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Accessible Ticketing Workshops with STAR

A 2014 report by Attitude is Everything revealed the frustration and inequality that customers with disabilities feel when trying to book tickets for entertainment events online.

Very often, venues consider that it’s better to offer a more personal booking service, usually by phone, but this is potentially discriminatory if some customers are and some are not able to book online.

The issues need to be understood and policies and sales processes need to change to meet the needs of customers with disabilities who want to book online.

STAR, along with SOLT, UK Theatre, NAA, Attitude is Everything and other industry organisations, are working to encourage this change.

These workshops are aimed at increasing awareness for everyone involved in ticketing about disability, the law and equality, as well as helping suggest practical solutions and steps for improvement. It’s an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the issues, with a workshop specifically tailored to focus on ticketing. The workshop leader is Martin Austin of Nimbus Disability.

Bristol Hippodrome – Tuesday 25 April 11am-4pm
ACC Liverpool – Thursday 27 April 11am-4pm
SOLT/UK Theatre Offices, London – Friday 28 April 1pm-5pm

The workshops are organised by STAR in association with SOLT, UK Theatre and the National Arenas Association. If you are a member of one or more of these organisations and do not have the code to be able to book at the relevant discounted rate, please contact info@star.org.uk

The STAR Seminars will hit Bristol on 25th, Liverpool on 27th and London the 28th of April
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Time to step back

Roger Tomlinson confirms he is now “mostly retired” and shares some of his views on the state of the arts.

I closed down my business – Roger Tomlinson Limited – on 31 March 2017 – marking 49 years since my first paid job in the arts. I am not going quietly, and will still tweet and blog, though I suspect my perspective will change.

My friend and colleague Andrew Thomas andrew@theticketinginstitute.com is now the owner of www.TheTicketingInstitute.com and I have passed to him my technology and procurement practice, which he has already been making such a success of. I hope it won’t feel unfair to him, but I’ll be passing over to him the baton of helping address data protection issues in the UK, and liaising with the Information Commissioner.

My work in New Zealand, which I have much enjoyed ever since Cath Cardiff at Creative New Zealand invited me to their country, I have passed on to new consultants coming out of their arts organisation experience: David Martin david@shoretix.co.nz and Michelle Gallagher michelle@smartsense.co.nz would deserve recognition on any international platform. In the US I particularly enjoyed working on Project Audience with friend Alan Brown at WolfBrown alan@wolfbrown.com who has pioneered so many in-depth research processes and admirable studies to inform our thinking, and I am still collaborating with Ron Evans of Group-of-Minds ron@groupofminds.com , working on a new book together.

I remember the time when a spreadsheet was an A3 sheet of paper you drew yourself

And my friends and colleagues Debbie Richards and Tim Baker at Baker Richards have long been the ‘go-to’ consultants for pricing, audience development strategies, loyalty, memberships, segmentation, and have even developed some impressive software tools to automate much of their detailed analysis processes. And I remember the time when a spreadsheet was an A3 sheet of paper you drew yourself, with columns and figures in pencil which you completed manually, with no automated calculations or ‘fill-down’ options. My colleagues in A.R.T.S. in the 90’s – Hugo Perks, Stephan Stockton, Mel Larsen – enjoyed the glorious opening up of opportunities that Macintosh ushered into our working lives.

We have come a long way over the decades, and I have enjoyed trying to be at the cutting edge of understanding the potential of the new technologies and deploying them for the benefit of arts organisations and audience development. “But you’re an old guy” said a young woman when I was challenging her arts organisation to wake up to the realities of the digital world in terms of marketing and communications. Well my favourite quote is “there is nothing permanent in life, except change” and we have to embrace it. I retain a concern, shared by friend and colleague Diane Ragsdale, that somehow the arts, which used to be early adopters and change agents, have slipped behind, and too many can be viewed by younger audiences – crazily that now means under 45 years old – as not being up-to-date and relevant.

There is no reason not to be ready for change.

And that’s despite the sterling work of membership bodies such as the Theatrical Management Association, (now UK Theatre), that made such a difference in the 80’s and 90’s, avidly collaborated with by the great Peter Verwey of the then Arts Council of Great Britain. I am very proud of setting up for the TMA the Druidstone arts marketing course and running it for its first six years from 1982, with funding from all four UK arts councils at the beginning; it is still run every year. Of course, my great love has been the Arts Marketing Association, which I had the honour of chairing, and for which I have attended every annual conference since the beginning: I am steeling myself for not attending this year. It is good to see Cath Hume picking up the baton from Julie Aldridge, and I hope the AMA continues to champion the professionalisation of audience development. And I have made so many international friends through INTIX, who gave me a Lifetime Achievement Award, and where change is a constant topic of discussion; it is good to see Andrew Thomas extending that ethos to the Ticketing Professionals Conferences in Birmingham for which he deserves huge credit. There is no reason not to be ready for change.

I remain very fond of Theatr Clwyd in North Wales because of a very special time setting up and running that complex in the 1970s but what pleases me most is to see current Artistic Director Tamara Harvey re-creating the original ethos driving us back then, but re-invented, new and different, for today. Every time I look at her programme, I want to attend. We need more arts organisations re-inventing themselves for today, willing to take the risks to commit to the public and open themselves to engagement on the public’s terms. Instead I reel in shock when I see arts organisations damaging themselves beyond belief: I am still incredulous at what the University in Aberystwyth did to their amazing Arts Centre, where I was in at the beginning, the University threatening to undo in a few short months what everyone had created over 40 years. It seems a miracle it has survived and is building a new future.

our ability in the arts to re-invent the wheel

I attended the recent UK Theatre Touring Symposium on 23 March and had to sit very quietly in a session on collaboration when speakers started suggesting forming consortia and partnering together to develop audiences in catchment areas around venues. Tim Baker always reminds me about our ability in the arts to re-invent the wheel. I had helped form nine of what became the regional arts marketing agencies – forming Cardiff Arts Marketing with the late John Matthews in 1983 – and I still feel it is a backward step that we have only The Audience Agency for England, Audiences Northern Ireland, and Culture Republic for Scotland, though pleased at the way that Julie Tait has taken Glasgow Grows Audiences and Edinburgh’s The Audience Business into a national organisation. The Audience Agency under the remarkable Anne Torregianni provide a data-led foundation from which audience development should flow. Could it be that collaborations/partnerships focussed on individual catchment areas will re-form?

I have too many friends and colleagues to try and mention them here. But there are some arts organisations I truly admire, and often that is also because of the people. The Victoria Theatre/New Vic in Stoke-on-Trent was formative and remains a remarkable venture. The ethos and drive of the Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow means the legacy of its founders is made relevant today. The Traverse in Edinburgh is a cross-roads of new work which somehow distils a particular Scottish inquiry into the human condition. The Royal Shakespeare Company has been pleasing me for more than 50 years, keeps re-invigorating itself, and, for me, in the Swan offers one of the most engaging theatre spaces. Yes I like the National Theatre in London too, but my heart is with the RSC. Similarly, Welsh National Opera usually offers an emotional experience with their great chorus in full cry, in some radical stagings over the years.

As someone who likes classical music and particularly symphony concerts, it is galling to live in Cambridge and miss the glories of venues such as Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Liverpool Phil, the Sage in Gateshead, but I will always take my hat off to Louise Mitchell, who transformed Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and is now creating a new future for Bristol Music Trust and their Colston Hall. I suppose I can admit that I always wanted to run the Dukes in Lancaster – convenient for walking in the Lakes – so am jealous of Ivan Wadeson. And Chapter in Cardiff always seemed to be the venue that capitalised ‘Alternative’ to do something different, and I enjoyed watching Carol Jones lead their marketing for many a long year. I get similar feelings about James Wilson and his great team at Q Theatre in Auckland. And I can only admire what Philip Aldridge and his team at the Court Theatre in Christchurch NZ manage to consistently deliver, earthquake survivors insisting on being in charge of their own destiny.

It always seemed to me to be a remarkable privilege to work with some arts organisations such as the Concertgebouw in the Netherlands, Dramaten in Stockholm (the Royal National Theatre of Sweden with its warm statue outside) and the arts organisations in Malmo, especially Thomas Wickell at Malmo Opera.

still don’t really understand how modern art galleries get designed

I much enjoyed working on feasibility studies and striving to achieve effective venue designs. My business partner Chris Baldwin at ACT Consultant Services pulled off frequent design and budget ‘coup de teatre’ which regularly astonished me. He reminded me recently of the long list of arts buildings we had achieved. I only wish the wonderful ‘new’ Liverpool Everyman was to our credit – we need more new venues with that integrity.   We have certainly seen a massive investment in arts infra-structure in the UK since the 1960’s, though as a lover of contemporary art, I still don’t really understand how modern art galleries get designed, with the exception of Tate Modern as an enjoyable friendly experience. Nicholas Serota and Jeremy Theophilus are the only visual arts administrators who made sense to me.

No brickbats. A previous Databox user talked to me at that Touring Symposium about the legacy of Jonathan Hyams and Charlie Davies in creating that ticketing and marketing solution, which reminded me that we don’t seem to recognise the huge contribution that a few people have made to helping us move forward in the arts with great technologies working for us, and often with degrees of altruism driving their ambitions. The Dataculture ethos that delivered Databox is pursued in his own way by John Caldwell and PatronBase, and Jack Rubin took Tessitura to be the high-end arts solution fundamentally owned by its users; they deserve especial thanks. There are of course many others trying to make a difference. I particularly remember the endeavours of Stuart Nicolle at Arts Marketing Warwickshire (now Purple Seven) and always Leo Sharrock (now at The Audience Agency) in terms of curating/piloting the benefits of what everyone now calls big data. The late Tim Roberts and I didn’t think of it as that (or even CRM) when I wrote Boxing Clever in 1993, or when we updated it into Full House in 2006, published in Australia and New Zealand, and later in Spain. Hard to remember that in the early 90’s with Duncan May (now at Ambassadors Theatre Group) we were trying to persuade CACI to build an Arts A.C.O.R.N. and we proved the concept.

So where do we go from here?

So where do we go from here? Well I am now on the board of The Audience Agency, which I think with the Audience Finder, Audience Spectrum and Show Stats tools is putting on the desks of arts marketers more power than ever before in my lifetime, and almost free. I continue my special relationship as Chair of the Centre for Performance Research, with Richard Gough as Director; CPR is another great survivor. And I see enough commitment out there from a variety of individuals, and some arts organisations, to a changing future in which artists and audiences can find ways to share ‘stories’ to make a difference.

I am not stepping back thinking the future looks good for the arts – indeed the prognosis seems to be the worst in my lifetime. I still regret the regional imbalances in funding by Arts Council England – so disadvantaging to many parts of the country. The damage done to the arts from education policies in the UK and the US will run through generations and undermine both creativity and audiences for the future. Too many government cuts in arts funding in countries across the world, the threat to local authority funding in the UK – likely to seriously undermine the available infra-structure for the arts – and the demographic cycles of the next thirty years, don’t bode well.  I share with Phil Cave and Arts Council England a belief in “representative audiences” but we still have a long way to go it seems, to even understand that, let alone achieve it.

I wish you all success. Thank you if you have been with me on the journey. It can be done. Don’t go quietly.

Onwards and upwards

Roger

3 April 2017

Gateway Lift off for Bristol Aerospace

AEROSPACE BRISTOL will take off this summer with gateway’s VISITOR MANAGEMENT solutions

 

London, UK (March 2017)

Gateway Ticketing Systems (Gateway) supplies Aerospace Bristol with a comprehensive visitor management solution including fundraising, ticketing, admission control, retail solutions, reporting tools and customer relationship management.

 

Aerospace Bristol is a new industrial heritage museum being developed at Filton, to the north of Bristol. Due to open this summer, the museum will tell the story of Bristol’s world-class aerospace industry – past, present and future. Aerospace Bristol’s show-stopping centrepiece will be Concorde 216. Designed, built and tested in Bristol, she was the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly.

 

“We are very excited to open our museum this summer and having Gateway as a partner is central to support and unify our operations from online booking to advanced financial reporting and fundraising campaigns” explains Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol. “We will take advantage of their industry expertise and knowledge to create a smooth customer experience for our visitors.“

 

Aerospace Bristol will implement Gateway‘s solutions before the opening day. “Being able to capture donations and donor information prior to opening and all their visitor information from day one is a great advantage for Aerospace Bristol. Getting closer to their visitors and knowing what their interests are will help Aerospace Bristol develop offers that meet and exceed their expectations,” explains Andy Povey, Business Development Director at Gateway.

 

To follow Aerospace Bristol’s progress and be the first to know when tickets go on sale visit http://www.aerospacebristol.org/

 

About Gateway Ticketing Systems

Gateway Ticketing Systems is the world’s leading provider of integrated visitor management solutions for museums and galleries; heritage attractions and historic houses; zoos and gardens and theme parks and events. We support our customers with all aspects of their customers’ journeys from ticketing & admission control, food & beverage, events management to CRM & fundraising strategies and reporting. For more information visit www.gatewayticketing.co.uk

 

About Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol will be a major industrial heritage museum and learning centre that inspires and entertains today’s and future generations, through the presentation of the stories and achievements of Bristol’s world-class aerospace industry – past, present and future. Aerospace Bristol will reunite the heritage from a number of important collections to tell not only the stories of design, engineering innovation and achievement, but also the social history of the people who worked in the aerospace industry and the communities which have grown up around it. The object collection contains over 8,000 artefacts (many ‘at risk’) Bristol-built aircraft including Concorde 216, Bristol Scout, Bristol Fighter and a Blenheim IV (WWII Bristol Bolingbroke bomber, under restoration), as well as many scaled models.

ZSL Moves Forward with TopTix SRO4

Zoological Society of London Streamlines Ticketing and CRM Systems with TopTix SRO

 

London, UK (March 28, 2017) – In a move designed to improve customer service and support its millions of annual visitors and supporters, ZSL (Zoological Society of London) – the international conservation charity that runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, together with the Institute of Zoology and field projects in over 50 countries worldwide – has moved to consolidate five mission-critical systems onto TopTix’s SRO4 platform.

 

In order for ZSL to effectively carry out its mission of promoting and achieving the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats, the Society established a number of guiding principles and objectives, one of which is to make efficient and effective use of available resources to achieve the highest possible standards in everything we do.

 

This objective provided the driving force behind a significant move, commencing in 2016, to streamline five operational systems onto a single platform. Over the years, ZSL has added individual software systems to manage and support specific back-end operations, including box office ticketing; fundraising; education and group bookings; online ticketing; and memberships. The goal of this implementation was to unite these diverse functions onto a single, scalable platform.

 

Commenting on the project, ZSL’s Head of ICT Nick Napier said: “We knew that in order to achieve greater efficiency, we would need to streamline back office systems – but, just as importantly, would require 100 per cent assurance that a single platform would be capable of fulfilling our current and future requirements, which are constantly evolving.”

 

In April 2015, ZSL’s Trustees approved proposals to implement the TopTix platform. The first phase of the project went live in February 2016 and ZSL had succeeded in streamlining four back office functions with the SRO4 platform in time for the busy summer season.  This involved ZSL working with its digital agency Catch to implement the SRO API to support all online ticket and experience sales.

 

A second phase of the API development work, commencing in March 2017, aims to deliver the front-end membership fulfillment process onto ZSL’s website, opening up the possibility of future self-service and renewal services for supporters.

 

The unified SRO platform provides a single, streamlined customer record and enables data insights that weren’t previously available to ZSL, including ticket purchase history, donations, gift aid declaration, membership renewal and status. The SRO platform also allows ZSL to streamline the process of capturing additional information required for special events including educational talks, fundraising and challenge events, as well as new visitor experiences such as animal encounters and overnight stays.

 

For visitors, the fully integrated access control platform simplifies entry and enables new “Fast Track” options, whether buying a day ticket or utilizing the unlimited visit option at either of its world-class Zoos enabled by ZSL’s membership scheme.

 

Commenting further, ZSL’s Fundraising Director James Wren said: “The implementation of SRO represents a transformative shift for our organisation and has already improved the supporter experience. All departments, including supporter services, admissions teams, membership, marketing and accounts now work from a common platform to manage our supporter engagement activities.”

 

The ongoing development of SRO continues, with ZSL looking to implement regular new releases that contain new functionality and features that can be used by the charity, as well as planning for any specific ZSL developments as part of  future projects.

 

Karl Vosper, Managing Director of TopTix UK, commented: “We’re excited to be working with such an incredible organisation as ZSL and I’m proud they have placed so much trust in TopTix and SRO. I’m equally proud of the implementation team, both from TopTix and ZSL, in the work they did to get the systems ready in time for the peak summer season at ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos.”

 

Phase 2 of the project is slated to begin April 2017 and will tap into the SRO API to migrate the front-end Membership system onto the front-end of the platform. Once complete, this will replace the fifth system and also enable group bookings online, as part of a drive to provide more self-service across the organisation and from a single platform.

 

 

About ZSL

 

Founded in 1826, ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. Our mission is realized through our groundbreaking science, our active conservation projects in more than 50 countries and our two Zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. For more information visit www.zsl.org.

 

About TopTix, Ltd.

 

Since 2000, TopTix, Ltd (www.toptix.com) has been supplying software for ticketing, fundraising and customer relationship management. Our flagship platform, SRO (Standing Room Only), supports over 500 institutions, processing 80 million tickets a year. Our client base including museums, theatres, festivals, stadiums, arenas, sporting organizations, concert halls, and visitor attractions spans 16 countries, including such well known organizations as: The Royal Concertgebouw, the Netherlands; J. Paul Getty Museum, Ravinia Festival, USA; English National Opera, West Bromwich Albion Football Club, UK; Friends Arena, Sweden.

 

Perlan Selects Best Union

Perlan Selects Best Union’s BOS Ticketing Solution to Launch New Glacier Exhibition

Best Union, a global leader in the development of ticketing system technology has recently been chosen by Perlan, Iceland’s distinctive landmark attraction, to supply the Best Overview System (BOS) as their new ticketing and sales solution.

Based in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, Perlan (The Pearl) was originally built on 6 huge geothermal water storage towers; in 1991 the tanks were updated and a glass dome structure added. Each year thousands of visitors go to enjoy the observation deck, which gives stunning 360 degree panoramic views plus the chance to see the Northern Lights.

In the summer of 2017 Perlan will open the Glacier Exhibition inside one of the former water towers, accurately replicating an ice cave cut through a glacier section; this is the first step in the creation of an Icelandic Natural Wonders exhibition. Also in planning are an Icelandic flora and fauna exhibit plus a state of the art planetarium that will offer a domed, 360° immersive experience with surround sound and stunning image quality.

Ready to step up to Perlan’s new challenge the Best Union Group has over 25 years’ expertise providing a broad range of high-performance ticketing systems, with an extensive network of clients spanning 38 countries. As a company, it is uniquely placed to provide innovative solutions for electronic ticketing and access control, plus the tailored development of sophisticated platforms and services for the advance real-time distribution of tickets online through multiple channels.

BOS’s dynamic platform will offer Perlan the benefit of real-time ticket management, with high volume sales handled efficiently through one central system. Tickets will be sold on-line, on-site and through a network of distribution services enabling real-time access control and providing a fully integrated solution.

Perlan will go live with websales through BOS from 31st March, 2017 in anticipation of the Glacier Exhibition’s summer opening.

Commenting, Perlan Marketing Manager, Helga Viðarsdóttir, is pleased with the development:

“Nothing like the Glacier Exhibition has ever been seen anywhere in the world, and we are so proud to feature it at Perlan. Travelling through the cave, visitors will learn about the glacier’s dangers, and all the secrets it keeps. Now is the perfect time to partner with Best Union and enjoy the benefits that the BOS system will bring to our business, both from a management perspective and user interface. It will help us build on our intent to become the biggest visitor attraction in Iceland.”

Patrick Morsman, Sales Manager at Best Union UK, agreed: “This is an incredibly exciting project for the Best Union team and we are delighted that Perlan has chosen our BOS system. They are a forward-thinking business with big plans for expansion. We’re confident that BOS will give them the flexible tools needed to grow footfall, and look forward to a successful launch of the glacier exhibition and all of the other amazing attractions that are on the way.”

For more information on Perlan visit www.perlanmuseum.is

About Best Union

The Best Union Company was established in 1999 in Bologna and listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in 2008. With offices in France, Italy, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America, Best Union Company S.p.A. is one of the main players in the design, production, sale and management of electronic ticketing and access control systems and the organization of hospitality and security services for public events, cultural and sport events, trade shows and theme and amusement parks.

Best Union is among the few global companies who are able to offer integrated hard and software systems and the services required to stage sports events, cultural initiatives, trade fairs, shows of various kinds and to run entertainment and theme parks.

Syx Ticketing Secure Postal Museum Contract

Syx Ticketing wins another new customer in the UK

Leading provider of ticketing and admissions management software solutions, Syx Ticketing, has been selected by The Postal Museum to provide ticketing and POS for its grand opening in 2017.

The Postal Museum will open in mid-2017 in central London, revealing the surprising story of the first social network.

On top of inspiring galleries packed with incredible objects, exciting stories and engaging interactive displays, The Postal Museum will offer the chance to explore an incredible hidden piece of Britain’s industrial heritage deep underground. Mail Rail at The Postal Museum will offer an immersive subterranean ride through the original, miniature tunnels of this abandoned network for the first time in its 100 year history.

Syx will provide ticketing and point of sales solution at The Postal Museum’s ticket desk, and its retail outlets. Online ticketing, bookings and group bookings are processed via the cloud-based version of the ReCreateX software solution which is hosted on Syx Automations’ secure datacentre.

 

Lauren Pattison, Head of Operations at The Postal Museum commented: “From mid-2017 Mail Rail at The Postal Museum will be a must-do attraction in London and we want to ensure a fantastic experience for our visitors, right down to the buying of tickets. We’re excited to bring Syx Ticketing on board to help achieve that and look forward to a successful partnership.”

 

“We are so delighted that we have been chosen by The Postal Museum to manage their ticketing and point of sales software,” explained Eddie Lee, UK Sales Manager of Syx Ticketing “We will work with the team at The Postal Museum as they embark on their exciting journey to engage their visitors with exhibits, events and the Mail Rail at The Postal Museum underground rides. By using ReCreateX both in-house and on the web they will be able to enhance the visitor experience greatly.    

This new contract comes hot on the heels of the high-profile deal between Syx and The City of London Corporation announced in November to provide ticketing solutions for the Tower Bridge Exhibition

Make it Social Announces Significant Ticketing Partnership

Scottish technology start-up, Make it Social, has partnered with the musical ‘Wicked’ to launch the West End’s first social booking service.  Make it Social’s unique software will enable fans to book as a group but pay individually for the show.  This simple but innovative concept is designed to make life easier for friends and families to go to events together.  ‘Wicked’ is currently playing in London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, an Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) venue.

Barry Grant of ATG said:  “We are delighted to be working with Make it Social and ‘Wicked’ to launch this new booking platform in the West End. There is a real need to make organising social groups easier for everyone and harnessing this new technology does just that.  We look forward to extending Make it Social to other productions throughout 2017.”

Eddie Robb, CEO of Make it Social, added:  “Our technology is about bringing people together in the real world to have fun experiences, build relationships and create memories.  We are delighted that people going to see ‘Wicked’ will be able to benefit from our truly social platform – it’s a really exciting opportunity.”

Luke Shires, Managing Director of Joe Public – Sales & Marketing Directors of Wicked added: “Joe Public is proud to continue our tradition of industry firsts through this exciting partnership with Make it Social – now in its 10th year, Wicked continues to grow from strength to strength, and this truly interactive social booking platform for small groups will make it easier than ever before for audiences to enjoy the hit musical.”

 

SS Great Britain Goes with Gateway

Brunel’s SS Great Britain goes live with Gateway’s visitor management software

The Gateway solution at Brunel’s SS Great Britain includes ticketing, fundraising, membership, retail and web sales and CRM

Gateway Ticketing Systems Ltd (Gateway) has been chosen to partner with Brunel’s SS Great Britain. The new revenue management and CRM solution will allow Brunel’s SS Great Britain to sell tickets, memberships, merchandise, and food and beverage along with collecting donations, on the front desk, over the phone and online. This will play an integral role in building stronger relationships in the future and tracking visitors to, and donations for, the historic site.

 

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is TripAdvisor’s number 1 tourist attraction in Bristol. The SS Great Britain is the world’s first great ocean liner and the most innovative steam ship of her time. Launched in 1843, this iron-hulled steamship revolutionised travel and set new standards in engineering, reliability and speed.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Image credit: Max McClure photography

 

The Gateway solution will allow Brunel’s SS Great Britain to improve the customer experience and build stronger relationships with its visitors.

 

“We are very excited at the prospect of working with Gateway. With a proven record of delivering projects with some of the UK’s biggest heritage attractions, Gateway proved themselves to be best suited our complex needs. We look forward to utilising their industry expertise to ensure the experience for our customers is the best it can be. I have no doubt that we will go from strength to strength as we grow the collection and attract more visitors together.” said Louisa Pharoah, Director of Development, SS Great Britain Trust.

 

“Being the chosen supplier for Brunel’s SS Great Britain is fantastic news for Gateway Ticketing Systems. We have spent much time and effort in recent years working with charitable organisations to support revenue generation, and improve customer relationships, and we look forward to sharing this with the team there. With the opening of a new museum in early 2018, it is imperative that Brunel’s SS Great Britain have the best software to support their mission,” said Andy Povey, Business Development Director at Gateway Ticketing Systems Ltd.

 

For more information about Brunel’s SS Great Britain visit www.ssgreatbritain.org

 

–  ENDS  –

About Gateway Ticketing Systems
Gateway Ticketing Systems is the world’s leading provider of integrated visitor management solutions for museums and galleries; heritage attractions and historic houses; zoos and gardens and theme parks and events. We support our customers with all aspects of their customers’ journeys from ticketing & admission control, food & beverage, events management to CRM & fundraising strategies and reporting. For more information visit www.gatewayticketing.co.uk

About Brunel’s SS Great Britain
Brunel’s SS Great Britain is the world’s first great ocean liner and the most innovative steam ship of her time. Launched in 1843, this iron-hulled steamship revolutionised travel and set new standards in engineering, reliability and speed. Today, Brunel’s SS Great Britain is Bristol’s number one visitor attraction (as voted by the public on TripAdvisor) and home to the Brunel Institute, housing one of the world’s finest maritime and Brunel collections.

Yesplan Arrives in UK

The cloud-based event and planning system Yesplan is now available to cultural venues in the UK. 

For the past six months we have worked with Ghent based Yesplan to help them understand the needs and challenges of UK cultural venues.

With over 150 Active customers throughout Belgium and the Netherlands Yesplan have established themselves as the clear market leader with their intuitive, powerful, feature rich and keenly priced system.

……prices fall, standards rise and innovation grows.

As we often blog about on this site, competition is healthy in all areas of business. Here in the cultural sector we have often written about ticketing competition, which has undoubtably seen prices fall, standards rise and innovation grow, leading to new solutions emerging, others declining – but venues being the overall winners.

Yesplan are already live at sites in the UK, delivering the same advanced planning and resource management as other established systems, and have already been contacted by venues either looking to replace or install their first venue management solution.

Venues interested in a very gentle intro to Yesplan can get in touch to arrange a webdemo at http://yesplan.be/en/demo/ or simply sayhello@yesplan.co.uk

We are delighted to be continuing our work with Yesplan to act as their UK Consultants as they continue their journey to deliver value and their rich feature set to the UK and Irish cultural sectors.

Picking the right Refund Protection partner

Ever since our article titled ‘What would you do with an extra £2,000 per month” we have had a number of discussions and enquiries regarding the booking protection, how it works and the difference between providers.

As with all things, there are core differences between operators and how they deliver their service to either venues or end customers.

We caught up with Catherine Spencer, Director of Business Development with Booking Protect to ask “What should we look for in a partner?”

Here are her top 5 pieces of advice.

1 – Full service
Plain and simple, it is essential that providers you work with give you and the end users a FULL SERVICE. We often see claims, post-purchase queries or general customer service issues being dealt with by outsourced third party companies.
We made the choice from the very start that Booking Protect would be a full-service offering, so we handle all aspects of administration and claims within our organisation. This means that if there is a large scale event or a series of events, we can allocate additional resources, namely fully trained staff, to directly deal with customer enquiries.

This is how we can guarantee we can protect their reputation and brand.

 

2- Protection for . . . . .
What good is taking out protection if it does not cover the reasons that we all know and hear in the event industry that people cannot make an event? As we head to INTIX and Ticketing Professionals in the coming months we will all get a chance to find out our top three reasons.

We commonly here that death or illness in the close family is second to personal illness, but what about pre-existing conditions? If I have a condition that is subject to flare up – and it becomes particularly bad the day of a concert am I covered? Whilst with Booking Protect you are, many providers do not cover pre-existing conditions.

 

3 – Simple, Compliant Opt-ins along with Analytics
Booking Protect has the advantage of being a technology led, API based system. Working with ticketing platforms such as Audienceview and PatronBase we allow their customers to enable the service seamlessly within their booking flows.

This significantly reduces administrative burden in the organisations we work with, to an almost negligible amount. The running of reports, download of information and sending to a third party are workflows of the past aren’t they?

Of course, presenting the offer is only the start. How many customers are taking it up? What about on price band A tickets versus price band B, has one got a better conversion rate than the other?

Any add on service or revenue opportunity needs to form part of your analytics and review programme. Make sure your provider can deliver these vital statistics, or better still have them commit to review meetings to look at pricing and presentation strategies with you every quarter or a minimum of twice a year. They are some of the most enjoyable meetings I attend each week.

 

4 – Reputation
Partners are great, they can add to your offering, by delivering a new service, outside of your normal operations. Many of our customers use partners for Pantomime production, delivering on-site catering or perhaps marketing services, such as PR or photography.

They choose these partners for various reasons, relevant to that service. Very few, if any would choose a partner had bad a reputation for delivering that service.

Just as we do in our personal lives, research what end users and other theatres’ experiences of working with a partner are like. Do you want your theatre dropping in people’s estimation because of poor service from a partner?

5 – Expert Advice
Launching new services, especially ones you are not familiar with can be a challenge. How much should we charge for a £20 theatre ticket? How much can we make / how much do customers find ‘reasonable’ – these are all questions your provider should be able to answer and a service they should deliver to you.

As we mentioned earlier when talking about our strategy of working with clients to review analytical data, we at Booking Protect pride ourselves on delivering years of advice in this sector to both our existing and potential new clients.

 

 

 

Don’t Forget to Find out how much a booking protect partnership could earn your organisation

If you would like an indicative estimation of the revenue your venue could potentially generate with such a partnership, simply fill in the few pieces of information below and Booking Protect will provide some basic outline information for you to consider. To help with the New Year financial squeeze we have six £25 vouchers from Amazon which will be awarded to six venues who find out just how much they could earn. Go on! Keep up that New Year’s resolution to make more for your venue and give customers the choices they want!

By the way Booking Protect is avaialble in North Ameria too – so US / Canada types, it’s open to you too.