress. Here are some tips:
1) Define your ticket selling process. Want to just sell tickets online? Just in person? Want to combine the two? Figuring out how to sell tickets will give you an easier time of figuring out your needs and selecting a system.
2) Assess your requirements. Know your needs (e.g. reserved seating or general admission, online only or box office sales as well) and know the needs of your ticket buyers. Spend some time speaking with similar organizations to learn from them.
3) Pick a system that fits your needs. Do you need season tickets capability, print-at-home tickets, credit card processing, etc.? Whether you are tech savvy or a newcomer, evaluate several systems to select the best one for you and your customers.
4)Take the easy road.Choose a system that is ultra-easy to use. Why wouldn’t you?! You do not want to use a system you are not sure of when actually selling tickets. No fun when it’s minutes before the show and you are not sure what to do!
5) Set a low budget and stay within it. There are many low-cost systems nowadays to help you automate event ticketing. Spend your limited money on the event itself! You do not want to bankrupt yourself trying to sell tickets.
6) Make sure that your software is easy for your buyers. Nothing is worse than telling clients you have a great new system, have them go online, and then confuse them. You have one opportunity to impress them with your new system.
7) Confirm your refund policy. How soon do people have to sell their tickets back to you? Are you charging a refund fee? These questions will help you set up in your system how to handle special requests.
8) Decide if you wish to charge service fees. Based on the cost of the ticketing system and the credit card company’s fees, decide whether you wish to have an all-in ticket price or charge an extra service fees. You’ll also want to decide whether to charge the fee on all purchases or just credit card purchases.
9) Reserve versus sale only. Can customers pay at the door or are all ticket sales pre-sale only? Deciding your reserve policy will help you keep accurate track of sales and funds. Our advice- sale only keeps you from losing other sales to reserve seaters who end up not buying.
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10) Define what shopping cart feature are important. The shopping cart allows buyers to purchase for more than one event in the same transaction- a good way to grab extra sales. Some leading systems also allow you to collect donations at the order page – a nice feature for non-profit organizations.
11) Set up promotional sales features. Does each faculty member get a free ticket? Want lower prices for early buyers? How about group discounts? There are many types of promotions you can offer that will delight your customers, drive sales and pack the house.
12) Customize your sale site and make it social. Ad a preview clip, some promotional art work, or any specialized touch to your site to make the ticket buying experience feel special. How about letting buyers post to their Facebook wall, tweet a message or send an automated email to friends after they buy tickets. This is social and it drives sales.
13) Test drive different systems to automate event ticketing.Have the vendor demonstrate the system, talk to existing clients and try out the system.You can subscribe to a free trial of several services and see which one best fits your needs.
14) Set up a unique ticket number for each ticket. With today’s technology, most tickets can be easily replicated. Make sure the service you use includes security features to prevent theft.
15) Enjoy real time tracking. Most systems allow you to track sales and manage your ticket or seat inventory in real time. This feature allows you to watch sales or make decisions like whether or not to continue certain promotions.
16) Make your automated system well known and include instructions. Not everyone loves new technology or has internet access. Be as helpful as possible. Make sure your ticketing software vendor is helpful!
17) Have fun and don’t stress! If you chose the right system to automate event ticketing, your ticket buyers will be telling you how thrilled they are with the system. They really will; we’ve seen it. Enjoy the compliments!
Download our White Paper on How to Select a Ticketing System: