As you build a checklist of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” for your new ticketing system, consider adding these seven features to ensure that you find the best solution possible for your organization.
So you’ve decided that a new ticketing system is in your plans for 2016? That’s great, now comes the fun part — shopping. Your ticketing system is one of the most important tools within your organization, and you need one that empowers you to make operational decisions and provide the best customer service possible to fans.
Similar to buying a car, there are a lot of cool features and functions available across different ticketing systems for you to explore. But before you dive head first into making a decision, consider taking a step back to think about the challenges that you’re currently experiencing and what you need to solve them. After doing that, you will be poised to put together a checklist of the requirements needed to achieve your ticketing-related objectives for the year. To help you get your list started, we’ve highlighted seven essential features that a modern ticketing system should offer to allow you to engage fans and maximize organizational efficiency (in no particular order).
1. Online ticket sales: Are the lines at your box office’s windows getting shorter and shorter? So are everyone else’s. As online research and shopping become more commonplace for a number of different activities, waiting in line outside of a venue to purchase tickets is the last thing that your fans want to do, particularly millennials. If you’re not offering them a simple, pain-free online option for purchasing tickets, you run the risk of fans giving up or purchasing tickets through competitor websites. Maximize your ticket sales by giving them the ability to go online instead of waiting in line.
2. Mobile ticket sales: Just as e-commerce trends continue to rise, mobile commerce activity is on the upswing. Sixty-four percent of American consumers own a mobile phone, according to the Pew Research Center, and mobile purchases make up about 30 percent of all e-commerce sales. Today, going online means going on your phone, meaning that more and more consumers are taking their online behaviors away from their computers and over to their phones.
So what does this mean for you? With fans relying on their mobile devices for everything they do, you need to ensure that your online ticket sales module is optimized for selling across mobile devices. According to Mobify, 80 percent of online shoppers admit that mobile purchases are impulse driven and that they are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers a satisfying mobile experience. As you look to attract a younger audience and convert your website visitors into ticket buyers, the functionality and consistency of your mobile ticket purchase process is becoming increasingly important.
3. Customizable event/ticket offers: Whether you work in marketing, sales or the box office, experimentation is key to gathering the data you need to understand the types of events and event offers that are going to be most sought after by various groups of fans (e.g. local businesses, sponsors, fan club members, season ticket holders). Each group has a different set of motivations when it comes to purchasing tickets; therefore you need a ticketing system that allows you to create and test multiple offers at anytime, even after events are placed on sale. This functionality not only helps you create more targeted marketing campaigns for your events, but it also provides you with valuable insights about the purchasing behaviors of your core audience.
4. Sponsorship activation: A major aspect of running any successful event is keeping sponsors happy. Sponsors want to get their messages and products in front of your fans, and a nice way to give them some space is to include their ads on your online event detail pages or your ticket stock. As you’re reviewing other ticketing systems, make sure you’re aware of ways that sponsors can display their logos or ads throughout the ticket purchase process.
5. Analytics/reporting: Being able to extract real-time information and data (e.g. ticket sales, seating, access control, payments, donations, etc.) from your system will help you discover trends in your ticketing operations. As time goes on, you can use this data to help you make better decisions about pricing, venue and box office staffing, marketing and more.
6. Open API: Do you already have CRM, email automation, dynamic pricing, venue visualization, etc. software that you find useful? Protect your investment in these solutions by selecting a ticketing system with an open API, allowing you to integrate your valued third-party applications into your new platform. With an open API, you will be able to access, merge and analyze important customer and event information in real time while also ensuring bi-directional data flow between different applications.
7. Technical support: Your ticketing system should offer the availability of support technicians, at least for a period of time after implementation, who can answer questions and train your employees in-person. As you evaluate potential partners, ask a lot of questions to ensure they have the expertise, availability and know-how to help you circumvent the challenges that you may experience down the road.
As you evaluate your options, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Your ticketing system is one of your biggest assets, and it should help you solve some of the biggest challenges that your organization is facing. As you invite potential partners into the evaluation process, vet them for the features and the customer support that you need to achieve your goals. Your next ticketing partner should be just as invested in your success as their own.
AXS Ticketing includes the features mentioned above plus much more. If you’re interested in learning more or taking a tour of the platform, request a demo today.