News and Discussion

Launched in 2010, The Ticketing Institute’s aim is to give commentary and a place for discussion on the new opportunites for ticketing, marketing and CRM, for digital marketing and social media integration.

Our news and discussion area is a home to press releases on stories affecting the industry as well as our own blog posts on the issues, trends and news of Sports and Entertainment ticketing / customer engagement.

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.

Ticketing Professionals Just Eight Weeks Away

The second ticketing professionals conference is just eight weeks away.

It’s great that as those of us lucky enough to be able to afford the time and expenditure to make the trip to New Orleans for this years’ International Ticketing Association (INTIX) conference will testify, an educationally led ticketing conference has been much needed on this side of the Atlantic.

There have been commercial operations that spotted a ‘gap in the market’ and have delivered forums and summits around the ticketing space, but as a regular attendee to industry ( as well as system specific ) events, I always felt there was some part of INTIX’s superb education and professional development mentality that could be useful to the UK / European ecosystem.

As ever, there are some great sessions planned for #TPC2017 – and even though Roger is not headed to INTIX this year, he has picked out his session picks for Ticketing Professionals – here they are.

 

 

What do you mean?  “I have to choose”?  Looking through TPC17 I want to go to everything!  Sessions like ‘Jonathan Brown on What’s Next for Secondary are essential, but my key picks are:

Ben Rapp on Cyber Threats on Thursday morning – he was a great speaker in 2016 and I just don’t think we are sufficiently geared up to the security issues for ticketing either the venues, our web hosts, or the suppliers.  I dread the day a theatre hits the headlines as its customer data is exploited.

Maureen Andersen is inimitable and her session on Micro-moments, focussing on the customer journey, reminds me of a key moment at INTIX when a Facebook executive simply stated that the ticketed events we delivered were for many people the most important moments in their lives – apart from births, marriages and deaths.  So we really do need to understand how people get to make the purchase decision, on that journey to being a customer for our event.

And I am a keen fan of pricing and the way it seems to over-turn received wisdom.  Baker Richards are the ‘go-to’ experts and their David Reece is joined by Kevin Giglinto, ex Chicago Symphony Orchestra and now (Senior VP, Client Development & Marketing at Tessitura), to explain about The Art of Value Fencing, which is apparently to understand when we don’t need to give away and discount so much.  We’ll be learning more all the way.

How can I be in two places at once for the concurrent sessions?

Ticketing Professionals 2017 takes place at the ICC Birmingham on 16th and 17th March.

Schedule and Registration Details Here 

 

 

 

“Make Do and Mend” – the right technology strategy?

Wow, where to start. This is a post that has been on my mind for some months. It’s taken a change of tech that I am using to crystallise some thoughts about how to lay this problem out.

I have always used a PC, from back pre windows to 3.11, 95 and on through the numbers. It’s been part of my life for thirty years. There have been some bumps along the way, but I can’t ever say I have been ‘unhappy’ – just not fulfilled.

I can’t ever say I have been ‘unhappy’ – just not fulfilled

Less faithful behaviour is true amongst mobile phones or more recently smartphones, I have had big periods between the three or four main players – well they were at the time. Nokia’s Symbian system was the first really good platform, along came and went BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, iPhone, Windows, Android – you get the picture.

…..spending extra minutes or hours on tasks that should take twenty seconds.

For the last few months, I have been using a Chromebook. Amazing value at under £200 – a 13 hour (real) battery life, super portable and with Internet access almost everywhere – a great piece of kit. The trouble with it is that it fell short in some areas, no REAL word support meant converting docs or when using the online version missing out on some of key, yet more obscure features that are only found in the full versions. I was always spending extra minutes or hours on tasks that should take twenty seconds.

Macs were “too expensive” and I’ve never used them, I am writing this on one now, it’s not THAT bad, but gives me some much loved and missed functionality not present on the Chromebook.

This is not them versus us or mine is better than your tech post, but setting the scene.

To be blunt, I don’t like it. It makes or seems to make my life more difficult,

I am currently in possession of an iPhone for the first time in three years, I say currently as it’s about to go swim with the fishes in a canal sometime soon. To be blunt, I don’t like it. It makes or seems to make my life more difficult, less of a digital assistant and more of a ball and chain.

It’s fun using iMessage and Facetime, it’s pretty good whilst travelling or messaging Internationally . . . . if THEY have an iPhone / Apple product and it has some really good features, for me and perhaps more for other people.

To be clear, Android – has its issues, not so much as an OS but due to the different iterations that exist. So this feature is not on this device but is on that one. That manufacturer has released Version 7, this one has not.

I am ignoring Blackberry and windows as mobile OS ecosystems, as both appear to be an end of life or the equivalent of a distant relative in a care home, out there, but not really visited by many, harsh, but true.

So what do I do? Do I try and continue to find peace and being at one with my little black friend, to make it work, to ignore the things I hate, to carry on missing notifications, to being bounced chrome to safari to goodness knows what.

It took me five minutes to set up my iPhone and an hour for apps to be sync from Android and to go back it will take the same.

We cannot say the same of our ticketing infrastructures, can we? Back in the day some vendors offered monthly contracts, with their sales patter saying “if you don’t like us you can move away” – I always shot this down and perhaps even annual contracts the same – “You don’t change systems that easily – this is not a mobile phone”

So what should make people change or think about changing? End of a fixed term contract? Opening a new facility or as is common this time of year, a boost in revenue from the Panto and the pain that running a show report for 78 performances did to you and your system.

I don’t think these should be at the forefront of decision making. It should be about pain. Pain in the current. The pain of the procurement and implementation and the pain relief of the new system…………but let’s also remember there will be the pain with the new too. I have never seen a project where someone, somewhere in the org did not miss something from the previous system (or the one that pre-dated that.

You need to look at these pain items and work out, how much pain will I be solving? How bad and frequent is the pain, to whom and what is the effect?

Auto-submission of Gift Aid to HMRC is a classic example of this. Once a month, a download in Excel, a small format here or there and then log on and upload the file. How long does it take? How much time will be saved? What value of recouped revenue will you get in excess than with the manual process?

A project last year heard a finance director say of that specific feature “It would be nice, but not a trigger to choose one particular system” – perfect, she got it. However, find 10, 15 or 30 such examples of efficiency and reduction in costs, through multiple suppliers, hosting and automation and you may have something.

We have to make hard choices. This platform may be “Cheap” – we may “make do” but are things EVER going to get better, are they ever going to fix {Insert Bug Here} or integrate with {Really good tool here}.

Spending this week in Benelux countries, I have met some great companies doing cutting edge solution building around ticketing platforms, marketing automation, dynamic differential customer flows or …… just really well written, reliable software at a great price.

If you do one thing this January, sit back and reflect on the pain, look to the future and ask yourself, is this the year I am going to help my business step up and be smart, efficient and forward thinking.

 

 

 

We will be talking about many of these issues around technology strategy at the Ticketing Professionals Conference on the 16th and 17th March in Birmingham. TTI Subscribers can get a 10% discount by using the promo code ‘TTI’ at checkout.

tpc_date_191_x_71

 

 

 

 

 

TopTix Integration Partners

TOPTIX INTRODUCES GLOBAL INTEGRATION PARTNERS PROGRAM
CERTIFIES INGRESSO AND THREE OTHER INTEGRATION PARTNERS WHO DEMONSTRATE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

London, UK (January 6, 2017)—Karl Vosper, Managing Director of the TopTix UK office announces that Ingresso and three other technology companies have been certified as official SRO integration partners. SRO (Standing Room Only) is an all-in-one web delivered software solution for ticket sales, marketing, and CRM.

Ingresso has created a real-time sales integration with SRO, allowing TopTix customers to sell their ticketing inventory, via Select your Seat, through Ingresso’s vast Global Distribution System with sales channels including Amazon Tickets, Disney Tickets, From the Box-Office and Lastminute.com.

SRO customers have complete control over which tickets are offered through which sales channels, at what time, and at which price / commission structure.

Removing the need for manual allocations, the Ingresso API interconnectivity brings ease of rapid sales channel expansion to reach audiences that may have otherwise been inaccessible.

Mel Dearle, Sales Director of Ingresso said:

“Our technical development team found the TopTix UK team helpful throughout the API integration process—and the SRO system performed. Our first connection was to the English National Opera—and sales via our integrated distribution network rocketed by 650% since connection. The venue controls the price, commissions and access and API ticketing offers truly dynamic pricing opportunities. We look forward to further TopTix venue connections and discussing the support and marketing reach we can offer to the box-office and right’s holders.”

The other three agencies, include:

Catch (UK)
Catch has created a seamless integration between Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) public web interface and SRO. The modern visitor engagement interface enables a unified, responsive end-to-end sales journey for ticketing, events, activities, memberships and more, including upselling and Gift Aid functionality.

Stunn (UK)
Stunn took the online booking processes for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre websites out of iFrames to enable full functionality with the SRO ticketing system. The solution is fully responsive and includes mobile seat selection, upselling and membership recruitment capabilities and is also trackable via dashboard analytics.

Zicht Online (The Netherlands)
Zicht Online developed TicketTrigger as an alternative front end to SRO for online ticketing. TicketTrigger uses the extensive SOAP API of SRO allowing customers to apply custom design, flows and functionality in the ticketing process.

The integration partners program enables best-in-class web and application developers the ability to efficiently extend the capabilities of the SRO platform and provides TopTix clients with a referable list of proven service providers and solutions. Karl Vosper, who initiated the program for TopTix, commented, “We carefully evaluate each partner and project to ensure that every integration is of the highest quality. We seek developers with proven experience in the ticketing and CRM industry who have a deep understanding of client needs and present forward-thinking solutions to our rapidly expanding portfolio of clients.”

Interested clients and prospects may learn more about the development partner program at http://toptix.com/partners/. Vosper concluded, “Our ultimate goal is to give TopTix clients easy access to the most robust features possible to drive their business forward, backed by technology partners carefully selected and supported by TopTix.”

TopTix continues to evaluate technology companies from around the world seeking to join the integration partners program. Program benefits include access to the SRO API, documentation, sample integration code, training hours with the TopTix tech team and a testing environment hosted by TopTix.

About TopTix, Ltd.
TopTix, Ltd (www.TopTix.com) is a privately owned firm founded in 2000 that develops software for ticketing, marketing, CRM, merchandise sales, fundraising, loyalty and access management. Our services and technology allow our clients to sell and manage their own ticket sales, capture valuable patron information and control all aspects of the consumer experience. Our flagship platform, SRO (Standing Room Only), is utilised by sporting organisations, leisure attractions, festivals, exhibitions, stadiums, arenas, theatres, concert halls, museums, visitor attractions, cinemas and ticket agencies across 16 countries processing in excess of 80 million tickets a year.

How Would you Spend an extra £2,000 per month?

What would your organisation do with an extra £2000 of revenue per month?

Seriously, as we enter the New Year we all make resolutions to be more efficient, to maximise revenues and to achieve higher targets or reduce deficits.

Unfortunately, you may find your season already programmed or your prices set by a promoter meaning you don’t have the ability for revenue management or to squeezing that’ extra great show that has been offered to your venue.

So where is this £2000 going to come from?

So where is the money to be made? The last few years has seen a rise in the adoption of micro-donations for online transactions as well as continued discussions around the use of the transaction fees, their presentation and whether they are a “turnoff” to consumers.

A number of technology platforms offer additional revenue sources through tools to advertise products or services throughout the purchase flow online. I have always viewed this as a short-term and risky strategy. Either that you need to invest time and effort in selling that advertising or perhaps you outsource to an agency.

Given the relatively low web traffic the majority of venues have, few agencies are likely to be that interested. We have also seen other providers look, through partnership agreements, to monetize other parts of the process such as advertising on print at home tickets. Again, this is a numbers game and advertisers will be looking at the ability to convert into sales.

So where is this £2000 going to come from? Simple. The customers. But how?

I’m not advocating having the box office shakedown businesses adjacent to your venue

Protection. No, I’m not advocating having the box office shakedown businesses adjacent to your venue but simply offer booking protection schemes as part of the booking process.

I spent a day this week with the folks from Booking Protect talking through their offering, some of their success stories and of course the challenges that suppliers to the industry face.

Those of you who know me know that I am rarely lost for words, but examining true real-time data showing conversion ratios and revenues being generated for Booking Protect clients was a sight to behold.

Just like Bono clicking his fingers back in the day I watched as £1.25, 75p, £1.30, £1.05 amassed in commission for the client in question. (Full disclosure for data protection reasons I could not see the name of the client)

Of course, with all schemes that look to offer a great return you have to ask where is the catch?

What are the overheads? In terms of staff time, technical or ongoing administration?

All of these MUST to be offset against any potential revenues. Looking through both the technical integration, through a seamless API link Direct into the web checkout flow greatly reduces any technical spend.

….direct integrations available ……… Audienceview and PatronBase

In fact, with direct integrations available as part of the call products offered by Audienceview and PatronBase – users of these two systems see virtually no technical effort required.

The claim and compliance elements of the process are all fully handled by the provider and not the venue, again, reducing the venues human or administrative overhead to virtually nothing.

in reaction to many venues no refunds no exchanges policy

Do people actually want this booking protection? The data that I saw seems to answer that question with a resounding yes. I’m not sure whether this is in reaction to many venues no refunds no exchanges policy, but whatever the reasons that customers want to protect the purchase and be able to gain a refund should illness, travel disruption (Southern Rail anyone?) or other issues mean they cannot attend an event it seems that this is a service that customers want, that is available from an established provider and that the venues can directly benefit from in the form of significant monthly revenues.

Still, which of us would not like that extra £2000 a month?

The big question is, as the title of this blog suggested, on what would you spend the money? An extra marketing officer, bigger digital spend, a rebrand or something as boring at some new thermal ticket printers? Without meaning to be a killjoy, it may just be absorbed into the profit and loss of the venue. Still, which of us would not like that extra £2000 a month?

Okay okay: where did I get this figure of £2000? Simple, I used some figures that I know from a number of small to mid-sized venues in the UK. Using these figures along with a measured conversion ratio and a standard commission agreement that are in place now we ran several scenarios through a pricing calculator.

As you know, we love to help connect organisations with solutions and are even partial to a cheeky giveaway.

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.