We often find that event organizers – schools, colleges, community theaters, performing arts organizations – often find themselves in the situation where they need to automate ticketing for the first time or replace their existing event ticketing software quickly. Selecting new event ticketing software is an important undertaking, and the decision should last for many years. However that does not mean that if you are in a hurry, it cannot be done quickly.
This post outlines an example of how you can select a system, have it set up and be selling tickets within 5 days.
Day 1: Define Your Requirements
The first task is to be clear about what you need in event ticketing software. Gather a few colleagues together and document what your requirements are. You will want to address such questions as:
Does the system need to support both general admission and reserved seating events?
Does the event ticketing software need to allow promotions and promo codes?
Will we be using barcodes or QR codes to redeem tickets?
Do we need to integrate with daily deal coupon management systems?
How will we handle credit card orders – both online and at the box office?
Identifying what questions you need to ask, and what those answers are is a necessary first step in selecting new event ticketing software.
Day 2: Contact Potential Event Ticketing Software Vendors
After a good night’s rest, do some research to identify potential event ticketing software vendors that suit your requirements. Basic Internet research is a good start. It is also useful to speak with other organizations like you. If you are a college, contact a few other colleges and ask what event ticketing software they are using.
Pull together a list of 5 or 6 potential solutions, and give each vendor a call. After conversations with each vendor, narrow the list down to 2 or 3 finalists. Organize online demonstrations with the 2 to 3 finalists.
Include in your evaluations, of course, the fee structure that the vendors will be charging. There is a huge variance in how much vendors charge, ranging from $.50 per ticket +1.5% of the ticket value to $2 per ticket +3% of the ticket value.
Day 3: Review Demos
Day 3 is when you get to look at the event ticketing software itself. The vendors will typically walk you through their software and address any questions you have during an online demonstration. Ensure they show you the functionality that is most critical to you – the functionality that addresses the requirements that you defined on day one.
Ask lots of questions, including who their references are. Go ahead and contact the references and look for themes in what they are saying.
And check popular weekly ads:
Kroger Weekly Ad, Target Ad, Walgreens weekly Ad, Meijer weekly Ad
Aldi Catalogue, Aldi Catalogue, Big w Catalogue, Bunnings Catalogue
At the end of day 3, get your colleagues together and identify who the lead solution is and who the runner-up is.
Day 4: Negotiate Pricing with Your Desired Vendor
On day 4, contact the lead vendor and let them know that they are one of 2 finalists and that you are looking for their best and final offer around fees. Review their fees and any contracts that you will be expected to sign. If that all looks good, you have your selection made.
On the other hand, if you are not satisfied with their best and final offer, don’t be afraid to request the same thing from your second choice. Chances are your second choice is also a very good choice, and if their fees are significantly lower, they are probably a better solution for you.
Let the winning vendor know that they were selected and that you would like to do a training session online the next day.
Day 5: Conduct Training, Set up Your Events
On day 5 conduct the training session. Any staff members who will be using the system should participate in the training session. Also in the session, you and the event ticketing software vendor should actually set up your events.
If the vendor says that more than one day of training is necessary. The system is probably overly complex and is not a good choice for you.
Clearly, selecting event ticketing software in 5 days is fast. However it can be done and I’ve seen it done in less time. Most event ticketing software solutions are simple enough that they can be demonstrated little time and training does not take long at all.
If you are looking for event ticketing software, consider TicketPeak. You can be set up in one day.