Selecting a Ticketing System: Are You Asking the Right Questions?

CC Image by Marco Bellucci

Whether it is a car, watch or house, in today’s marketplace it is absolutely crucial that you ask the right questions to determine whether or not the product in discussion is actually what you’re looking for. The same holds true when selecting a ticketing selling system for your performing arts organization.

We’re talking tricky business here – you’re making a big commitment to a product and service. With the endless amount of choices available, it is no easy feat to come to a decision.  This decision does not have to be a scary or daunting ordeal! Here are our top three questions to consider when selecting a ticketing selling system.
What is the expected frequency and size of your events?
Do you host events every week, every month, or only a couple times a year? On average, how many tickets are you selling to your events? These are absolutely vital questions that need to be answered in order to select the right ticketing system for your organization.

It wouldn’t be a practical investment for an organization that only hosts events once or twice a year to purchase ticket hardware and software (printers, scanners etc.). Likewise, if you’re hosting events more frequently then hardware might actually be the way to go. Different organizations have different needs – figure out what yours are!
Will you need to print tickets at the event itself, or will an online ticketing solution work?
CC Image by Carolyn Chan

What percentage of your ticket sales are currently being done at the door? Have you already implement an online ticketing option? Do you think switching to an entirely online ticketing solution is a viable option for your organization?

Your answers to these questions will significantly impact your final decision. These questions are often more difficult to answer because you might be required to “guess-timate”; if this is the case, than you are best to opt for a flexible ticketing provider that leaves you room to change and evolve with your organization.
What fees will you be expected to pay the ticketing provider, and how does that impact your bottom line?
Each ticketing system provider has a unique approach to charging for services and paying your portion of ticket proceeds. Make sure that you understand this in advance and choose a ticketing provider that will suit your organization’s cash flow needs.

In 2011, Technology in the Arts released a Ticketing Software Satisfaction Survey. While the information in the survey is no longer current, it does include a fantastic two-page spread (pg. 38 and 39) of almost any question that you might need to ask a ticketing software vendor – pricing, data integration, tech support, report, and so much more!

CC Image by Aline Rebelo

At the end of the day, it is critical that you understand your needs as well as the needs of your customers. If you want the right answers you need to ask the right questions!

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