There are systems that are relatively new, ones seem to pop-up every few months. Conversely there are suppliers (and systems) that seem to have been around since the age of computerised ticketing. I had always considered Ticketsolve to be one the newest on the block.
On a recent visit to Dublin, I caught up with Paul Fadden about all things ticketing, I must admit to being shocked that Ticketsolve has just turned ten! I remember back in the day when they hit the market with quite a splash. Anyhow, here’s a look back in their eyes on the journey so far, with some fun facts and figures too!
10 years ago the arts industry was in a sort of revival, with Tony Blair renewing the government’s commitment to the arts and culture sector (March 2007 speech). At this same time, in the post dot com bubble, the technology sector was ramping up – fast.
But even with that revival (or perhaps because of it), and the rapid rise of technology, there was a sense of frustration within the arts. Why were so many theatres, venues and festivals getting left behind? Technology was moving forward, but arts organisations were being left to deal with unwieldy software systems at best – or no system at all.
Into that gap, stepped Ticketsolve. The brainchild of Sean and Brian Hanly, Ticketsolve was one of the first companies to recognise that theatres, venues and festivals needed a reliable ticketing platform, that was also scalable and affordable. Being software guys, they understood quickly that cloud technology (software as a service or SaaS), was the way forward.
While today cloud software is everywhere, 10 years ago, that certainly wasn’t the case.
“Prior to the proliferation of online software solutions, businesses had to make a huge upfront investments to have locally hosted in-house ticketing solutions.” says, Sean Hanly, CEO of Ticketsolve. With a background in programming and software consultancy Sean had seen the problems with locally hosted solutions first hand.
“Maintenance costs were incredibly high, and staff could not carry out remote tasks, set up remote box office kiosks, etc. – it was a massive overhead (and headache). Software-as-a-Service addressed all of these issues – SaaS allows organisations to get professional software at a reasonable cost. There is no costly upfront investment, no additional hardware, and no downtime,” notes Sean.
SaaS was a huge advantage for Ticketsolve early on. Adding to that was their collaborative approach to building out the functionality of the software.
Paul Fadden, Managing Director, noted, “We have always been customer focused. Today, we continue to listen and work with customers on the direction of the platform. There is no guessing – we talk to customers constantly to understand what their needs are now – and what they need into the future.”
This close level of customer collaboration has meant Ticketsolve quickly grew into more than just a ticketing platform – customers now view it as the heart of their organisations.
Today, the Ticketsolve platform helps arts organisations, with CRM, marketing, . . . . . .
This year, Ticketsolve celebrates it’s 10 year anniversary. Today, Ticketsolve is one of the leaders in ticketing in the UK and Ireland, with over 240 customers.
“Our future focus, and close collaboration with customers has led to fantastic growth for the company,” says Paul, “51 customers have joined the Ticketsolve family in the last year alone. As we further develop the platform’s functionality, we anticipate strong and continued growth.”
So what does the future hold for Ticketsolve?
SaaS ticketing platforms now dominate, with 80% of inventory being booked online with up to 60% through smartphones and mobiles.
“We have an obligation to our customers to continually innovate, and strive to make their lives easier.” says, Sean. “To that end, we are focused on engineering a lot of automation tools and integrations into our platform, which we believe will fundamentally change ticketing – and ultimately make our customers busy work lives easier.”
The last 10 years have seen Ticketsolve emerge in the era of SaaS, bringing fresh thinking to arts organisation, to collaborating intimately with customers building a platform that gets beyond ticketing and the box office.
With new system developments, and new customers joining the ever growing community of arts organisations and festivals, Ticketsolve seems to be achieving what it set out to do – bring enterprise level ticketing to the arts community.