PatronBase is a partner of The Ticketing Institute and matches their system capabilities against the Functionality Builder to achieve a high score. They come with a fundamentally different philosophy.
It is hard to believe that PatronBase, from a relatively small supplier in New Zealand, with a UK office in Cardiff, can more than match all of the functionality that the most expensive systems can offer, in a user-friendly implementation, and for sometimes a fifth of the cost over five years. It is definitely a Best Buy, and satisfying a rapidly expanding community of users.
Originally developed for the Court Theatre in Christchurch, on New Zealand’s south island, it started out when Tickets.com was declining to supply their Databox to NZ theatres. Former Court Theatre Board member, with a successful network solutions company already, John Caldwell, offered to develop a solution, and went on to set up an independent company to deliver it. Ironically he adopted much of the approach of the Databox original supplier Dataculture, in always going the extra mile to meet organisation’s needs.
Now used by all the producing theatres in NZ, and also supplied in Australia, Ireland and Spain, it is delivered for the UK by a business partner company based in Cardiff. Globally it has nearly 100 users. The PatronBase business philosophy is to choose the arts organisations they want to work with, to support creative organisations delivering the arts, and to partner them in working smarter and relating to attenders better, in a cost-effective way.
It has already secured a range of UK users who profess themselves fully satisfied by the system and the service they receive. It is strongly recommended as an affordable and practical solution, and even has a standard price tariff, particularly transparent about what you are paying for and how much. It usually quotes the lowest payment gateway costs and processing transaction charges of all the suppliers. It has also been enterprising in working with arts organisations on ways to make the purchase affordable over-time, such as accepting payment in instalments.
PatronBase runs on the .Net platform, with a built-in Content Management System with new styling and design tools for multiple skins, including bilingual versions. The system is in continuous development and includes many up-to-date features such as social media networking tools, plus additional modules such as room booking management, interfaces with Artifax Event and other SQL software. They have released new developments for loyalty schemes and memberships, especially to build on the Chapter Cardiff CL1C Card loyalty scheme, with the ability to redeem points on-line, and achieve a next generation solution. The system accommodates Purple Seven’s DDX so is compliant with Vital Statistics and its modules (PatronBase was the first distributor for Purple Seven in New Zealand) and interfaces with Audience Finder, The Audience Agency’s audience development and profiling tool in the UK. A number of users have worked with web developers TinCan to deliver state-of-the-art websites accommodating different form factors and with full mobile optimisation.
Working closely with their user community on implementing developments, Salisbury Arts Centre advised on their Venue Manager module, Derby Quad on the automated kiosk functionality, Bishopgate Institute on the tools for education classes and workshops, Chapter on loyalty point schemes, and many more have collaborated on Amazon-style ‘recommendations’. PatronBase were also one of the first to integrate online ticket purchase into Facebook pages and enable postings to Facebook and Twitter with email confirmations of bookings. The system also includes a comprehensive merchandising module for those that need retail sales too.
It does seem that “small is beautiful” is true, and affordable.
Regular visitor to the UK, John Caldwell is the “Chief Evangelist” of PatronBase: email@example.com
Rob Walters runs PatronBase UK firstname.lastname@example.org