Ticketsolve – in our words

The process of conducting MOT session on systems’ answers to the Functionality Builder can be long and drawn out, with some suppliers finding convenient excuses to delay or postpone their scheduled inspection.

It was a refreshing change therefore to be actively encouraged to get deep into Ticketsolve’s functionality.

I must admit, I was quite looking forward to the session and picking away at answers. The reason? Simple, Ticketsolve have seen a dramatic rise in their score in the recent months and years, much faster than that of some other suppliers, given their size and price point.

The touches they have made to their browser based UI have been well thought out and give the user the concept of a “workspace” by having multiple panels open, to allow the editing of a show, checking of seating plan or selling a ticket! with minimum of effort.

This may sound like an unlikely set of circumstances for some venues, however, with a large number theatres, arts centres and festivals in Ticketsolve’s 170+ venues, ranging from 1,800+ seats at the Kings in Southsea to 300+ at the Leicester Square Theatre, in some of these venues the box office person is also the marketing person AND the accounts person too! It’s this ease of use that gives Ticketsolve a real “made for us” feel to so many venues.

As we spent a whole day at their HQ in Dublin, the dedicated team from their support department were more than eager, and competent to show the features I asked to see as we validated their scoring.

Overall we failed to find anything that presented a concern as an untruthful or incorrect answer as we hit around 20 of the 649 criteria in the Functionality Builder.

Only 20 you ask? Well, as we often hear from venues or vendors, it’s not as simple as “yes/no” – there is a great deal of functionality to show within every criteria.

From customer / operator presentation, key strokes, logic and reporting it is simply the best I have ever seen.

One of the most impressive was the implementation of the “Family Ticket” – a 2+2 or variation thereof. I must say in ALL the systems I have ever used, reviewed or played with Ticketsolve absolutely nails this requirement. From customer / operator presentation, key strokes, logic and reporting it is simply the best I have ever seen.

The multi-tenant, single iteration model for software deployment is not new, Ticketsolve were one of the first in the UK / Ireland to offer it. Whilst not an item in the FB, their use of tracking codes throughout inventory and set-up screens allow support staff to offer must faster identification and resolution times when bugs or unexpected events occur.

The feature that we saw most of, that helped me so many criteria was the use of the Ticketsolve “Tags” system. Without under or overstating their value or usability, they allow for anything from a performance or ticket price to be “tagged” with keywords as we see in Blogs. This allows the marketing (or other) staff to simply query and data mine that Tag for the purposes of campaigns or offers.

It was within the area of offers that the value of tags became apparent. Now there is in Ticketsolve what others may refer to as a “rules engine”, but we need to be clear here, its engine is not as advanced as some, but the question is…….do you need it to be? It’s here where the investment in the UI becomes clear, the construction of rules, to alter price or payment path, to make inventory available or change the UX are constructed with a simple drag and drop interface.

Here we saw, again, that this well though out design and engineering enables just a few screens to effect the whole ticketing and marketing operation, delivering outcomes that many systems struggle to.

The future also looks bright for their users, with a redesign of (what I thought was fantastic) the interface to bring in a fully responsive design throughout the system. This is being made possible by their continued investment as well as their expansion of their engineering team, which already boasts some very smart minds.

We left Dublin with a sense of satisfaction that vendors are still building tool sets to let venues deliver the solution they want to for their customers. The score of Ticketsolve in the FB is achievable, with the application of the tools we saw.

The tools are there and capable of giving venues undoubted benefits, as their logo says, Ticketsolve- ticketing in your hands.

 

 

Andrew Thomas

August 2015