Booking Protect Wins Special Coverage Award

Leeds, United Kingdom – 11 March 2018 –  Booking Protect, a global leader in ticket refund protection, was awarded the Special Coverage Award by their industry peers at the 2018 Commercial Insurance Awards in London.


This award was a significant achievement for Booking Protect and their partners in the effort to bring refund protection on non-refundable bookings to organisations of all sizes around the world.


Judges for the Special Coverage Award commented that they “were impressed by Booking Protect’s ability to bring its refund protection product to any size customer from large corporates to small organizers while still being able to deliver the highest levels of customer service in the sector.”


Booking Protect CEO Simon Mabb commented, “Many organizations talk about their dedication to service and adding value to their partners, this award is a powerful indicator that Booking Protect actually backs those words up with action.”


Over the past 12 months, Booking Protect has undertaken a reinvention of their customer service practices, leading to the company being the highest rated refund protection company on Trustpilot and having 97% of their customer reviews achieve 4 stars or above in the first 2 months of 2018.


Booking Protect offers the most comprehensive refund protection plan in the world. Allowing their partners to offer their customers the most secure refund protection program on non-refundable tickets and bookings anywhere.


About Booking Protect:


Booking Protect are the global leaders in Refund Protection partnering with over 350 organizations worldwide from global ticketing platforms to small venues, enabling them all to offer their clients a market leading refund protection product on non-refundable tickets. Booking Protect is part of the Romero Group of companies that has over 20 years experience providing specialist insurance solutions to corporations, associations, and individuals. Romero holds Chartered Broker Status an honor held by only 3% of its peers. As part of the Romero Group, Booking Protect has the strength and security of a large corporation but with an ability to innovate like a start-up. Find out more at


The importance of having a CRM Strategy


With the continuing reduction and uncertainty in arts funding, most arts organisations have to achieve more with less. We all have to work harder to prove that what we are doing is effective so having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy in place is becoming ever more urgent.

CRM isn’t about selling, it’s about marketing. It helps you build and maintain long-term relationships, through discovering how your audiences want to interact with you, and actively meeting their stated and unstated wants and needs.

So, if it is such a good idea, why is CRM not practised more widely? Partly because it takes hard work and the day to day tactical necessities of selling tickets and filling seats always takes priority. But today’s multi-channel environment means that there are a whole host of ways to talk to potential customers, and that, coupled with increased competition for people’s time and today’s economic climate, make it imperative for us to work smarter, listen and be more responsive. The days of pushing out a standard direct mail letter or email to all our customers are gone.

In 2016 Shakespeare’s Globe recognised that they needed a deeper understanding of what motivates, frames and influences the buying, engaging and supporting behaviour of their different audience segments.  They had the aim to maximise the opportunities for all areas of their business – including theatre, education, commercial and development.  That’s when I was commissioned to work with them to build an audience-focused CRM strategy that is reinvigorating the way they work and interact with their diverse audiences.

The Globe needed a CRM system to enable them to better manage and analyse audience data across departments and an insightful segmentation system that would give them the understanding required to develop and maximise their audience relationships.

Finding the right technological solution to provide the CRM/ticketing system needed was a key factor for the Globe in achieving a successful CRM Strategy.  The box office system is your organisation’s most powerful CRM tool, it contains every ‘touch-point’. Underdevelopment of that data means that only the most loyal customers are contacted; the task should be to persuade the wary to come and to come more often.

The process began with a series of intensive information gathering sessions with staff across the organisation (including the CEO) which proved to be revelatory; highlighting the historic silo working and its effect on progress, the multiplicity of ‘data’ systems, a need to review practices and processes. Armed with this insight, developing a specification outlining the kind of CRM system functionality needed was made so much easier.

Confident with their choice of CRM system, implementation was the next stage. Discovery sessions involving the Globe, the new system supplier (Tessitura) and HD Consulting brought about in-depth customer journey mapping which showed just how each customer group interacts with the Globe across multiple touch-points, identifying where it was easy to interact and where was it difficult and convoluted.  As a result, the CRM system and website are being configured to eliminate those pain-points.

But technology (no matter how good) and data mining are worthless without a deeper understanding of the audience’s motivations and values.  Through a process of in-depth research with the Globe’s audiences by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre they gained rich and invaluable insight into their audiences enabling them to differentiate their customer segments, and understand and agree behaviours using their Culture Segments segmentation.  They now have a three segment focussed strategy that will allow them to grow audiences and engage them better.

A key factor in the success of The Globe’s project is that they have embraced CRM by ensuring that it is a strategic function.  They have created a core CRM team with representatives from different departments where colleagues’ needs and concerns are addressed.  A training policy and data policy are being created to show staff teams the value of adopting and applying the strategic initiatives, and in setting an organisational ‘rule book’ or benchmark to work to.   CRM was never seen as a tactic or marketing function and The Globe’s leadership team were on board from the start – clear about both the end game and the cultural change that would be needed.

This is still a work in progress. They know it won’t be a quick win but will ultimately be a new (better) way of connecting with their audiences.

This process is not for the faint hearted but for arts organisations that want to look to the future.

It requires a fundamental change to the way strategies are planned, budgeted, communicated and monitored.

So if theatres really do want to develop an effective CRM strategy don’t forget:

  1. 1. CRM isn’t CRM unless it affects the customer experience.
  2. 2. CRM is a strategy not a project.
  3. 3. CRM should improve return on investment.
  4. 4. Technology is a means not an end.
  5. 5. A 360-degree view of your customer

©Helen Dunnett

Eventim ties up CONIFA Deal

LONDON 5 February 2018, Eventim UK are delighted to announce that they are the official ticketing supplier for the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup. The 2018 CONIFA Paddy Power World Football Cup will take place in London 31st May – 9th June.


CONIFA is the international football confederation for teams that are not part of FIFA. The 2018 World Football Cup will bring together CONIFA’s diverse members from around the world, including Tibet, Northern Cyprus, Ellan Vannin (the Isle of Man) and the United Koreans of Japan.


Eventim has vast experience ticketing sports events, as the official ticketing partner for FC United of Manchester, and previously for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the official ticketing partner for some of the biggest names in European football, such as; Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.


Dale Ballentine, Director of Development at Eventim UK says “The CONIFA World Football Cup is the perfect addition to our growing sports business here in the UK. We look forward to working with team on delivering such an exciting event.”


Per-Anders Blind, CONIFA President says “Given Eventim’s extensive experience ticketing major sporting events, and being the official ticketing partner for some of the biggest names in European football, they were the obvious choice to be our ticketing supplier. The 2018 Paddy Power World Football Cup will be CONIFA’s biggest ever event, and we are confident that Eventim will help us make it a huge success.”

Tickets go on sale for the first round of CONIFA World Football Cup matches at Sutton United’s home ground, Gander Green Lane on Monday 5 February.


Where is the right time to up-sell?

In our last few blogs we have talked about the difference that upsells or extra products could make to our business, as well as thinking about how to design and deliver them to maximise customer engagement, satisfaction and ultimately revenue. 

Over the last year or so I have been increasingly asked by a number of clients, ‘how many up-sells is too many?’ And ‘Where is the best place to up-sell’? – these have mainly be aimed at the online experience, and it’s where we are going to focus in this blog. 

Before we start, let’s look back at some of the points we raised in our last two blogs, namely thinking about being relevant and showing complimentary offers to the products being browsed or already in basket. 

How strange would it be if a waiter offered to call you a cab as you ate your starter, or offered to take your coat as you polished off desert?  We must think  in the same way  when we look at where in the journey we offer up-sales or extra items. 

To do this, let’s look at how I like to break down an online transaction. There are other ways for other purposes but I like to use these three when talking about up-selling


I haven’t actually picked anything yet, I am merely looking through some shows or events to see what works well for me. I could be ABOUT to pick or pressing that first button. A number of systems, including Booking Protect’s partner AudienceView have a fantastic pre basket upsell.


A pre basket upsell may sound premature, but let’s think about. I was clicking on £50 seats, when I get offered the ‘chance’ to upgrade to a VIP package, which includes front row seats, champagne arrival and programme, all for JUST £75 per head.


This one click impulse ‘hell yeah’ upsale is one of the easiest and through a simple single click allows a 50% revenue bump, not bad eh? This works for packages with multiple elements, that have a brand or name wrapped around it.


The basket can be a crowded place, so much so I believe why we are now, more and more calling them carts! It is still possible to sell the VIP package at this stage, but the customer has browsed shows picked seats and perhaps prices, so to do it now may seem (to them) more work than they can be bothered to.

Let’s not forget that bubbly though!

An upgrade to the ticket type could work here, we could enhance the visit or make it special by selling the champagne upgrade. Of course, we don’t want to negate from the super special VIP package, so it may simply be drinks options or to purchase a programme, again, being able to be super relevant and focused, based on cart contents. 


So we are now actually buying, by this I mean committing our basket and we are perhaps giving or getting logistics, where to deliver to or pick up from.

Now is the perfect time for those extra elements related to coming or not coming. It’s all about Express delivery, print at home and payment. Refund protection sits perfectly here, we have chosen the show, the seat and price, what would happen if we cannot make it?  

The customer has that clear monetary value in front of them, now is the chance to explain how, if they could not make the event we could help them get almost all of that money back. 

Too Many? 

Yes! There CAN be too many- there are numerous commerce sites that give you pages of up-sales for what should be a simple transaction. I filmy believe it’s not the number so much that annoys customer s it’s poor targeting or presentation. As we have said throughout this series, it’s about being relevant. We are in our programming of our venues, we must be also in targeting and delivering extra offers, packages and ultimately revenue to our businesses. 



This work has been made possible by support from Booking Protect

Training Staff to Offer Extra Products

In my last piece I talked about the joys of being offered Fruit and Nut at WH Smiths when buying a newspaper. ( US Readers – this is someone trying to sell you a massive (1lb) of Candy )

We all have experienced up-selling haven’t we? The famous supersize me proposition springs to mind, but up-sells are everywhere. 

I have never taken up the WH Smith one, but I guess some must. Like so many opportunities for revenues, so much depends on how it is presented, coupled with the absolute need to measure its success and those staff or situations in which it works. 

There are a number of great organisations in the culture and entertainment sectors that, in my opinion get unselling completely right.

Training staff to offer extra products

Stats of opt ins for donations and other services online v in person. Why the difference? Staff!

 How can we get staff to sell better. Five key ways improve your upscales. to do it.

# 1 The Offer

The offer HAS to be right. Right here has so many elements. Does the offer compliment the organismal purchase, is it at the right price point, does it offer a real value or cost saving to the customer. I could list a whole range of ficticious and outlandish extra items, but just think – guidebook for museum, drinks with a sandwich or discounted checked luggage. If you can’t see yourself buying it – it’s probably the wrong offer

# 2 Script

I am not a big fan of over-scripting conversations with customers. They can be come tired false and sound er…… scripted. Your staff need several lines or justifications and value propositions as to why the customer might want to take up this offer. How will their day be improved or money be saved by committing now? Think about the examples I just gave – ‘If you buy a Guidebook now, you only have to queue once when you arrive’, ‘Why don’t you wash that down with a refreshing bottle of Coke’ or ‘You’ll save over 50% on airport prices’ The key with these statements is they need to hit at least one of three key areas – Convenience (to the customer), Enhanced experience or Financial saving.  We must give our staff a chance to hit one of these. 

# 3 Train

So, we have the offer, we have the customer benefit script or phrasing. What do we do now? We cannot just let staff loose on it. We must give them some basic training. How to perhaps spot customers in a hurray or may be more likely to accept an offer, not to offer drinks to someone who already has them and many more. A key piece of training is the ability to answer the most basic of questions around the offer. A customer does not want coke they want water – can they have that? Is there more to pay? Less to pay? How do you scan or code it on the till? This may sound simple, but if staff cannot give answers the offer will appear less attractive  / cold be abandoned. 

# 4 Measure

The offer seemed great, we thought customers would love it and we trained staff to deliver it. Did it work? Well the only way to do this is to measure it. It is vital that we don’t just look at stock levels and what we have sold, but the actual uptake of the offer. Of course, the offer may be success, but not for all staff, all days, all channels and all locations – we should look to measure across multiple metrics. We may have the option to change messaging at some locations, or even the offer. One of the largest differences we often see is staff performance. Do some staff need more training, or is the shift they work or position they serve at suffer from factors that hamper upsales. A simple spreadsheet looking at gross sales and uptake % should get you on track.

# 5 Reward

 What’s in it for me? Sometimes people think that staff asking this question don’t care, but all sales positions need, in my opinion some kind of reward for hitting targets or other metrics. These don’t have to be large in value, in fact some venues use awards or even benefits for the entire team when targets are met. The reward shows that as a business, you understand the staff are a vital part in delivering targets. One key consideration with rewards though is to build in what you learnt in the measure phase. Making sure that staff in areas that struggle to meet targets or on difficult shifts are not effectively penalised for working them.


Offers and Extra products can deliver a better experience for customers and improved revenues for business. We need to make sure that in all parts of the design, implementation, delivery and evaluation of offers that we are focused on aching the best possible results. 


This work has been made possible by support from Booking Protect

Eventim UK Launches FanSALE

Eventim UK Launch FanSALE, the Validated, Fair Value Ticket Resale Platform


LONDON, 8 January 2018. Eventim UK are pleased to announce the launch of FanSALE (, the fan-to-fan, fair value ticket resale platform. The platform has been launched in a bid to help ensure tickets get into the hands of genuine fans, as tickets are verified against Eventim UK’s ticketing system and cannot be resold at a highly inflated price.


There are occasions where genuine fans can no longer attend the event they’ve purchased tickets for, and previously there wasn’t a fully integrated platform that would verify the tickets as legitimate. FanSALE facilitates this to ensure tickets sold are genuine, and that there’s a fair deal for the seller and buyer, protecting both parties.


FanSALE has a unique integration with UPS, which enables the tracking of tickets from the sellers preferred pickup point, to the delivery address. Fans will also be able to see the exact location of the seat they are purchasing, including the block, seat row and seat number.


Dale Ballentine, Eventim UK’s Director of Development says “FanSALE is about Fan First Thinking, we want to make sure fans get tickets for a fair price. We know that sometimes fans cannot attend their event as planned. FanSALE will help solve these problems, and ensure tickets are not sold at an extortionate price, making events more accessible for the real fans.”


In a marketplace where more and more artists are taking steps to protect their fanbase, Eventim UK’s validated fair price solution offers a trusted platform to purchase secondary tickets. Eventim UK look forward to working alongside more artists, promoters and venues to ensure tickets get into the hands of real fans.


Adam Webb of FanFair Alliance says “Research commissioned by FanFair last year highlighted that the majority of music fans would like a mechanism to resell their tickets if they can no longer attend an event. They don’t want to profit, just to recoup their costs in a safe and efficient environment. It has been hugely positive to see a growing number of responsible ticketing companies, like Eventim, listen to consumers and move in this direction – and we hope more will follow in 2018.”

What Difference Does 2% Make?

Well for that matter any percentage? Well the bigger the number, often the bigger the focus. We hear about people achieving 15% year on year growth, which is great, but for how many of us is that achievable in one year, or sustainable year on year?


In terms of income, of course, we can gain false positives if we look just at income levels. Having more shows on sale, more seats, more top price seats or a whole host of other factors, such as raising pricing in line with inflation. All of these may give us the belief our businesses are growing or performing better.


Let’s be clear, hosting more shows and selling more seats for er…. more IS success, and we should defiantly be striving for this. For now though let’s, look at this year’s income target or perhaps this year’s income to date.


Would you like it to be more? Of course you would. In the world we live in of limited resources, perhaps long term investment or being able to book 12 nights of lady Gaga – can we reasonably expect double digit growth? I don’t think so.


We could however look at setting ourselves small focused goals. Perhaps just in our own department or ways of working. We all know the danger of telling the board about our plans or targets, as they often hear these as guaranteed deliverables!


Using the 2% as an arbitrary, relatively small number what could we apply this to?


2% increase in online bookers? Going to be hard to quantify our actions on that one. The steady rise of online commerce means you’re probably going to see an increase anyhow.


2% increase in revenue. As mentioned above, with number and type of shows it will prove difficult to perhaps to correlate revenue and tasks undertaken.


2% in average order value? AOV has continued to grow as a metric I see ticketing operations using. Part of this can be effected by higher ticket prices, but it has some legs for our 2% project.


The two areas I think we have real opportunity as technologists and ‘ticketers’ are Conversion Rates (CR) and Extras in Basket (EIB)


Conversion Rates

Most of you will be familiar with conversion ratios. The number of people who achieved your desired outcome from a website visit. For most of US that will be buying a ticket. We must remember thought that not all people visiting the site will have THEIR desired outcome to buy a ticket. They may be simply wanting to find out ‘what’s on?’ or when is it?


At last year’s Ticket Professionals conference, which Booking Protect generously supported, we heard from Craig Sullivan ( ) about making small incremental changes to our sites through subtle wording and colour variations. Through the use of tools like optimizely we can effectively run A/B tests to serve up different look and feel to customers on a 50:50 basis and measure which ones see the best ticket sales. Many ticketing companies have interfaces to optimisation tools, if you haven’t looked into it I suggest you do.


 Extras in Basket

Away from the science of optimising your website for maximum conversion, I am a fan of extra items. Here I am talking about tubs of ice cream, programmes or refund protection.


What are we talking about income wise? £2.50 a tub, £5 a programme, £3 per ticket for a £35 face value?


So on the refund protection, that is 10% – but not everyone is going to update take are they? But if JUST 1 in 5 did – we would be hitting our personal target, with out a paper cut or sticky fingers!


Whatever we are selling, or offering as additions at basket level, they have a cost, either in materials or service.


So is that 50p per tub of Rum and Raisin we are making or just 25p? To a CERTAIN extent, we don’t care, it’s extra revenue we are realising. Let’s look at retailers like WH Smith – most of us will have been offered that giant bar of fruit and nut when buying a paper. Why? Well revenue is the answer, either as extra spend or to terminate stock. But it must work. So if they are doing it why aren’t you?


Where do I start?

The New Year is a great chance to explore new opportunities and put your revenue house in order. Get in touch with Booking Protect by visiting their website here



This work has been made possible by support from Booking Protect




Ticketplan / April Travel Collaboration



MIAMI, FL (Jan. 16, 2018) –TicketPlan Group, the leading provider of ticket cancellation protection in the UK, and APRIL Travel Protection, the rapidly growing U.S. division of a global insurance conglomerate, have recently announced a strategic alliance across all 50 states within the United States. Co-branded as TicketPlan powered by APRIL Travel Protection, the new partnership paves the way for the development of a global network serving the insurance needs of event ticketing professionals worldwide.


Ticket cancellation is now a standard customer requirement in all areas of the event ticketing world and TicketPlan is the premium brand in the sector. Its alliance with APRIL—an innovator in the U.S. supported by the international presence of the 30-year-old APRIL Group—creates a compelling proposition for the event ticketing industry.


“APRIL’s strength in the U.S. coupled with the international backing of its parent company will make TicketPlan an even more valuable resource for entertainment ticketing professionals seeking a one-stop-shop for international event protection solutions across the global marketplace,” said Jason Schreier, CEO for APRIL Travel Protection.


The collaboration launches at the INTIX Conference in Baltimore, MD on Jan. 23 following an extensive research and operational effort undertaken by both companies due to the complexities of U.S. regulatory requirements which differ across all 50 states.


“APRIL has the in-depth regulatory knowledge and expertise to bring new ticket insurance facilities to market quickly, efficiently and professionally,” said Graham Berg, CEO of the TicketPlan Group.


“TicketPlan pioneered the concept of ticket cancellation protection within the UK and is now the accepted benchmark for ticket insurance and protection in many overseas markets as well,” Berg noted. “This partnership with APRIL marks an exciting new stage in our mutual development.”


“Our collective relationships will be an asset for industry players looking to globalize without having to develop operations and navigate regulatory compliance in each international market,” added Schreier.


TicketPlan policies for ticket cancellation insurance in the U.S. will be underwritten by StarNet Insurance Company or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, and will be administered and marketed through APRIL.


The product and sales teams from TicketPlan and APRIL will collaborate on ongoing projects to generate leads and raise awareness throughout the industry of the opportunities created by the joint venture. TicketPlan Powered by APRIL Travel Protection will be officially unveiled at the 38th Annual INTIX Ticketing Conference at the Hilton Baltimore, Jan. 23-25, 2018.


Visit for more information.


About TicketPlan

TicketPlan was established in 1999 enabling ticket sellers to provide an added value service to their customers and to develop a new and valuable incremental source of income. An ever increasing number of ticketing organisations across the UK and Europe now trust TicketPlan to provide their ticket cancellation facilities. Visit for more information.



About APRIL Travel Protection

APRIL Travel Protection is owned by APRIL, an international group with operations in 31 different countries.  APRIL is listed on Euronext Stock Exchange and has yearly sales of more than $1.1 billion. With Insurance Made Easy as it guiding principle, the APRIL Global Assistance Network benefits from an extensive organizational structure servicing more than six million policyholders worldwide. The company’s U.S. division is headquartered at 11900 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 610, Miami, FL, 33181. Visit to learn more.



Yesplan on Tour with More Solutions on Show

Event and Venue Planning system Yesplan have announced more of their Yesplan on Tour events for February, along with a number of webinars.

Read more

XMAS 2018 Lists for Entertainment Venues?


What did you ask for for Christmas? If you are like me you may have just asked for plain and boring socks. Those of you with children or nieces and nephews may have had quite a list.


My youngest son had devised a novel weighting system of ‘top presents’ and ‘these would be nice’ – I guess subconsciously he has picked up on the great many procurement projects I’ve worked on this year!


Just like Christmas lists many organisations weight their priorities when devising specifications for new suppliers or technology. On our functionality builder tool we list those as either essential, desirable or possible items.


In the last four years I have seen some items of functionality giving greater weightings, with some now being deemed less important. 


Many digital tools are now top  priorities for organisations,  while older technologies such as magnetic stripe cards are deemed far less important


Occasionally, we hear or see dramatic changes in these priorities.


Working with a client in late November (2017) we heard just one of these. 


As we discussed the organisation’s needs, focused around scenarios and business practices, one senior member of staff stated 


any system we look to move to must integrate with booking protect, we cannot consider not having this


I was quite taken aback by what is normally an afterthought being a headline functionality demand, so I queried whether it was absolutely essential. 


I’ve projected that we could make £40-£50,000 in 2018 with Booking Protect” came the answer.


“Wow” I replied. 


I have known for some time that many venues make considerable revenues by offering optional refund protection on ticket bookings. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the figure being that large (but this is a large regional performing arts group).


Away from Booking Protect as a specific provider, or even the type of product, for me, this was quite a watershed moment. It shows us as arts organisations that, in difficult times, perhaps our imperatives and attitudes to technology are changing from functional descriptions to more strategic desired outcomes. 


As entertainment organisations, whether in performing arts or sports, we must start to think in this way.  For some, survival, for others success, may depend upon it.


By placing where we want to go and/or how we want to engage with our fans at the centre of our thinking, in either technology or service provider roles, or even the offerings we make available, we will ensure that we stay relevant, and continue to develop our audiences as well as protecting our revenues.  


Of course, an extra 50 grand a year wouldn’t go amiss either eh?


This work has been made possible by support from Booking Protect